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Surviving the Vocational Evaluation

The vocational evaluation is a process used sparingly in divorce, but if you’ve been through one, you know how challenging it can be. It’s a process used in divorce cases to assess the earning potential of a spouse who is seeking spousal support (also known as alimony or maintenance) or to determine their ability to pay support. 

During a vocational evaluation, an expert will be hired to assess the spouse’s skills, education, work history, and job market opportunities to determine their potential earning capacity. What’s more, the vocational expert may conduct interviews, review documents such as resumes and job applications, administer job candidacy tests, and research job opportunities in the local job market. 

The results can be used by the court to help determine an appropriate amount of spousal support. In a best-case, it can be used to help the spouse seeking support to develop a plan to improve their earning capacity. But there’s no way to sugar coat it: the process can be frustrating, invasive, and humiliating. 

This week, Seth walks through the process: who does it, what do they collect, and how a vocational evaluation can impact your divorce.

Links & Notes

Seth Nelson is a Tampa based family lawyer known for devising creative solutions to difficult problems. In How to Split a Toaster, Nelson and co-host Pete Wright take on the challenge of divorce with a central objective — saving your most important relationships with your family, your former spouse, and yourself.