What is a Vocational Expert & Do I need one?
A qualified Vocational Expert can provide an opinion in a variety of areas of vocational rehabilitation, vocational and earning capacity, lost earnings, cost of replacement labor and lost ability/time in performing household services.
In a divorce, a Vocational Expert can be hired by one spouse to prepare a report based upon a foundation of scientific principles relevant to vocational standards. These standards include: an analysis of income and employment documentation, test selection, administration, and the analysis of test findings. The end result of the Vocational Expert’s analysis will be an expert opinion of a spouse’s earning capacity.
You may be reluctant to add the cost of an expert witness to your mounting divorce costs. However, under the right circumstances, a Vocational Expert can save you significant money in the long run. For example, if your spouse is responsible for child support and/or spousal support but claims a sudden inability to work or reduction of wages, a Vocational Expert can provide an unbiased assessment of your spouse’s true earning ability. It is not unheard of for a spouse to intentionally reduce income to keep support obligations low, especially in instances where the spouse is self-employed.
If you are involved in a divorce in Warren County, Butler County, or any Ohio county, where one spouse has recently experienced a significant reduction in income, a Vocational Expert’s analysis will show the Judge what the spouse should be earning. Then, the Judge can impute or assign the additional income to that spouse. The resulting child support and/or spousal support determinations will be based on imputed wages, rather than actual, reduced earnings.
Done correctly, a Vocational Expert’s opinion can be highly persuasive in negotiations, during mediation and if necessary, at trial. When you need a skilled and experienced family law lawyer to assist you in working with a Vocational Expert, call Christopher M. Alexander at (513) 228 – 1100, mobile (513) 226 – 8489, or online at Chris@awklegal.com.