The short answer no being a court cannot legally require you to get a job. They have no basis for doing so. When you’re looking at spousal support, the court’s going to look at a number of factors.They’re going to look primarily at the length of the marriage.They’re going to look at the earning history of both parties, they’re going to look at the earning capabilities of both parties, they’re going to look at the income and expenses of the parties and they’re going to look at the standard of living that you have shared while you were together, so they’ll look at a string of factors in coming up with an appropriate amount of spousal support.
If they feel you should be working, if you have defined job skills and you have a history of working, they can impute income to you, so you then run a scenario as if you already did have that income in your household, so while they can’t order you to get a job, they can do the paperwork as if you were already working.
The other issue becomes more of a practical issue. We have women who have had orders that they’re unable to enforce because they’re spouse has passed on. Their former spouse has passed on or has disappeared and while they have an order that they’re supposed to get a certain amount of money every month, that money’s not forthcoming, so you also want to look at it from a practical perspective of do I want to be reliant on somebody that I’m no longer going to be married to.