Tips From Vocational Experts: Family Law Earning Capacity
Unfortunately, far too many marriages end in divorce. In Washington State, there are nearly 21,500 divorces per year.
Many people assume that the legal fight ends when a judge officially terminates a marriage. However, many couples end up back in court when their circumstances change. For example, it is not uncommon for former spouses to find a more lucrative career or remarry.
Earning capacity is a popular topic in family law that is often revisited even after a divorce is finalized. Read on for a guide to family law earning capacity. Explore topics such as an employability assessment and a family law vocational evaluation.
What Is Family Law Earning Capacity?
Earning capacity is a legal term that is important in family law. It refers to a person’s ability to earn money over a year.
It is largely determined by the person’s education level and the skills they have acquired. Years of experience are an important factor in calculating a person’s earning capacity. Specialized training may also weigh on this assessment.
You may be wondering why this information is necessary. Lawyers for both sides need to consider a partners ability to earn compensation. This way, an equitable financial agreement can be reached during divorce proceedings.
A divorcee’s earning capacity is utilized to calculate child support payments. Spousal support is based on earning capacity as well.
What is an Employability Assessment?
For many divorced persons, determining their earning capacity is not as simple as reviewing a W-2 form or prior years income tax filings. Many couples mutually decide for a partner to stay home. This may be for convenience or so that one spouse can care for their children while the other works.
Whatever the reason, the court needs to determine whether this person is employable or not. If they return to the workforce, what are their prospects of landing a job?
This employability assessment includes a look at the persons physical condition and whether they can handle full or part-time work. Typically, this involves reviewing medical files and consultations with medical professionals.
It also considers the persons cognitive ability and whether the mental aptitude is there for employment. How much will they earn in this new occupation?
What is a Family Law Vocational Assessment?
This assessment considers a person’s educational background. Do they have a high school diploma or GED? Does the individual have a college degree and, if so, what did he or she major in?
The next factor looks at a person’s skill set and knowledge base. This qualitative information dictates whether the person is paid like an entry-level worker or further up the scale.
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