A California appeals court recently ruled that any individuals who commit domestic violence against their spouses will be unable to receive alimony payments as part of divorce settlements. As California law dictates, people who are abused will not be compelled to pay the perpetrator after their violent actions or be forced to experience any further abuse. With the ruling coming down from the California appeals court, this now applies to alimony settlements as well.
The case that was brought before the appeals court was between a husband and wife who had been married for 10 years and had two children together. While the judge ordered the husband to pay child support on a monthly basis as a part of the divorce settlement, he was not ordered to pay spousal support because of his wife’s prior domestic abuse convictions, including a no-contest plea in 2008.
The issue of whether or not this state law applies to abusers who enter no-contest pleas is what was at stake during this appeal. With the judge ruling in favor of the husband who suffered from spousal abuse, it prevents future abusers from entering no-contest pleas so that the evidence is inadmissible during divorce cases, resulting in the abuse becoming a hidden crime.
Knowing your legal rights when you go through a divorce settlement is extremely important. With a full understanding of California divorce law, a divorce lawyer may explain your rights and help you understand the divorce process. Since every divorce case is different, spouses want attorneys on their sides to help ensure that their individual assets be protected.
Source: SFGate.com, “No Alimony for Spousal Abuser,” Bob Egelko, March 13, 2013