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Positives and Negatives of Changing Careers During Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Positives and Negatives of Changing Careers During DivorceCommon sense says that you should not embark on a life-changing event such as starting a new career at the same time as you are going through a divorce. Doing both will divide the time and energy you need to devote to each, as well as pile stress on yourself. However, one change can beget another, and getting a divorce may cause you to reconsider your current career and whether it is meeting your needs. Starting a career change during a divorce can be good or bad timing, depending on the reasons for the change.


There are typically three reasons that someone wants to change their career during their divorce:

  • They need a better-paying job in order to be financially independent of their spouse;
  • The work hours of their current job will make it difficult for them to have regular parenting time with their children; or
  • They are unsatisfied with their current career and want a job that matches their passions.

A divorce court may view the first two reasons as positive steps on your part. The court may expect you to attempt to become financially independent as a condition of awarding you spousal maintenance. Seeking a better-paying career shows you intend to become less reliant on your spouse. A career with flexible working hours also shows that you take your parental responsibilities seriously, which may help you receive a fair share of the parenting time.


Changing careers may hurt you during your divorce if you are moving to a lower-paying job. A court may suspect that you are trying to gain an advantage in child support or maintenance payments if you voluntarily take a pay cut or become underemployed. If the court decides you are willfully underemployed, it may use your previous income as the basis for support payments. Getting a better-paying job during your divorce may also backfire with the division of property. If you receive a signing bonus for your new job and are still married, your spouse may argue that the signing bonus is marital property.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

A career change can be a favorable action in a divorce if you are working towards a job that will help you after your divorce. Otherwise, you may be better served by waiting until your divorce is over before you start on a new career path. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can explain how seeking a new career may affect your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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