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How job loss can impact divorce proceedings

by | Dec 31, 2019 | Divorce |

Divorce can come with plenty of financial setbacks. But when one partner loses their job amidst the separation, it can cause significant stress and anxiety for everyone involved. The loss of a job can create a sense of financial uncertainty, as some may not know when they’ll find a new source of income.

Sometimes, the spouse who lost their job may worry about how their unemployment could get viewed by the court. As such, their current standing could have a significant impact on the outcome.

Courts view of job loss usually depends on evaluation

Most judges know that job loss can happen for various reasons. If the spouse finds themselves out of work due to company layoffs, judges may show some sympathy. Depending on the circumstances, courts may withhold child support payments until the spouse gets back on their feet.

On the other hand, if the spouse got fired for inappropriate misconduct or unethical practices, the court may not view this so favorably. Depending on the situation, the judge may require the spouse to continue making child support payments despite their unemployment.

Providing evidence to a judge

For the job-seeking spouse to stay in the court’s good graces, here are some steps they can take to reinforce their case:

· Remain diligent: While having downtime during a period of unemployment can be tempting, spouses need to treat their job search like a fulltime job. Otherwise, they may not get the financial benefit they need.

· Maintain job search records: Show the judge evidence of things like job applications, phone calls with recruiters and networking events they attended.

· Avoid making a sudden career change: Even if they want to, now might not be the best time to go back to school or chase after a dream job. That’s especially the case if they were the breadwinning spouse in the marriage. A judge may not look favorably upon someone who went from being a banker who earns a six-figure salary to a part-time fitness instructor which pays less than half their original income.

Being realistic is half the battle

Despite all of the unwanted commotion job loss can bring during a divorce, both partners should remain realistic about what they can expect from one another. While it may be difficult in the moment, both parties can find light at the end of the tunnel.