In a recent decision, In re Marriage of Priem, the California court found that the wife was not entitled to a spousal support award because she had a history of abusive behavior against her former husband.
This decision shows how seriously the court takes former convictions for domestic violence and instances of abusive behavior in divorce proceedings, no matter which spouse is acting out violently. If you are currently in an abusive marriage, or facing a difficult divorce, the Spousal Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you ensure that your rights are protected.
History of the Abusive Relationship
In the case of In re Marriage of Priem, the couple had been married for over 10 years and had two children together during the marriage. The husband had been the primary income earner during the marriage, which meant he likely would have to provide some level of support for his former wife. However, during the divorce proceedings, the husband claimed that the wife had been abusive and violent throughout the marriage and should not be entitled to a spousal support award.
The husband provided evidence that the wife had a 2008 misdemeanor conviction for battery committed against a spouse under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1). The husband also provided evidence that the wife had five arrests, three criminal convictions, three criminal protective orders, and one civil temporary restraining order against her. He also showed that she had undergone three probationary periods and was currently on probation for the 2008 battery. The husband further showed that the abuse by his former wife had resulted in his injury, including bruises, scratches, bleeding, and hyperextended fingers.
At the hearing for temporary support, the wife admitted to having anger management problems in the past and that she had been physically violent towards her former husband throughout the marriage. However, she also asserted that her former husband would provoke her verbally and that she was currently attending anger management to help with her angry outbursts.
California Family Code sections 4320 and 4325
The court looked to two important California Family Code Sections, 4320 and 4325, to determine the issue of whether a spousal support award was appropriate under these circumstances. California Family Code Section 4320 states that a “criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award.” California Family Code section 4325 provides that it is a rebuttable presumption that spousal support requests should not be granted to spouses who have been convicted of domestic violence within five years of filing for divorce.
The court explained that the wife’s criminal conviction for battery against her former husband and her history of domestic violence were enough to convince the court not to allow her any temporary spousal support or any reduced spousal support award. The court instead held that the wife was not entitled to any spousal support as a result of her violent actions.
Wallin & Klarich Can Help You
If you are facing a divorce where spousal support is an issue, the Spousal Support Family Law Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can assist you. The Spousal Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are familiar with the ever changing law relating to spousal support, including California Family Code sections 4320 and 4325, and know what factors are important to the court.
At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully representing our clients in family law matters. Whether you are facing issues of spousal support, domestic violence, or child custody, the Spousal Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can provide you with the legal knowledge you need to gain the best possible result in your case. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-749-7428. We will get through this together.