As an experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer, if someone says to me, “My spouse is purposefully underemployed,” the surgeon that says, “I’m not going to be a surgeon; I’m going to be a second grade teacher,” great, go be a second grade teacher. You know what the court is going to say to a person like that? We’re going to do child support and alimony based on you being a surgeon because you’re purposefully underemployed. If there’s a legitimate reason why that individual has their income reduced or their careers changed, it’s one thing.
A lot of times you hear situations where the spouse says to the other spouse, “Get a job. Please get a job,” and the spouse says, “We don’t need a job. You make more than enough money. I don’t have to have a job.” The person with the money then says to the judge in the divorce, “This is what caused the divorce. That person didn’t want to get a job, and I wanted the person to get a job, but they didn’t get a job. Why isn’t that person being held to a standard of X dollars because they have the potential to earn this and they can?” For example, what if you have an MBA? If the MBA was had 15 years ago, and for 15 years you haven’t done anything, you haven’t worked, your income is not going to be an MBA that comes out of the MBA program and gets a job. The concept is if somebody’s purposely, like I said, the surgeon. This is a great example of somebody. Somebody says I don’t want to be a surgeon anymore in the year of the divorce. Oh, okay. You can go teach second grade, but we’ll do your alimony and child support based on what you were making as a surgeon. Now all of a sudden you may go back and get that job as a surgeon.
Is your ex-spouse purposely not getting a job in order to pay less in alimony or child support? If so, contact the experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Christopher Leon Garibian.
This educational blog was brought to you by Christopher Leon Garibian, an experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer.