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Earning Capacity Law and Vocational Experts in Support Cases

Understand the importance of utilizing a vocational expert to accurately determine earning capacity in family law cases. Spousal and child support based upon the incomes of the parties - in some cases, the court can use actual income. But many parties are, to a greater or lesser extent, underemployed or unemployed. In these cases, support must be based upon earning capacity--upon imputed income. The earning capacity of a person with a particular set of employment qualifications is a question of fact. Courts are increasingly recognizing that judges are not well-suited to determine a person's earning capacity, and that this question is better addressed by vocational experts--persons with expert knowledge of positions and salaries available in different fields. Both parties are entitled to present testimony from vocational experts, of course, and the courts must therefore learn how to weigh the qualifications and testimony of vocational experts. The vocational expert in a spousal and child support case increasingly plays a role similar to that of the valuation expert in a property division case; the expert helps the court determine the value of what the parties are fighting about. Just as attorneys have learned how to work with and use valuation experts, so must they learn how to work with and use vocational experts. All vocational expert testimony is not the same; some types of testimony are preferred over others. The lawyer who knows how to use vocational evidence well has an advantage over the lawyer who uses it casually, and a definite advantage over the lawyer who does not use vocational evidence at all. This topic will help the practicing attorney learn how to use vocational evidence well, in ways which courts are more likely to find persuasive.


Runtime: 88 minutes
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Why Lorman?

Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Agenda

When and Why Do You Need a Vocational Expert?

  • Support Cases (Spousal and Child) to Prove Earning Capacity For Imputing Income
  • Explanation of the Concepts of Earning Capacity and Imputed Income

Who Are Vocational Experts?

  • People Who Know They Are Vocational Experts
  • People Who Are Vocational Experts Without Knowing It
    • Operators of Temporary Employment Agencies
    • Nurse Recruiters
    • Anyone Else With Expert Knowledge of Who Gets Employed and What Salaries They Make

Persuasive Vocational Expert Testimony

  • Knowledge of the Job Market
  • Knowledge of the Facts of the Case
    • Personal Interview?
    • Amount of Spouse's Prior Experience (Don't Inflate It)
  • Specific Position, Presently Available
  • Specific Salaries
  • Spouses With Health Issues

Vocational Evidence on the Cheap

  • Specific Past Positions (How Old Is Too Old?)
  • Raw Job Listings (Danger)
  • Claims of Education Institutions (Double Danger)
  • The Opposing Party and the Opposing Party's Expert
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Why Lorman?

Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Credits

OnDemand Webinar

This course was last revised on October 18, 2017.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Audio & Reference Manual

  • AK CLE 1.5
     
  • Arizona CLE 1.5
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5
     
  • CT CLE 1.5
     
  • FL CLE 2.0 including Marital and Family Law 2
     
  • GA CLE 1.5
     
  • HI CLE 1.5
     
  • IL CLE 1.5
     
  • ME CLE 1.5
     
  • MO CLE 1.8
     
  • MT CLE 1.5
     
  • NJ CLE 1.8
     
  • NM CLE 1.5
     
  • NV CLE 1.5
     
  • NY CLE 1.5
     
  • OR CLE 1.5
     
  • UT CLE 1.5
     
  • VT CLE 1.5
     
  • WA CLE 1.5
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

MP3 Download

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Laura Morgan

Laura Morgan

Family Law Consulting

  • Owner-Operator, Family Law Consulting more than 25 years of experience as a full-time research attorney
  • Author, Child Support Guidelines: Interpretation and Application (2d ed.), the leading nationwide treatise on child support guidelines
  • Co-author (with Brett Turner), Attacking and Defending Marital Agreements (ABA Family Law Section 2d ed. 2012)
  • Former executive editor, Divorce Litigation -- monthly law journal covering all of Family Law
  • Member, Board of Editors of Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Written numerous law review articles and has presented more than 100 CLEs across the country
Brett Turner

Brett Turner

National Legal Research Group, Inc.

  • Senior attorney, Family Law, National Legal Research Group; more than 30 years of experience as a full-time research attorney
  • Primary areas of expertise include equitable distribution, definition of marital property, definition of separate property, valuation of marital property, division of marital property, classification and division of retirement benefits, classification and valuation of professional practices, validity of marital agreements, construction of marital agreements, amount of alimony, duration of alimony, definition of income for child support, child support, child custody jurisdiction, child custody on the merits, and admissibility of e-mails and other material taken off computers
  • Author, Equitable Distribution of Property (West Group 3d ed. 2005 & Suppl. 2017), three volume treatise on the law of equitable distribution
  • Co-author (with Laura Morgan), Attacking and Defending Marital Agreements (ABA Family Law Section 2d ed. 2012)
  • Former editor, Divorce Litigation monthly law journal covering all of Family Law
  • J.D. degree, University of North Carolina Law School; B.A. degree, The Johns Hopkins University
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Product ID: 400386
Published 2017, 2018
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