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Unemployment and Divorce

Unemployment and Divorce

Often clients who are going through a divorce are unemployed or have recently lost their job. Depending on the circumstances, the financial matters of your divorce will be affected by this lack of employment. However depending on the circumstances, New York State Court will treat your case differently than another case.

The most common person who is unemployed during a divorce is a the spouse who stayed home during the marriage. This person is referred to as the non-monied spouse. Depending on a variety of factors, commonly, the duration of the marriage, the educational and work experience of the spouse, and the age and health of the spouse, this person may be a candidate for spousal maintenance. Again, the Court will ascertain an appropriate maintenance award during the pendency of the divorce action slightly differently than after the divorce is finalized. This is because during the divorce the Court wants to maintain the status quo, where as, after the divorce, the concern is to rehabilitate the non-working spouse.

The other common scenario during a divorce is where a spouse always worked but has recently lost their job. This person may not be working at all or may have found employment at a lower salary. For those people who have no income, one of the biggest concerns during the divorce is how much income is imputed to him or her based on his or her earrings capacity and past earnings. Thus, this spouse may have to pay support based on an imputed income despite the lack of actual monies earned at that time.

It is important that if you fall into one of the two categories above, or your spouse does, that you consult with a lawyer about your divorce. To have your questions answered, contact our office today.


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