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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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How do I request/order a vocational evaluation on my ex-wife?

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How do I request/order a vocational evaluation on my ex-wife? She has an MBA, and has claimed aprox $15,000 on her 2011 tax returns. She has our 12 year old daughter, and I have our autistic 14 year old son and a full time job that grosses about $110,000. And in California, that does not go far, especially with my added costs of care for my son. She claims that she cannot find work in Los Angeles other than substitute teaching and some 'occasional under-the-table business consulting' that gives her a total, according to her, about $48,000. She claims she has tried to get regular work, and says "bring it on, I have nothing to lose" when I have told her that she should have a full time job like me and I want to do a vocational evaluation so that she contributes fairly to the kid's welfare. She has never shared in medical costs established by the MSA, and I feel trampled by her life choices that don't seem to be in synch with taking care of our minor children. I'd like to be able to start this process improper, but I'm not sure how to do this and if it is worth going after her ability to earn vs what she says she can earn. I feel I am the only one doing the best thing for the kids at this point. Thanks.

RayAnswers : Thanks for your question and good afternoon.Are you paying her child and spousal support and how much here?
JACUSTOMER-uaa427mp- :

At the moment, no child support because our daughter has JUST moved this weekend to try living with her. I'm assuming I will be paying her according to dissomaster info, and I'm happy to. I just want to make sure she is somehow held accountable according to her ability and obligation

RayAnswers : Well if you have one child apiece here maybe no support is ordered.You could argue the expenses offset.And you can also argue that she is intentionally under emmployed.If she files for child support you want to subpoena not only the tax returns here but her checking accounts.You certainly can argue for deviation here even with dissomaster as you have some good and really case unique facts to support lesser or no support.
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JACUSTOMER-uaa427mp- :

I still have don't know how to request/order a vocational evaluation...

RayAnswers : You would hand draft such a motion to the judge if she files for child support for the child.You can ask court to infer what she would make working full time.
RayAnswers : Judge can issue orders here.
RayAnswers : Earning capacity orders. A court usually bases a child support order on the parents’ actual income. Income from all sources (including overtime, bonuses, rental income, investment income, etc.) is considered. If a parent is unemployed or under-employed (below 40 hours per week), a court can base a child support order on a parent’s earning capacity. The court then considers what a parent is capable of earning. The court must find that a parent has an opportunity and ability to work before it can "impute" an earning capacity to a parent. Either a custodial parent or a non-custodial parent can be imputed an earning capacity in calculating guideline child support.
JACUSTOMER-uaa427mp- :

So there is no form to fill out for request of vocational evaluation that I file with the court? Just 'hand draft such a motion to the judge'?

RayAnswers : There is not premade form.You would draft such a motion yourself using case number, names, court etc at top and titling it Motion to Request Vocational Evaluation and Impute Income--and set out that you feel she is intentionally underemployed and may be under reporting income here as well.And file it with the court and ask for a hearing.
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