The Law Offices of
Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Allegheny And Butler Counties

Dawn K. Gull

The unique challenges health care workers face in divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Divorce |

Working in medicine means accepting a lot of stress related to your job and also often working very long hours. Additionally, many medical professionals start their careers with a staggering amount of personal debt due to the educational requirements.

Despite these challenges, medical professionals, including physicians, actually have a slightly lower divorce rate than most of the rest of the country, at least based on data from the last decade. Families often grow to accept the unique challenges of having a loved one work in a high-demand career.

However, should a medical professional choose to divorce, as a small but significant portion eventually do, they may find themselves facing two unique challenges that can complicate the process of negotiating with their spouse or getting the best outcome in their divorces.

Their schedule may complicate custody matters

Nurses and doctors, with the exception of those who work at medical offices with standard business hours, frequently have to work 12-hour shifts on any typical work day. They may also sometimes be on-call, depending on their specialization and specific job.

Needing to work such long shifts and to sometimes leave with very little notice can certainly create unique challenges when handling custody matters. The family may need to have very in-depth conversations about how to handle unusual concerns, like a parent who must leave halfway through their scheduled parenting time to suddenly go to work.

Higher income means more property division challenges

Physicians and other medical professionals tend to earn a competitive wage, especially when compared with many other industries. Therefore, there can be a very high standard of living expectations for the spouse who doesn’t work in the medical profession and any children they share.

There may also be a substantial amount of property for them to divide in Pennsylvania. Sorting out marital assets and also marital debts can be a big challenge, especially if there are medical school debts that one spouse generated during the marriage. Finally, if one spouse stayed home to offset the reduced presence of the other, their career sacrifices might lead to support obligations.

Recognizing reasons why your Pennsylvania divorce may become unusually complicated, such as the unique concerns related to your career, can help you better prepare for negotiations or court.