If your spouse is not working or not working to capacity, you can request a vocational examination. Such a request is limited to the parties of a divorce. However, unlike the other forms of discovery, you need to have the court’s permission in order to proceed with this form of discovery.
If your spouse is not working or not working to capacity, you can request a vocational examination.
Filing for a Vocational Examination
You (or your attorney) will need to file a motion and show good cause to have a physical or mental examination of the other party. For certain cases, this can produce significant information. However, it is a costly form of discovery since the examining physician or professional has to be paid to complete the evaluation. There are other ramifications in terms of waivers of privileges, which your attorney should discuss in detail with you if this form of discovery is necessary.
Findings of Vocational Examinations
While the court may not actually force your spouse to work, if the examiner finds that your spouse has an earning capacity, the judge can “impute” income. In other words, the court can assign fictional income to your spouse (or a higher income than they are presently earning) when calculating child or spousal support.
If your spouse will not voluntarily submit to a vocational exam, your attorney may file a motion to require your spouse to submit to a vocational examination. In California courts, this type of motion is routinely granted.
If you are concerned about your spouse’s earning potential, contact Bohm Wildish & Matsen today to discuss requesting a vocational examination. Our expert attorneys will pair you with a specialist to conduct the exam and will then work with you to interpret the results so the proper amount of support is paid.