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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Alimony > The Role Of Vocational Experts In Alabama Divorce Cases

The Role Of Vocational Experts In Alabama Divorce Cases


Divorce is emotionally and financially stressful for everyone, but one of the biggest stresses is having to adjust to reentering the workforce just as you are adjusting to no longer being married.  Many couples agree that one parent will leave the workforce to be a stay-at-home parent, but the couples who can afford to maintain this arrangement after divorce are very few, as are the ones who are willing to pay a former spouse enough alimony to enable them to have enough money without seeking paid employment.  Therefore, if you were a stay-at-home parent during your marriage, it is probably inevitable that you will have to find a job and that the court will only order your ex-spouse to pay enough alimony to cover the expenses that your income from your job does not cover.  Deciding how much you can expect to earn, and how soon you can expect to earn it, is complicated, especially since no one, no matter how knowledgeable they might be, can predict the future with certainty.  A Birmingham alimony lawyer can help you get a professional assessment of your earning potential and make a compelling case for why you are entitled to alimony even after you return to the workforce.

How Do Vocational Experts Figure Out How Much You Can Expect to Earn?

The labor market is always changing, and if it has been years since you have held a paid job, you might feel like you are entering an unfamiliar world.  Vocational experts in divorce cases are not career counselors, but they start by asking the same questions a career counselor would ask you.  What jobs have you worked before?  How much did you earn?  What skills and education do you have?  Presumably, you will need more money when you are in your 30s (or older) and have children than when you were in your 20s and single or newly married.  Therefore, what is the most feasible path to a job that will cover your expenses?  It might require you to get a new certification, which will take some time before the paychecks start coming in.

What Decisions Does the Court Make Based on the Vocational Expert’s Report?

Based on the vocational expert’s report, the court may decide to reward you rehabilitative alimony, which pays for your expenses while you are training for a new job, or periodic alimony, which simply covers the expenses that your employment income does not cover.  Vocational experts’ predictions are only educated guesses, and it may take longer than they predict before you can find a job.  Likewise, the job you find might not pay as much as the vocational expert predicted.  Therefore, your lawyer can help you persuade the court to increase the alimony amount; alimony amounts are almost always modifiable.

Contact Peeples Law About Disputes Over Imputed Income

A Birmingham family law attorney can help you get a fair alimony award as you return to the workforce in tough economic times.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.



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