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Pros & Cons Of Changing Jobs During Divorce

Two people shaking hands to agree on a contract when changing jobs during divorce

Changing jobs during divorce or any other time may signify the start of a new chapter in life, filled with fresh opportunities and challenges. Yet, such a transition isn’t always well-timed, particularly during life-altering events such as divorce. It’s crucial to understand the potential impact a career change could have on your personal life during these times. Life’s unpredictable nature means our circumstances, motivations, and feelings can shift at any moment. This is particularly true during a divorce. The partners at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC, help people undergoing divorce become informed and aware of their rights and options when ending their marriage. We can evaluate your specific circumstances and explain how a career change can affect the divorce proceedings in your case. Call us now at (603)707-4800 to get a case evaluation. 

Can I Change Jobs During My Divorce Case?

Many things in life frequently undergo transformations, with divorce cases being no exception. Changing circumstances, evolving emotions, and altering motives at any stage might directly influence the progression of an individual’s divorce case. Delving into how a career transition might affect a divorce case brings to light an intriguing question: Can one change jobs during a divorce case? The general advice for someone who is considering changing jobs during divorce would likely advocate for pursuing an optimal job that suits one’s professional growth and financial needs. However, there’s no denying that a career transition might have implications on the divorce settlement. Monetary earnings play a critical role in determining multiple issues relevant to the divorce. Therefore, switching jobs, which could potentially affect the income level, might impact several elements of the divorce.

While it isn’t a lawyer’s role to advise on career choices or salary demands, legal professionals can provide insights into how a job change could affect the divorce’s legal outcome. Therefore, those contemplating a job change during a divorce case might want to speak with a lawyer before deciding to change a job while a divorce case is pending. 

The Pros of Changing a Job During Divorce

In essence, a person isn’t prohibited from changing jobs during a divorce case. However, doing so could potentially affect the outcome of divorce. For this reason, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons. Let’s begin with the pros: 

  • Positive changes in life. Possibly the most apparent advantage of changing a job during divorce is that it can introduce a different lifestyle, likely bringing about reduced stress and strengthened work-life balance. This shift may result in a workplace environment with less travel or overtime, offering increased opportunities for parental involvement. Court systems often perceive this positive shift towards an enhanced parental role as beneficial to children’s overall well-being.
  • Better co-parenting. A career change during divorce might bring about a more family-friendly culture, enabling the individual to partake more actively in pivotal family occasions, school functions, and medical appointments. This active involvement promotes better co-parenting, a condition often seen beneficial by court systems. In New Hampshire, the state’s Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) 461-A:2 presumes that a child does best when both parents are involved in the child’s life. 
  • Become financially independent. A job transition also holds potential in fostering independence, especially for individuals previously assuming the role of a ‘stay-at-home’ parent. Taking on a job brings about increased financial responsibility, a move viewed favorably by the court during divorce proceedings. Further, this life decision may not only inspire confidence but also provide a sense of purpose during a challenging time.

Upon moving to a new job, individuals find themselves in unique circumstances that can positively influence the divorce case. Changing jobs during a divorce can impart multiple benefits, enhancing financial stability, promoting active parenting, and strengthening a sense of self-will. These changes, even though they hold complex ramifications, can play a crucial role in forming a positive post-divorce environment.

The Cons of Changing a Job During Divorce

While the advantages of changing jobs during divorce can prove significant, it is equally essential to consider the potential downsides. Primarily, it’s a decision that may involve the following challenges and risks.

  • Financial instability. A new job often brings an uncertain financial future. A decrease in income, especially at a time when legal fees and other divorce-related costs are piling up, can exacerbate the stress of the couple’s situation.
  • Impact on custody. In some cases, the court may view a job change during divorce negatively. Especially when it can affect the capacity of a parent to provide stability for the children, as “the financial resource of a parent” is one of the factors considered by New Hampshire courts when making child custody determinations under RSA 461-A:6. If the new job involves more hours or a disparate work schedule, it could potentially jeopardize the custody arrangements.
  • Added stress. Changing jobs requires adjustments, such as learning new skills, adapting to a new work culture, or dealing with a different commute. At a time when one is already dealing with the emotional turmoil of a divorce, adding these professional challenges can heighten the stress.
  • Perception of court. Courts concerned with ensuring the financial stability of children post-divorce might see changing jobs as an unnecessary risk. Without a clear history of earnings with the new employer, it can complicate court proceedings regarding child support and alimony.

Changing a job during divorce presents a mixed bag of potential benefits and complications. It requires careful analysis keeping in mind the unique circumstances and the potential risks and rewards. It ultimately hinges on the balance between the desire for personal and professional growth and the responsibility towards family, especially the children. It’s not a decision to make lightly, and professional guidance from a lawyer or a financial advisor may be beneficial in navigating these complex waters. The partners at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC, can advise you on how to move forward when considering changing a job while a divorce is ongoing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can changing careers impact my divorce outcomes?

Yes, changing jobs during divorce can affect income, child support, and alimony. It can also influence perceived financial stability and custody arrangements in court. Considering these implications is crucial before making such a decision.

How could changing jobs benefit me during a divorce?

A career change could lead to reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and increased parental involvement. It might also expose you to a more family-friendly work culture. However, these benefits should be weighed against potential downsides.

What are the potential downsides of changing a job during divorce?

Potential downsides include financial instability, impact on child custody arrangements, increased stress, and unfavorable court perceptions. It is advised to consider these factors and consult with professionals before making such a decision.

Should I consult with a lawyer before changing a job during divorce?

Yes. Changing a job while a divorce is pending carries significant implications for your personal life, your financial situation, and your legal outcomes. For this reason, you might want to consider consulting with a lawyer to navigate these complexities effectively.

Is changing jobs during divorce always risky?

No, the risk of this decision depends on various factors such as the nature of the new job, the anticipated income change, and the individual’s personal circumstances. Each situation is unique and requires careful consideration

Consult with a Lawyer at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC

Divorce is not only a personal trauma but a legal minefield that can profoundly impact every facet of your life, including your career. If you find yourself considering a job change during a pending divorce, it’s imperative to understand the legal implications of such a move. The lawyers at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC, can review the specific facts of your case and explain the pros and cons of changing jobs during divorce in your particular situation. Call (603)707-4800 to schedule a case review. 

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About the Attorney
Jesse Friedman

Jesse has personally represented thousands of clients throughout the State - from juvenile delinquency offenses through homicides. He has extensive trial and litigation experience and has obtained favorable outcomes for thousands of clients throughout the years.

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