Losing a job can be an unexpected blow for anyone in California. It can be even more problematic if spouses are in the middle of getting divorced when one of them suddenly becomes unemployed. But there are ways to address this issue as divorce negotiations proceeds and arrangements are made.
Because every situation with job loss during the end of a marriage is different, the court will want to know the circumstances involved. When judgments need to be made concerning spousal or child support, for example, a court is more likely to be understanding if a job was lost due to no-fault reasons, such as layoffs. This may not be the case, however, if a spouse lost a job due to their own actions.
When job loss is involved, both parties are encouraged to be realistic about financial expectations. For instance, if a support-paying spouse isn't able to afford the full amount until they are re-employed, a settlement agreement may allow for partial payments and stipulate that a certain percentage of their income from a new job will go towards support obligations. If the situation is reversed and the lower-earning spouse is affected, the paying spouse may be required to pay a bit more until their ex is working again. Arrangements of this nature may also be based on a sliding scale to payment amounts are fair and not excessively burdensome.
A divorce attorney may advise a spouse who lost their job to actively seek a position that offers a comparable salary. Courts tend to be suspicious of instances where a newly unemployed spouse either doesn't make much an effort to find a new job or purposely accepts a lower-earning position. If it's the other spouse who lost a job, a lawyer may attempt to determine if their efforts to obtain appropriate reemployment are genuine before starting the negotiation process.