Divorce can be a troublesome time in a person’s life. Add in the loss of a job, and it can completely turn someone’s world upside down. This is the reality for many people in Alabama and all over the country. Fortunately, experts have advice for anyone who is facing a job loss, for any reason, and how it might affect a person’s divorce agreement, specifically how it can affect spousal support.

First, courts will examine the reason for the job loss. If it is the result of something the spouse cannot control, such as company-wide layoffs, the court will tend to be more understanding. A judge may decide to appropriately modify any existing or forthcoming spousal support agreement to reflect the spouse’s new income level, or lack thereof. This also assumes that the spouse who lost the job is doing his or her part to seek new employment. If the spouse lost the job because of something he or she did, the court may not be so lenient.

Next, the court will consider which spouse lost his or her job — that is, whether the spouse was the one paying or receiving spousal support. If the receiving spouse suffered the job loss, the court may order the paying spouse to pay more money. The reasoning is that the spouse will need to maintain his or her lifestyle, particularly if children are involved. Experts advise those who lose their job while getting divorced to be sure they are looking for a new one and to document their efforts to do so. If the person’s soon-to-be-ex is the one who loses a job, the other spouse will want to manage his or her expectations, but stay fully informed of the situation.

Though losing a job can put a person going through a divorce in a difficult situation, it is still manageable. Effective legal counsel will help the person ensure that any spousal support agreement is fair to all parties involved. Those here in Alabama who wish to create or modify an agreement for spousal support can greatly benefit from the experience of a seasoned family law attorney.