In many marriages, one couple will act as the sole income earner while the other primarily takes care of the household and children. When a single-income couple divorces, the spouse that does not work outside of the home often experiences financial hardships. As such, the courts will often order the employed spouse to pay spousal and child support to the other party. The courts will consider numerous factors when evaluating whether spousal support obligations should be imposed, however, including the earning ability of the party seeking support. Recently, a California court discussed when it is appropriate to order a party to submit to a vocational examination in a divorce action. If you or your spouse intend to end your marriage, it is prudent to meet with a Bay Area divorce attorney to discuss how the decision may affect you financially.
Procedural History of the Case
The husband and wife married in 2001. They had four children during their marriage and separated in 2012. The husband held various jobs while the wife was a stay-at-home mother. The husband filed a petition for dissolution in 2013. The parties then engaged in extensive and contentious litigation. The wife filed a request for permanent spousal support, after which the court ordered her to submit to a vocational examination per the husband’s request. The wife objected to the order, but her objection was overruled. Following a hearing, she appealed.
Vocational Examinations in California Divorce Cases
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, it explained that California law provides for both temporary spousal support and permanent spousal support. Temporary spousal support is designed to maintain the living conditions and standards of the parties pending trial and division of the assets. Permanent spousal support is intended to provide financial assistance as determined by the financial circumstances of the parties after their dissolution and the division of their community property. Continue Reading ›