Divorce and the unexpected loss of a job are two of the biggest stressors that one can experience. If they both occur at the same time, it can be especially challenging. When divorce proceedings are underway and one spouse is either fired or laid off, there are some guidelines that can help them navigate through the negotiations.
Once a spouse loses their job, finding new employment can take a while. In the meantime, it may be necessary to negotiate a temporary support agreement. This can specify that the unemployed spouse pays a certain percentage of the originally agreed-to amount until they find work. A sliding scale can be used to calculate this.
In all of these situations, the court’s main goal is to help these spouses and their children maintain similar lifestyles to what they had before the divorce.
Losing a job is difficult and being realistic and open for negotiation is beneficial for both parties. The spouse of someone who has just lost their job should seek information about the exact circumstances for the job termination, unemployment benefits, deferred compensation, and any severance payments. Some spouses may be falsifying information in order to avoid alimony and child support payments, so a thorough investigation is paramount. Keeping track of the unemployed spouse’s attempts to find employment is also important.
For the newly-unemployed spouse, seeking work is the first order of business. Job-search efforts should be documented, including applications, interviews, networking events, and the time and other resources dedicated to each of these activities. The main goal here is to find a job with a similar salary and benefits as soon as possible.
Firings vs. Layoffs
A spouse who is fired for misconduct may face a tougher judgment in court. Sometimes, these spouses will have to adhere to the original payment agreement. Those who experienced layoffs may be in better positions, since they were not directly responsible for the job loss. As long as they are diligently seeking work, the court may agree to that temporary agreement.
In layoff situations, especially company-wide ones, it is beneficial to gather documentation like company news releases or news articles about the event for evidence.
The Discovery Process
Divorcing spouses affected by these kinds of job losses can do themselves a favor by gathering together as much information as possible, and this can be done through discovery. In addition to learning about apparent financial consequences like the immediate income loss, it is important to know about other possible income sources. Once the spouse gets a new job, the other should be fully informed about the salary, any commissions, healthcare, and any other benefits to come. A qualified divorce lawyer can guide individuals through the discovery process.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Divorcing Clients Navigate Job Loss Issues
Job loss can occur during divorce, and the highly qualified Bucks County divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. can help you through this stressful time. For a free case evaluation, call us at 888-999-1962 or complete an online form. Our offices are in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, and we also serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania.