Unemployed spouses are extremely vulnerable during a divorce. While laws vary by location, the decision to award spousal support typically rests in the judge’s hands. If the judge is sympathetic to the spouse’s plight, he or she will use legal discretion and order the working spouse to provide a steady post-divorce income.

During Divorce

Judges seldom force women to find a job while a divorce is pending, as state laws preserve the couple’s financial status during the interim. The working spouse must continue to pay the rent or mortgage and other bills so the jointly owned property is not lost. If a spouse has no job, the judge will likely order temporary support to allow them to buy food and tend to other personal needs.


Men and women have no right to spousal support after a divorce, and receiving it typically depends on the reason behind the spouse’s unemployment. If they have never worked and lack job skills, a judge is more likely to make a support order than if she has a college degree that’s gone unused. If the husband hires a Family Law Lawyer in Cincinnati OH, that attorney is likely to request the court sends the wife for a vocational evaluation to determine her job skills and expected earnings.

Rehabilitative Spousal Support

If the spouse is relatively young, the judge may order support for a few years after the divorce. Rehabilitative spousal support provides the disadvantaged spouse with enough income to go back to school or develop job skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient. If a person has job skills but has not used them because the other spouse’s income was high enough to support the couple, rehabilitative support allows them to get back on their feet and find a job in their chosen field.

Permanent spousal support is less common than it used to be and is typically given when one spouse has devoted his or her entire life to raising the children and they’re now past the age where they can reasonably be expected to go to school or learn new job skills. The disadvantaged spouse’s requirement to find a job after a long-term marriage depends on the judge’s compassion and the skills of the Family Law Lawyer in Cincinnati OH. Visit Engel & Martin, LLC at website for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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