In California, generally speaking, judges aren’t allowed to consider marital misconduct when making decisions about spousal support (previously called “alimony”).  The purpose of spousal support is to make sure that neither spouse falls into poverty when the marriage ends.  Spousal support isn’t meant to punish spouses for bad conduct while they were married.

There is, however, one exception to this rule.  When a spouse has behaved violently in the marriage and has been convicted of abusive behavior in a criminal court, then a family law court judge has the power to reduce or even eliminate any spousal support which the abusive spouse would otherwise be entitled to receive.

In a few cases which I have handled, and where it is clear that the abusive spouse has indeed been abusive despite no criminal conviction, the family law court judge has greatly reduced spousal support which would have otherwise been paid to the abusive spouse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *