Should I, or Should I not, Get a Second Job during my Divorce To Save Money on Child Support and Alimony?

Finances during divorce are difficult.

It seems like there’s never enough money to go around.

Because of this, lots of people going through divorce work a second job, or a second and third job.

But should you get a second job while going through a divorce, or is it better to not get one so you don’t have to pay more on child support and alimony?

It’s a good question.

Here’s my standard answer: if you want to get a second job, go ahead and get one.

Here’s my reasoning:

  1. Don’t worry about minimizing child support and alimony if you can’t make ends meet.

If you need more money to make ends meet, make more money. Don’t worry about trying to monkey with decreasing child support or alimony when you can’t feed yourself. Make money and think about those things later.

  1. Child support (but not alimony) is based on one 40-hour job.

If you have a 40-hour job, then that’s the max you’ll pay in child support. Well, if you have income from other sources (rental properties, trusts, etc.), those will count, but your income from a part-time extra job will not.

(Note: this does not hold true for alimony, which is based on all income sources. That said, alimony will not eat up everything you make at a second job.)

  1. Getting a second job during divorce does not mean you’ll need to keep a second job after the divorce.

People are scared that if they get a second job during divorce, the court will assume that’s their permanent income and they’ll be expected to keep it after the divorce.

That almost never happens. Courts know that times are tough during divorce, and they know people have to get second jobs on a temporary basis.

Courts don’t expect people to keep those jobs forever, so they don’t really base permanent child support and alimony on people’s temporary situations.

  1. Child support and alimony never suck up 100% of the income from a second job.

Sometimes, people tell me they don’t want to get a second job because 100% will go to child support and alimony.

I’ve never seen that happen in real life.

You always come out significantly ahead financially when you have a second job.

Conclusion

When it comes to getting a second job during divorce, get one if you need to.

Don’t worry about child support or alimony. Do what you need to do to make ends meet.

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