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Should You Take A New Job When Facing Divorce?

Overhead view of a female job applicant facing male and female HR recruiters across a desk; job interview during divorce.

According to Mental Health America, reduced workplace productivity is a common issue among spouses facing divorce. These individuals may feel preoccupied or even paralyzed by the stress and uncertainty of pending legal action, and a change of career could seem like a positive choice. Before major career moves, however, divorcing spouses should consider the potential legal implications. Consultations with experienced divorce lawyers in New Hampshire provide spouses with plenty of opportunities to discuss these implications in more detail, ask questions, and receive targeted guidance. Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC may be able to help spouses facing divorce assess the most appropriate career changes, so begin the discussion today by calling (603) 707-4800. 

Will a New Job Affect Child Custody?

A new job may affect child custody. According to the New Hampshire General Court, family courts in the state will consider the ability of each parent to nurture, love, and guide the child in question when making decisions related to custody rights. A parent with a demanding, full-time career –– especially one that is unsettled due to a newly-adopted role –– may struggle to give the child enough attention, and the family court may therefore not see them as a suitable Primary Parent. That being said, family courts also consider the ability of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities. In other words, demonstrating career stability may in some cases improve a parent’s chances of being awarded custody. 

Some parents may pursue more flexible careers while facing divorce, as this shift may allow them to spend more time with their children. More importantly, it may send a clear message to family courts that they are willing to prioritize their children over their careers. In the modern era, many professionals can shift to remote or hybrid work – and such shifts can sometimes prove advantageous during custody battles. If a shift toward remote work negatively affects shelter and other necessities, however, this could lead to negative consequences. In other words: New Hampshire family law courts will look to place each parent’s career trajectory and job responsibilities within the context of an overall picture of home life.

Will a Career Change or Promotion Affect My Divorce Settlement?

In addition, career shifts have the potential to affect divorce settlements in New Hampshire. While implementing a system of equitable distribution, family courts consider the economic status and employment of each spouse. If one spouse makes a career change while facing divorce, they may affect the equitable distribution process as a result. For example, a spouse may stand to receive a higher share of the marital property due to their lack of income or assets. If they take a new job during the divorce process, however, family courts may re-examine the property division calculations. 

A common situation involves pending promotions during divorce. Some divorces take months or even years to finalize, and spouses may encounter potential promotions, bonuses, stock options, and other rewards during this process. All of these employment rewards have the potential to alter equitable distribution calculations.

Does a New Job Affect Spousal Support?

A new job also has the potential to affect spousal support (also known as alimony). Family courts may award spousal support when there is wealth disparity between spouses, and a new job may reduce or even remove income inequality. Spouses must carefully calculate the most practical decision from a financial and logical perspective, and Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC may be able to assist with various calculations. If a spouse stands to receive $3,000 per month in spousal support, for example, this may provide more financial security than a minimum wage job that pays $1,500 per month. On the other hand, spousal support may end within a few short years – and it may make more sense to get a head start on a new career and advance through the ranks as quickly as possible. 

Does a New Job Affect Child Support?

Finally, child support may be affected by career shifts in a manner proportionate to the change in income. Increased income may increase a non-custodial parent’s total child support obligation, whereas an involuntary drop in income may reduce the total amount required – generally maintaining a similar percentage of the non-custodial parent’s overall income. As with alimony, it makes sense to calculate the differences between full-time employment and accepting child support – as parents may need to choose between these potential sources of income. 

Parents should also consider health insurance benefits associated with their employment, as this may affect child support in unexpected ways. Health care represents one of the most expensive parenting costs, and losing access to employer-sponsored health insurance may force both parents to pay higher levels of child support. 

Career-Related Strategies for Divorce in New Hampshire

Despite the psychological, legal, and financial pressures of divorce, it is possible to sustain your career and approach these concerns in a highly strategic manner. With the right approach, employees facing divorce can limit career-related consequences while striving for genuine economic security. 

Should I Tell My Employer About My Divorce?

Employees may hesitate to tell their employers about divorce, and this is understandable. However, clear communication may be beneficial. If you are a partner in a business partnership, your divorce could affect the entire company in serious ways. Advance notice can give partners, shareholders, and other parties enough time to restructure and prepare for potential negative consequences. 

In addition, employers may agree to defer bonuses and promotions until after the conclusion of divorces – potentially leading to more favorable support and property division results. Because there is a risk that in some circumstances courts may consider this unlawful concealment of assets – and consultations with divorce lawyers may be prudent before executing this strategy. 

Should I Quit My Job Before Divorce?

Consider the benefits of job stability during divorce. While making strategic career changes during this process might seem advantageous, dramatic shifts could add complexity to an already difficult divorce – and they may even lead to higher legal fees as lawyers attempt to make sense of it all. Perhaps it will make more sense to wait until after the divorce before making these changes. However, spouses should also remember that even after they conclude their divorces, changes in circumstances can lead to modifications of custody and support court orders. These changes may include fluctuating income and employment. 

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in New Hampshire

There are numerous career-related factors to consider when facing divorce, and each situation is slightly different. Distinct career paths can present varying legal implications, and spouses should customize their divorce strategies based on their own unique circumstances. While online research provides only basic information, experienced divorce lawyers in New Hampshire may be able to guide divorcing spouses through potential career changes. Call (603) 707-4800 today to get started with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC. 

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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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