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Losing your job during your divorce: what you should know

It has been a trying time beginning your divorce proceedings. On top of everything else you have going on, your boss unexpectedly lets you go. Your unemployment now adds additional worry to an already stressful time.

You may be wondering how this will affect your divorce. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

Effect on the divorce proceedings

Once you’ve told your spouse you lost your job, it’s time to inform the court. The circumstances around how you lost your job are of major importance.

Let’s say you became unemployed at the same time as many others from your company in a widespread layoff. Since it wasn’t your fault you lost the job, it’s possible the court will not hold you to the income level you were making at your job.

If the court finds out you were fired for a reason like misconduct, they may be less forgiving. In this case, it’s possible the court will require you to maintain the same level of financial responsibility you had at your most recent job.

Effect on alimony

You may not be able to provide support until you’re working again. A support agreement could go into effect that says once you’re employed again, you’ll have to a pay a certain percentage of your income to your ex.

If you were the lesser earning spouse, your employed spouse could have to pay a higher level of support until you are working again. The goal here is to continue providing your children the lifestyle they knew before your divorce.

What to do next

It’s possible the court will be looking into your job search during and after your divorce. They may ask for documentation to prove you’re looking. Keeping a log of your search for work will help the courts see you as responsible.

Finding a new job with a similar or better pay than your old one is ideal. If you were earning a high salary at your previous job and your new job is working retail, it’s likely the court will not be pleased.

Divorce is an inherently stressful time, and losing your job in the process can make things complicated. Finding a new and comparable job to your old one can help put things back on track for you and your family.