How Does Domestic Violence Affect Spousal Support?

Pierre Domercq Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can and will have an impact on issues such as child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support here in North County San Diego divorce cases. One example involved a case where the husband and wife had been married for over 32 years. The couple separated, and 4 months later the estranged wife attacked her husband with a knife in an attempt to sever an important portion of anatomy.
Protection orders were issued against the wife, and domestic violence and assault charges followed in criminal court resulting in a conviction and 3 month probation sentence. Interestingly the wife subsequently asked the divorce Judge (a separate Court and case) to order the former husband to pay her temporary spousal support. The court ruled against the wife citing the domestic violence.
The Fourth District Court confirmed this ruling on appeal, noting that the issue wasn’t the assault with the knife, but that her specific intentions with the knife were an instance of domestic violence. The Court noted in its ruling that domestic violence “Domestic violence means abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.”
Domestic violence can and usually will have an impact on family court orders regarding custody, visitation and support.