If you are divorcing an unemployed spouse, you may wonder whether your spouse's unemployed status will affect the divorce. Well, unemployment has indirect effects on divorce in several ways. Here are some of the specific aspects of the divorce your partner's unemployment may affect.


Although many people assume that alimony payments are automatic during divorce, which is not the case at all. The court can only award alimony to a spouse who cannot support themselves or continue to enjoy the same standard of living they had during the marriage. An unemployed spouse cannot take care of themselves, so they are likely to get alimony.

The cause of unemployment determines the duration and type of alimony. For example, if your partner is unemployed because they are disabled and unable to work, the court may award them permanent alimony. If your spouse is unemployed because they lack the necessary skills for the labor market, then they may get rehabilitation alimony to prepare them for employment or entrepreneurship.

Child Custody

In some families, one of the parents becomes a stay-at-home parent so that they can take care of the kids. If that is the reason your partner is unemployed, then you may wish to continue with the same arrangement after marriage. In such a case, the unemployed parent gets physical custody of the children (you are likely to get visitation rights). In any case, unemployment is unlikely to affect the child custody determination directly. The main consideration, as far as child custody is concerned, is who is best placed to meet the kids' needs.

Child Support

Unemployment also effects on child support. In most cases, courts order noncustodial parents to pay child support even if the noncustodial parents are unemployed. This is because both parents have the responsibility of taking care of their kids. Some states, such as Illinois, even have a minimum unemployment figure that everyone (including unemployed parents) must pay.

If the court determines that the other parent is voluntarily unemployed, it may impute income to help determine child support payments. Imputing income is a way of determining how much an unemployed person would earn, given their skill set, education, and experience, if they were employed.

As you can see, unemployment has a significant effect on various aspects of divorce. You need to understand these effects as you prepare for your divorce. Consult a divorce lawyer to help you understand more of these effects and ensure that everyone, including the court, respects your rights. Visit websites like http://gomezmaylaw.com/ to learn more about divorce law.