Domestic Violence Impact Upon Spousal Support in Placer County

by | Jul 22, 2013 | Firm News |

Unfortunately within Placer county family law cases, there are instances of one spouse or partner committing domestic violence against the other spouse/partner.  Domestic violence is broadly defined under California law.  It can include harassing, stalking, physical abuse, smashing objects in anger, blocking movements, among other things.

Sometimes the domestic violence abuser is the party who also will be entitled to request spousal support in Placer County.  On its face, this appears extremely unjust to require the domestic violence victim to pay the domestic violence abuser spousal support.  Fortunately, there are applicable provisions of the Family Code to limit or prevent this from happening.  If there is documented evidence of a history of domestic violence, the Placer County court is permitted to reduce or refuse to order support to the domestic violence abuser.  The key here is providing documented evidence.  Hearsay testimony is not documented evidence.  Also, the court has great difficulty discerning the truth when it has he said/she said testimony.  Eyewitness testimony is important.  Police reports, domestic violence restraining orders, emergency protection orders, and criminal convictions are important evidence to present.

In situations where long-term spousal support can be awarded, the court must presumptively refuse to award spousal support if the abusive spouse has been convicted in a criminal court of domestic violence.  This is a higher standard than in a temporary support proceeding.

If there is domestic violence in your case and the abuser is requesting spousal support, please give us a call to discuss your rights.  We can meet with you in a confidential and free half hour consultation to discuss your rights.