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Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

What if I lose my job before my divorce?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2020 | Divorce |

Going through the divorce process can often create a financial strain in an individual’s life. Dividing assets and living on one income are not things that people typically plan for, and can take some getting used to.

Then, the unimaginable happens – layoffs at work. Individuals in this tough situation face more uncertainty and stress than they did before, and many of them wonder: what happens next?

What should you do?

It is already stressful to lose a job on top of a divorce, but individuals must not panic. They have options. If an individual finds themselves unemployed during their divorce proceedings, they should:

  1. Inform their spouse: Talking to a soon-to-be-ex-spouse about a job loss can be overwhelming, regardless of whether the divorce is amicable or not. However, this is an important step. Discussing the situation with one’s spouse could help them create a plan to move forward without too much financial strain.
  2. Actively search for a new job: Under normal circumstances, individuals can collect unemployment benefits under North Carolina law as long as they actively look for a job. It is also a good idea to start the job search to show both one’s spouse and potentially the family courts that they are taking on responsibility and initiative. If your job loss is related to COVID-19 you are also eligible for unemployment. 
  3. Keep a record of the job search: Forbes advises that while looking for a new job, individuals should keep a detailed record of their search, including the time they spend on applications, their resume or networking. This provides evidence of their initiative.

Modify existing child support or spousal support

Spousal Support and Child Support may not always be involved in a divorce, but if it is, job loss may allow for a modification. Whether you are the spouse paying or receiving support, look into your options for modification in the case of unemployment.