Domestic violence occurs more often than some people may think. It is sometimes
seen in headlines and on the news, but is rarely discussed in connection
with alimony and spousal support.
In states like Georgia, there are no guidelines for determining alimony.
Instead, a judge looks to a list of factors to determine the amount of
spousal support, including future earning capacity and duration of the marriage.
One California woman feels that justice has not been served when a judge
asked her to pay spousal support to her former husband who repeatedly
abused her throughout their marriage. In fact, he was convicted on sexual
assault charges and will remain in the Donovan State Prison until 2014.
Due to the domestic abuse, the woman was ordered to pay less alimony than
she would have under normal circumstances. While a lesser amount, she
is deeply troubled by the fact that she owes her ex-husband any spousal
support at all.
Once the woman's situation was brought to light, lawmakers in California
introduced a bill that would prevent any victim of sexual abuse committed
by a former spouse from having to pay alimony. The bill passed a seven-person
bipartisan judiciary committee. It will now head to the California State
Assembly floor for discussion. If and when it is passed, it will be sent
to the state Senate.
Even if passed, however, the woman will still be forced to pay her ex-husband's
legal fees, which total $47,000.
This is an unusual case, however, when faced with divorce an individual
may want to contact an attorney who has the experience to guide an individual
successfully through the divorce process. They may also help an individual
understand the factors considered when determining alimony.