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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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Vocational Evaluation in CA divorce

Resolved Question:

My divorce attorney wants me to cooperate with a vocational evaluation. I'm not comfortable doing this because I know that my husband is trying to get out of paying spousal support and doesnt want me taking care of our 3-year old daughter.


 


 He'd rather have her in preschool or with a babysitter than with me. It is an ugly divorce and custody battle.  We are in CA and have been married 7 years. I was a stay-at-home mom from her birth, before that I was a teacher. Teaching jobs in CA are non-existent and my attorney is trying to tell me to take a low-paying teacher's aid position. I told her that no, my husband can PAY me to babysit our daughter when it's his custodial time (we have 50/50) and he is at work and can't watch her. He should be paying support anyway.


 


He is trying to revoke my first right of refusal and has already been in contempt of court by hiring a babysitter. A letter from my attorney stopped that but now he wants me to work so that I cannot take care of her and/or cannot be around to take advantage of the first right of refusal. He's a very nasty person.


 


HELP!

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

In order to get you spouse support, your attorney must convince the court that you cannot maintain yourself at the standard of living established during the marriage. If you don't voluntarily cooperate with the vocational evaluator, then your husband's attorney can simply depose you, ask questions relevant to an evaluator's investigation, and then have the evaluator prepare a report based upon your answers.

The result of all this will be that the cost of the evaluation will be more expensive than would be the case were you to cooperate. Since all of the money to pay for the litigation and investigation is coming from your community property, in the end, you will simply decrease the amount of money to be divided by the court. Also, by failing to cooperate, your husband has grounds to ask the court to order you to pay for the added costs from your portion of the community.

Whereas if you cooperate, then not only are your costs lower, but you also have some ability to control the conversation and the outcome of the evaluation.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, I see no upside to your failing to cooperate. It all works against your interests.

Hope this helps.

circumstances, then the best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."

 


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My old attorney told me that I didn't have to do a vocational evaluation. My new attorney is telling me that if I don't then the opposing attorney will turn it into a motion to compel and then I'll get sanctioned. But as I understand it, motions to compel are done for discovery and sanctions are ordered when you break the law or a court order. This is not a court order, it's just something they're asking me to do that I'm not agreeing to.

 

I do not want to agree to this because, in the future, (from what I've read) my husband will try to use anything in the evaluation against me - he's psycho-ex-husband-from-hell.

 

I don't understand the 2nd paragraph about the evalation costing more than cooperating?

 

Oh, and there is no community property, besides furniture. We don't own a home or have any money. Psych-husband spent it all before we separated (on purpose, including my entire inheritance) but is offering to pay for THIS...which makes me think he has money stashed somewhere. Actually, I KNOW he does.....I could ask you like 1,000,000 regarding this creep.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

My old attorney told me that I didn't have to do a vocational evaluation. My new attorney is telling me that if I don't then the opposing attorney will turn it into a motion to compel and then I'll get sanctioned. But as I understand it, motions to compel are done for discovery and sanctions are ordered when you break the law or a court order. This is not a court order, it's just something they're asking me to do that I'm not agreeing to.

 

A: You don't have to cooperate. But, your husband can force it on you, and if he does, then the additional litigation costs involved in fighting over the issue will end up costing someone. The fact that there is no community property doesn't prevent the court from assessing attorney's fees against one or both parties. However, if you have no income, at some point, your attorney may tell you that unless you cooperate, he/she will have to withdraw, because you won't be able to afford the litigation costs.

 


I do not want to agree to this because, in the future, (from what I've read) my husband will try to use anything in the evaluation against me - he's psycho-ex-husband-from-hell.

 

A: Then, don't agree. Just be aware that by not cooperating, you are not preventing the evaluation from occurring -- you're just making it more expensive.


I don't understand the 2nd paragraph about the evaluation costing more than cooperating?

 

A: If you cooperate, then the only cost is the evaluator's time. If you don't, and your husband wants to force it, then he will have to file an OSC for an order requiring you to submit to the examination. This will increase your litigation costs, because your attorney will have to respond and fight the OSC. Your failure to cooperate will also increase the time necessary to conduct the evaluation, and that will increase the evaluator's bill for services. Cooperating is thus less costly in terms of litigation.


Oh, and there is no community property, besides furniture. We don't own a home or have any money. Psych-husband spent it all before we separated (on purpose, including my entire inheritance) but is offering to pay for THIS...which makes me think he has money stashed somewhere. Actually, I KNOW he does.....I could ask you like 1,000,000 regarding this creep.

 

A: If you think there is money concealed, then you can hire a forensic accountant to go over your husband's financial records and try to find a discrepancy that will permit the court to impute concealed community property to your husband. This, too, is expensive, but it's possible, and it could lead to some extremely stiff penalties against your husband. So, you may want to discuss this with your attorney. Maybe by your threatening a forensic accounting, your husband will back off on the vocational evaluation.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate others about the law. I am always available to answer your follow-up questions after you click Accept – however, if you do not click Accept, the website gets paid, and I receive nothing. This is true, even if you are on a subscription plan. So please click Accept, so that I will be able to continue to provide this service for others in the future.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“To Socrateaser”), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!



 

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