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Can you be forced to get a job after your divorce? Part Two in a Series

In Part One of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC’s series on whether or not you will need to get a job after your divorce if you did not have one before, we discussed issues ranging from community property division to spousal support. Today, we will go through what a projection of your life during the divorce itself could look like, as well as other factors that may play into whether or not a job is in your future once the divorce has been finalized.

What will my life be like during the divorce itself?

It is natural to be focused on the beginning part of your divorce because it takes a lot of nerve to file for divorce after contemplating one for a long time. Looking ahead to the conclusion of your divorce makes sense, too, because you are probably anxious to begin your new life and to put all the unpleasantness of your divorce behind you.

With that said, understanding what life is like during the divorce itself is also critical. If you are dependent on your spouse for income, then you probably have some degree of concern over your ability to do things like pay bills and buy groceries for yourself and your children while the divorce is pending. Suppose that your spouse was to stop providing you money during the divorce. What would happen to you and your family?

If you are dependent on your spouse’s income, it is probably wise to begin thinking about how you will get by after filing for divorce. Will you need to hire an attorney? Will you need to save money on the side for living expenses like rent payment and school supplies? If so, getting a job may be something that becomes a necessity for you.

Negotiating Temporary Spousal Support

The key for you is to evaluate the sort of relationship that you and your spouse have. Suppose you believe that relationship to be cordial and your divorce to be mutual. In that case, it may be possible for your attorney and your spouse to work out some amount of temporary spousal support for the duration of the divorce. This will help accomplish a few things for you.

First and foremost, it will allow you to continue to pay bills like your mortgage and utilities, so your children’s lives are not thrown into a tizzy for the sake of your divorce. The last thing you want is for your children to come home to a house with no running water or lights that don’t work because their dad or mom is stubborn and resentful.

Secondly, spousal support can allow you to buy some time to not only complete your divorce without falling deep into debt, but it will allow you time to look for work if that is what your circumstances dictate to be necessary. Most divorces do not (thankfully) last long enough for you to go back to school or earn some vocational certificate for a particular job. Still, if you need that sort of supplemental training or education, you can at least find that out during the divorce to be better prepared once the divorce has been finalized.

The big question: What about finding a job?

We’ve now gone through the major areas of your divorce that will provide sufficient cause for either to or not getting a job during and after a divorce if you are currently not working. The quick answer (and one that lawyers love to give) is that it depends on your circumstances whether or not you will ultimately have to get a job due to your divorce. Nobody can force you to, but you will need to honestly evaluate your life based on the factors we’ve listed to determine if you can make it (and, more importantly, if you and your family can make it) without earning an income.

Judges in Texas have it within their power to order your spouse to pay you spousal support- we’ve already touched on that. We haven’t connected that judges are not fans of awarding support in most scenarios and certainly will not look for reasons to award it to you. If your situation demands it, you can expect it to be awarded. If there is any way for it to be avoided, then the result may be that no spousal support comes your way.