Brian D. Perskin & Associates

What Happens When Divorcing an Unemployed Spouse?

If your spouse is currently unemployed, and you have decided that divorce is right for you, it is important to know what to expect from this process. Until you get a New York divorce lawyer, there is no way to predict exactly what will happen with your specific case, but having an idea of the average outcome should help you prepare.

Child Support and Your Unemployed Spouse

If you want child custody of your minor kids, you will usually get some form of child support, even when your spouse does not have a job. It may be the minimum amount since child support totals are often calculated based on the noncustodial parent's income and bills. However, judges realize that the custodial parent is taking on the financial responsibility of raising the kids mostly alone, which is why they will order the other parent to pay something. They may even base the amount on what your spouse could be making if he or she got a job, which depends on his or her education and experience. Once he or she gets a job, the amount of child support owed will likely be increased.

If your spouse ends up getting custody of the children, though, you will likely pay more than the minimum in child support if you are employed. Of course, it all depends on several factors, which is why you need a lawyer to advise you when trying to determine what you will pay.

Alimony and Unemployment

Alimony is also based on many factors, with one of them being the length of the marriage; spousal support is likely to be ordered after a long marriage has ended, and may be avoided in a short marriage. However, it also depends on the income you and your spouse make.

If your spouse stayed home with the kids and raised them while you worked, and this is why he or she is still unemployed, you will likely have to pay alimony. This is especially the case if he or she has little education or experience due to having to raise children and take care of the house instead of going to college or getting a job. Additionally, if your spouse has simply chosen not to work, you may still have to pay alimony. The outcome typically depends on your exact circumstances, and the quality of your divorce lawyer, which is why hiring an experienced attorney is so important.

Come to Us with Your Questions

If you are concerned about how the courts will treat your divorce case when your spouse is unemployed, let us know. You can fill out an online case evaluation form to get some fast answers from our team. We have handled plenty of cases in our more than 40 years of experience, so we likely have the answers you need. When you talk to us, we can help you decide whether to file now or wait until your spouse is employed, depending on how we feel you will be affected by his or her current unemployment.