courtWhen a couple divorces, one of the spouses may be made to pay alimony to the other. This creates two potential situations: Seek Work Order for either spouse or a Gavron Warning for the receiving spouse.

Seek Work Orders

The supporting spouse, when he or she goes bankrupt or unemployed (even if very employable), may receive a Seek Work Order from the court, telling him or her to get a full-time job or else be jailed for contempt. Seek Work Orders typically come 90 days after a supporting spouse fails to pay child support or alimony.

However, the receiving spouse can also receive a Seek Work Order from the judge (typically at the urging of the supporting spouse’s attorney), to make him or her find work and be self-supporting as soon as possible – even if he or she sacrificed her job to help raise the kids during the marriage. This is related to the Gavron Warning.

Gavron Warning

If you are a receiving spouse and the judge told you you should be able to support yourself after several months or years or your support will end prematurely, you have been Gavron Warned. The receiving spouse may receive a Gavron Warning from the judge along with the order to be paid alimony. “Gavron” comes from the name of the landmark divorce case that made the warning a basis for court decisions.

But, sometimes, a Gavron Warning is included in the fine print of the order for spouse support and could be easily overlooked, so best be on the lookout for similar-sounding admonitions. The divorcing spouses are on the opposite sides of a Gavron Warning. If you are a supporting spouse, your attorney will push for it. If you are a receiving spouse, your attorney would discourage it.

Ultimately spousal support ends, with or without a Gavron Warning. If you were married less than ten years your support ends at most half that long. So, married or not, always keep your employable skills updated, even if you’re currently at home helping to raise the kids.