September 18, 2013 By Paul Wallin

In the recent decision In re Marriage of Priem, the First Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals found that a wife was not entitled to spousal support because she had a history of abusive behavior against her former husband. This decision shows how seriously the court takes former convictions of domestic violence and instances of abusive behavior in divorce proceedings, no matter which spouse is acting out violently. If you are currently facing a difficult divorce, the experienced Southern California spousal support attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you ensure that your rights are protected.

History of the Abusive Relationship

Southern California spousal support attorney
Domestic violence can be a factor in determining spousal support. If you are facing a difficult divorce case, it is important to contact a skilled Southern California spousal support attorney to help you.

In the case In re Marriage of Priem, the couple had been married for more than 10 years and had two children 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 to 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 placed against her, and 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 spousal support, the wife admitted that she had been physically violent towards her former husband throughout the marriage and that she had anger management. 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 whether a spousal support award was appropriate under these particular circumstances. California Family Code section 4320(m) 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. The court instead held that the wife was not entitled to any spousal support as a result of her violent actions.

Call the Southern California Spousal Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you are facing a divorce where spousal support is an issue, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can assist you. The knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are familiar with the ever-changing laws relating to spousal support, including California Family Code sections 4320 and 4325.

Whether you are facing issues of spousal support, domestic violence or child custody, the experienced 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, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks so we can help you no matter where you are located. Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 749-7428. We will get through this together.

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