It may feel like it to Illinois residents who are in the process of ending their marriages, but life does not stop because of it. Because of this, divorce proceedings can take a dramatic turn when circumstances change dramatically. For example, what happens if one of the parties loses his or her job during the process?
Not surprisingly, the first issues affected would be those surrounding child support and alimony. The party who lost his or her job is now the one with a significantly lower income. It is possible that the other party will now be responsible for paying spousal support, at least until the jobless party finds new employment. The court will consider all the circumstances surrounding the job loss when making its determination.
Child support calculations may need to change. It depends on the situation. A round of layoffs is not the fault of the person who lost the job, but misconduct is.
In the former circumstances, the court would probably not attribute former income, but expect that party to find comparable employment as quickly as possible. In the latter circumstances, an Illinois court may continue to attribute the income from the lost job. If the one who lost his or her job already made less than the other spouse did, support may simply increase for the spouse that would have been paying anyway.
Losing a job is challenging enough, but it happens during a divorce, things can quickly get more complex. That individual should not be punished if he or she had no control over the circumstances. In order to account for obtaining new employment, it may be possible to include some sort of formula for computing new support amounts once that happens. The parties could need to return to court in order to finalize those new arrangements.