In the aftermath of a California court ordering an abused wife to pay spousal support and court costs to her abusive husband, Democrat Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has introduced legislation that would eliminate entitlement to spousal support for abusive spouses.
Crystal Harris from San Diego was violently sexually abused by her husband who was imprisoned for his crimes against her. To her dismay and consternation, Ms. Harris was victimized a second time by a family court judge who ordered her to pay support and court costs to her abuser.
The Assemblywoman said “Victims of violent sex crimes already suffer physical trauma, fear and an assault on their privacy and dignity.” To make them pay alimony is “cruel and makes a mockery of the intent behind the laws…”
In the early 1900’s in Canada and Great Britain, women who committed adultery were not entitled to spousal support based on a system of fault. Today, spousal conduct does not come into play in decisions regarding alimony.
The California bill is supported by the San Diego District Attorney’s office and is receiving bilateral legislative support. This bill may signal a return to fault-based considerations in the area of spousal support.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang