If your spouse is not working or not working to his or her full earning capacity, you can request that a vocational examination of that spouse to be conducted. However, the parties have to agree to it or otherwise the spouse seeking to have one done needs to have the court’s permission in order to proceed with this form of discovery.
Filing A Motion to Request That Your Spouse Submit to a Vocational Evaluation
If your spouse will not voluntarily submit to a vocational examination, your attorney may file a motion to require your spouse to submit to a vocational examination. The party seeking a vocational evaluation will need to file a motion and show good cause to have such vocational evaluation be conducted by a professional expert. Generally, the court will grant the request for the vocational evaluation, particularly if the party that is seeking the evaluation is paying for the evaluation. Such evaluations generally run $2,000-3,000 on average. However, the cost is generally worth it, as the findings of the vocational evaluation can be used for settlement negotiation purposes and otherwise at time of trial.
Using The Findings of Vocational Evaluations
While the court may not actually force your spouse to work, if the vocational evaluator makes a finding that your spouse has an earning capacity, the court can “impute” income for support calculation purposes. In other words, the court can assign fictional income to your spouse (or a higher income than they are presently earning) when calculating child or spousal support.
If you have concerns about your spouse’s earning potential, contact The Maggio Law Firm to discuss the issue of seeking a vocational examination of your spouse and taking the next steps to ultimately ensure that the fair amount of support is paid under the circumstances of your case.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.