I have heard on more than one occasion from a client that their spouse or ex-spouse isn’t earning nearly as much income as he/she may be capable of earning. This statement is often made in the face of an alimony or child support calculation. What happens if this is in fact true?
During the divorce process one of the more common ways to determine how much income a spouse can earn is to have them evaluated by an employability expert. Now if you look up “employability expert” as a qualified profession or a course of study available in a college course book, I doubt that you would find it in there. Like many other things, employability experts arose out of a need in the legal profession to have an individual with the proper experience, knowledge and background meet with an individual and assess their skill set to determine what kind of employment they may be eligible to obtain. Viola- a new niche profession is born!
So what about after a divorce is finalized and an ex-spouse is either unemployed (because of the economy, the job market or they simply refuse to work) or is underemployed (earning less than they had previously earned either by choice or no fault of their own) and a support obligation exists? What does the court then rely upon when addressing the recalculation of a support award?