Vocational Evaluations Aren’t Just for Personal Injury Cases

vocational evaluation in divorce
Judge Dan Hinde

Vocational evaluations aren’t just for personal injury cases. Of course, in any personal injury or medical malpractice the fundamental goal is to compensate the victim for the injuries he or she has suffered as a result of another’s negligent or reckless conduct. Additionally, also consider how a vocational expert conducting a vocational diagnostic review can be beneficial in assessing the value in an employability or divorce case.

Value in Employment Law

Employability determination has many facets. For example, if your client has been sexually harassed in the workplace, depending on the severity and duration, he or she may suffer workplace, post-traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD) The resulting psychiatric conditions and behavioral problems, your client suffered, for all intents and purposes, may render your client unemployable in the existing competitive, labor market.

Vocational experts are sometimes brought into wrongful termination or age discrimination cases to document the effect of the termination on the evaluee’s ability to be employed. The initial purpose is to assess the effect of the termination on the evaluee’s employability. A comprehensive analysis of the evaluee’s education and past work history is produced, a transferability skills assessment is completed, and vocational testing may be administered to ascertain the type of work the person can perform. In addition, a labor market survey may be conducted to determine the level earnings the individual may obtain despite being terminated from his/her prior employment.

Value in Divorce Cases

Divorce is a tricky area for courts. Why? Because you are taking an intimate relationship that has perhaps existed for decades – full of memories, both good or bad – and you are trying to boil it down into a relatively short legal pleading.

Given all the filtering of facts that needs to occur, it is frequent that a spouse will make an application asserting that he or she requires significant alimony. There are cases, however, where a spouse will remain unemployed or underemployed in order to maximize alimony payments.

The key to solving the problem of a court being unable to appreciate whether a spouse truly has no earning capacity or simply gaming the system, is a vocational expert.

Edmond Provder

Edmond Provder, CEO and Founder of Occupational Assessment Services (OAS), is a certified rehabilitation counselor, Diplomate of the American Board of Vocational Experts, Commissioner of LCP and certified life care planner who has provided services for the severely disabled since 1973. Provder is credentialed by the American Board of Vocational Experts, the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and the International Academy of Life Care Planners. Provder has provided rehabilitation services to over 6,000 individuals. He has provided expert witness testimonies in hundreds of cases throughout the country. You can contact him at 800-292-1919 or via OAS’s website www.oasinc.org.

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