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How Your Employment Can Affect Your Divorce Agreement

Posted on in Alimony / Maintenance

How Your Employment Can Affect Your Divorce AgreementState divorce laws will not allow you to gain an advantage in support payments by quitting your job or not searching for a job. Your child support and spousal maintenance can be based on what you are realistically capable of earning. Courts will not offer much sympathy to people who try to cheat the system by creating an artificial need for support. If you are capable of working, you are expected to keep your job or try to find one.

Leaving Your Job

Courts determine child support and spousal maintenance payments based mostly each spouse’s income. Thus, a spouse could seemingly reduce his or her child support obligation and qualify for spousal maintenance if he or she was unemployed. You will not fool the court if you voluntarily leave your job in order to gain an advantage. The court will instead base your income on what you are capable of earning. However, there is a difference between quitting a job and leaving a job because it conflicts with your parenting time. As a single parent, you may need to look after your children during the hours you normally work. A court may be understanding in this situation but will expect you to look for another job that fits your schedule or to find childcare services.

Losing Your Job

You may become involuntarily unemployed during your divorce due to layoffs or being fired. The court will not hold it against you if you lose your job but, once again, will expect you to be actively looking for a job. It may want you to take a job for lesser pay until you can find new employment in your field.

Entering the Workforce

Some spouses are voluntarily unemployed during their marriage, often caring for their children while the other spouse focuses on his or her career. A court will not expect a stay-at-home parent to immediately become financially self-sufficient but will want the parent to show an effort towards finding a job. Your spouse may ask you to participate in a vocational assessment to determine what type of job you may qualify for. The assessment will look at:

  • Your education;
  • Your work history;
  • How long you’ve been out of the workforce;
  • Jobs available in your area; and
  • Whether you need to update your job skills.

The assessment will determine how long it should reasonably take you to find a job and what your expected salary would be.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

People who financially relied on their spouses during their marriage often need monetary support immediately after a divorce. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you receive support payments. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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