Going back to work after a divorce can seem like a daunting task. For a stay-at-home Mom or Dad the prospect of finding appropriate work after so many years of caring for the children is overwhelming. In some cases, the stay-at-home parent has a college education, used to work and had strong professional skills. In others, they supported their former spouse through education and licensing, but it’s been many years since employment.
California family law establishes the responsibility for both parents to provide for the needs of a child until the age of majority. This can extend much further into the future based upon education or special needs. California courts often issue a “Gavron Warning” to those who will receive spousal support after the divorce. The purpose of the Gavron Warning is to remind the parent receiving spousal support that it is their responsibility to become self-sustaining within a reasonable period of time. In the stress and emotional moment of a divorce this can seem harsh and overwhelming. What should you do.
Going back to work after a divorce is a lot like when you sought genuine employment for the first time. Give consideration to your interests and education and establish a list of the types of work you would wish to do. Will you need additional education to be able to perform this work? Is it time to start your own business? Will you work full time or will a part-time position meet your needs?
The good news is going back to work after a divorce can be a gradual task. The Gavron Warning may seem like an immediate and harsh reality. Remember that the Judge is not telling you to get a great job tomorrow. It will often take a few to several years to develop the career which supports your financial needs while providing the balance required for effective parenting. This is an opportunity to find the right work which provides personal fulfillment and financial balance. You aren’t required to take just any job, and going back to work after a divorce is actually an opportunity for personal growth and a new sense of independence.