What is a Vocational Expert?

Petition for Divorce

When going through a highly litigated divorce process, you may be confronted with the term of a vocational expert. Before making any decision on employing the assistance or declining the services of a vocational expert it is important to understand their qualifications, what information they can provide to the court, and the weight their reports and testimony hold with the court. Ask these important questions of your Orlando Divorce Attorney when the option of a vocational expert has arisen in your case.

Vocational experts can be used in cases where a spouse’s level of employment or ability to be employed is being questioned, most commonly for the purposes of alimony or child support awards. These experts generally will have degrees and certifications in psychology or counseling and may also obtain accreditation from the American Board of Vocational Experts. Their experience will show during their evaluation of the individual and their reports depicting the spouse’s capability of employment. Further, their education and qualifications can be questioned during trial testimony.

A report completed by a vocational expert involves many different factors. They will look at the past employment, experience, and education of the spouse. Determine the jobs the spouse may be able to obtain as well as the effort exerted by the spouse to obtain such employment. For individuals who do not have the proper education, the experts will be able to calculate the amount of time and money it will take for the spouse to obtain education necessary to become self reliant. The expert will also look to outside facts such as the current job market, and the likelihood of becoming employed during this time. The expert will also inquire into the spouse’s interest to provide them with a realistic job opportunity. They will finally discover the amount the spouse would be likely to earn after weighing all the necessary factors. All of this information can be obtained through interviews with the spouse, testing and assessments conducted by the expert on the spouse, as well as conducting significant research into the surrounding community and the job market.

A vocational expert will transfer their conclusions into a written report that can be presented to you, your attorney, and your spouse. However, if your divorce case ends up before a judge in a trial setting, they will need to testify to their experience, observations, and how they reached their specific conclusions. At trial, both you and your spouse will have the opportunity to question the vocational expert’s findings, attempting to boast of its accuracy or poke holes in their theory. However, in a number of cases the court equates the expert’s testimony with a great deal of weight. Therefore, such testimony can significantly aid your case.

Vocational experts can be a great asset to your divorce case, therefore, discussing this professional’s involvement in your case should be a significant discussion between you and your Orlando Divorce Attorney. They will be able to provide you will the details of the process of the vocational expert’s qualifications, process, and testimony before the court.

Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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