Vocational evaluations in family law cases

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Often times in a relationship, one party worked, while the other either worked part-time or stayed home to care for children or even a sick family member. However, in family law cases, upon separation of the parties, Florida Statute 61.13, requires that both parents provide support for their minor child(ren), even if during the marriage the parties had another arrangement. The employability of a non-working party becomes an issue when determining child support and alimony obligations. Typically the working party is seeking to reduce his/her child support and/or alimony obligations by claiming that the non-working or under-employed party has the ability to work now that the relationship has ceased. Where the non-working party claims that they do not have the ability to work based upon continued requirement to care for the children, disability, lack of education, and length of time out of the work force, the working party may seek to have the non-working party submit to a vocational evaluation to determine his/her employ-ability. A vocational evaluation determines the earning capacity (how much income an individual can earn) of the other party based on job skills, work history, education, and jobs available in the local area. In a family law proceeding, the vocational evaluation will give the court a clearer picture of what the party should be earning now and in the future. It should be noted that the Judge in your case is not bound by the vocational evaluator’s determination. For more information regarding vocational evaluations and how they can assist your family law case, you can contact the law office of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.

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