The process of ending a marriage can be stressful enough for most couples in Connecticut going through the divorce process. Things can quickly get even more complicated if the party filing for divorce or their soon-to-be-ex-spouse suddenly loses their job before important decisions have been made.
Because each job loss situation is different, the court typically seeks details about the circumstances involved. For instance, if child support is sought by a lesser-earning spouse and the payor lost their job due to company layoffs, the court may be more willing to appropriately to disregard a previously reported income level. But if a job was lost due to misconduct, a court may be less likely to make adjustments with financial obligations.
If a higher-earning spouse is expected to become employed again, a spousal or child support agreement may require a certain percentage of their income from a new to be deducted once they are working again. However, if a less-earning spouse loses their job, the higher-earner may be ordered to provide more support until they become employed again. Even so, a formula or sliding scale might be included to keep the supporting spouse from being unfairly burdened. Divorcing spouses seeking employment again are also advised to seek similar-paying work. For example, a court isn’t likely to look favorably on a spouse who lost a high-paying corporate job who purposely opts for a much lower-earning position.
When it’s the other spouse who has lost their job, a family law attorney may do some investigating to find out the reason for the job loss and whether or not their efforts to obtain reemployment are genuine. If the spouse filing for divorce is suddenly out work, a lawyer may urge them to keep diligent records concerning job search efforts and available financial resources. Such information could be used during settlement negotiations.