Vocational Expert FAQs
Q: What is a vocational expert?
A: A vocational expert is someone with extensive employment and job market knowledge who is skilled at assessing every aspect of a person’s employability including their:
- Ability to work full-time or part-time
- Medical history
- Accommodation needs
- Work history
- Salary history
- Earning capacity
- Skills and competencies
- Transferable skills and competencies
- Work or career goals
- Volunteer/community activities
- Professional memberships
- Social media presence
- Job search activity
Q: Why hire a vocational expert in a divorce case?
A: In divorce cases one or both spouses need to have their employability and earning capacity assessed for consideration in determining spousal maintenance and/or child support. Perhaps the spouse has been out of the workforce for a gap of time or an event has occurred that requires the spouse to change careers, such as illness or an injury. Additionally, the spouse may need to update his or her skills or knowledge through experience, education or professional development.
As a vocational expert, Julie develops an objective and accurate assessment of the spouse’s employability. Not only can she comprehensively assess the individual’s employability and earning capacity, she also can identify the person’s intent to work and any false or misleading assertions they may be making to avoid working or earning their capacity.
Evaluate earning capacity
If one spouse is requesting spousal maintenance, the other spouse can ask that Julie conduct a vocational evaluation to determine earning capacity in the current job market.
Both spouses can hire a vocational expert, especially in contentious divorce cases, to ensure that conclusions about spousal maintenance and child support are fair and reasonable. In this situation, each spouse can review the other vocational expert’s report to provide another opinion to the judge.
Hiring Julie to provide a vocational assessment can also benefit the spouse by helping him or her achieve career satisfaction and professional growth. Julie’s strengths include helping individuals improve their vocational outreach and focus, which can be especially helpful during these difficult periods.
Impact on results
Finally, Julie’s vocational assessment, market and trends research and wage and benefits loss analysis can have a significant impact on spousal negotiation and awards.
Q: How does the vocational expert assessment process work?
A: If you are a family law or matrimonial lawyer working on a divorce case with vocational issues involving a non-working or underemployed spouse, please contact Julie for a phone consultation. She can then send her fee rate sheet and CV.
If you hire Julie to conduct a vocational assessment, she will send an agreement with a request for a retainer. Once Julie receives the retainer, she will send the vocational questionnaire to the spouse who is being evaluated or to you as their attorney. She will also schedule an in-person interview with the individual and request their resume, salary history, and a job search journal (if applicable).
Research and reporting
Upon completing the interview, Julie will research jobs, industries, and salaries, conduct a market analysis, and prepare a comprehensive personalized Vocational Report.