A Brief Explanation Of Vocational Evaluation Services
Vocational Evaluation Services in California Family Law cases provide specialized information about a person’s employability and wage earning capacity to attorneys, the parties and the courts to help the parties reach a settlement agreement about support. Vocational evaluators use their expertise and training to assess a person’s reasonable career options, future earnings, training resources, costs and duration, and job search steps to obtain employment.
The California Family Law Code 4331 (a) details the requirements of vocational evaluation services, as follows:
"In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to submit to an examination by a vocational training counselor. The examination shall include an assessment of the party's ability to obtain employment based upon the party's age, health, education, marketable skills, employment history, and the current availability of employment opportunities. The focus of the examination shall be on an assessment of the party's ability to obtain employment that would allow the party to maintain herself or himself at the marital standard of living".
A vocational evaluation may be ordered by the court, requested by one party, or agreed to by both parties. Examples of situations that may prompt a Vocational Evaluation could include the following:
- Evaluation of a nonworking spouse
- A spouse claims a medical/psychological condition that may impact vocational choice
- The impact of work on the custodial parent who has responsibility of a dependent child or adult
- Assessment of self-employment efforts
- Evaluation of a spouse’s effort in obtaining/keeping employment
- Spouse is under a Seek-Work order but is not working after an extended period of time