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What might a vocational counselor do in a divorce proceeding?

Complexities can arise in any California divorce. With spousal support, there are numerous factors that will be considered, such as: whether the support should be paid; how long it will last; and how much the payments will be. Both the paying spouse and the receiving spouse should be cognizant of the steps of the process. Part of that might be having a vocational training counselor provide an assessment.

If the court orders a counselor to assess a case, they will conduct an analysis of whether the party can obtain employment to support themselves. This could include gauging the person's skills, work history, age, education, health situation and the job market. The goal is to see if the person can support themselves before a decision is made on spousal support.

The counselor will possess sufficient expertise, experience, training or education in conducting interviews, administering tests and analyzing the person's ability to be gainfully employed. The counselor must have: a master's degree or postgraduate degree sufficient to conduct vocational evaluation; be qualified to gauge career possibilities; show the ability to interview clients and assess their abilities based on myriad factors; know the current job situation in the area; and understand training programs, education and their costs. The court can issue an order requiring the supporting spouse to pay for the counseling, education and retraining of the spouse being supported.

Spousal support should not be expected to last indefinitely, and the spouse being supported is often expected to seek ways to reduce and eventually no longer require it. To come to a fair decision, the court will often have a vocational counselor take part in the case. When this is ordered, it is imperative for both the supporting spouse and the supported spouse to know what the analysis entails. A law firm experienced in divorce and other family law issues should be contacted for assistance.

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O'Brien Family Law, PC 

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