Scales Law Office
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
304-267-9090

Can your ex be forced to take a higher-paying job?

Many high-paying jobs mean great salaries but may come with costs such as stress and time away from home - costs that offset the higher earnings in some ways. So, it makes sense that many spouses decide together that one of them will take a lower-paying job that allows for more work-life balance.

However, if you two are going through a divorce, and you have been a stay-at-home parent, you could be worried. Maintaining your standard of living and the children's standard of living afterward might be difficult, so can you request that your ex-spouse take on higher-paying work similar to the employment he or she quit a few years ago?

Requests are permissible

You can make requests, certainly, but ordering or forcing someone is trickier. It could be that your ex agrees to look for higher-paying work, and your problem is solved when your ex finds that type of job. Patience on your part may be important here, as the job search could take longer. Your ex-spouse might be looking for work that pays well yet still allows him or her to have a decent personal life. These positions can be difficult to find.

However, what if your ex disagrees, saying that he or she has enjoyed being more involved in the children's lives and that a fairer compromise is for you to find employment?

Both parents involved

The ideal for children, absent situations of extreme violence or abuse, is for both parents to be as involved in their lives as much as possible. Thus, it may be best for a child, particularly a school-age child, to have two working parents compared with one parent who stays at home and another who works very hard and has little visitation or custody time.

Divorce is extremely emotional, and sometimes it is necessary to work for some detachment so you can judge what might be in your children's best interests. Children benefit when their parents can work out solutions themselves rather than go through an angry court battle. Maybe your ex can help pay for your job training so you can find employment, for example.

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Scales Law Office
314 West John Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-267-9090
Fax: 304-267-9035
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