Child support and alimony are calculated using a spouse’s wages. Unemployment can be a factor. A vocational expert is trained to determine earning capacity. Earning capacity is how much income an individual can earn. This is based on job skills, work history, and education. It also depends on jobs available in the local area. In a divorce, a vocational expert’s job is to give the court a clear picture of what you or your spouse could be earning. The vocational expert will review training, job skills, historical earnings, and employment history to come to an opinion on earning potential. An expert will take account of the economy. The analysis will include factors like a slow economy or limited job market.
You may be reluctant to add another professional’s bill to your mounting divorce costs. However, a vocational expert can save you significant money in the long run. For example, a spouse may intentionally reduce income to keep support obligations low by claiming an inability to work or earn wages. A vocational expert can provide an unbiased assessment of your spouse’s true earning potential.