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Ex refuses to work. Will Vocational Evaluation work in my favor?

Sacramento, CA |

I am hesitant to pay the $3000 to get my ex evaluated. She has a Masters degree and just chose not to work. I am paying spousal/child support while she stays at home and tries to keep the kids away from me. How likely is a judge to even consider the evaluation? How likely could it reduce what I already pay her?

Attorney Answers 4


It depends on what you do with the findings. You will need a lawyer to lay the foundation, call the expert as a witness and comply with all evidence rules. In other words a vocational analysis is very effective if presented by an attorney.

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The law requires you to prove that she has the "ability" and "opportunity" to work. The Vocational Evaluation proves both of these necessary legal elements. You may be able to have her admit (even from her Income and Expense Declaration) that she has a degree and that she is in good health BUT opportunity would only be shown by recent jobs that are currently available. If they find that she could earn $48,000 in 4-6 months of job hunting, the $4,000 a month gross = $3,000 a month net approximately. It won't reduce her support dollar for dollar necessarily but even if it reduces it by $1,000 a month, you will recoup your investment very quickly!

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I agree with my colleagues. I think it is possible that the vocational evaluation will work in your favor. I would like to add that you should consult with a local family law attorney for your particular jurisdiction. You should consider an office consultation with a family law attorney. Investing at least a little money in an attorney could save you a lot in the long run. You should also consider hiring an attorney on a limited scope basis.

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I agree with the well considered responses of my colleagues - particularly the suggestion that you consult with an attorney who can better advise you - but would add only that depending on the specific facts of your case, you may not require a vocational evaluation, or there may be steps you wish to take prior to paying the hefty vocational evaluation fee. You need to be thinking - what am I trying to prove and how can I best prove it? What has the court said in relation to this issue in the past that might guide your decision? For example, if you have not done so already, you may wish to pursue a seek-work or Gavron order, requiring her to document her efforts to become self-supporting. If such an order is issued, and she is not making diligent efforts to become employed, and there are positions available for which she is qualified, you may not need a professional evaluation to move things forward.

Best of luck to you.

Please be advised that this answer in no way constitutes legal advice, and is only intended to guide you in determining an appropriate direction for individualized legal consultation and/or representation. This answer should not be relied on, as each legal matter, and the appropriate course of action, is entirely dependent on the specific facts of your particular case. You are encouraged to seek the advice and guidance of a respected and experienced attorney practicing in your community to assist you. Please be advised that this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and these communications are neither privileged nor confidential.

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