Spousal Support and the Ability to Work

Pierre Domercq Spousal Support

A recent case in a California appellate court helps to shed some light on spousal support and the ability of the recipient to work and gain meaningful employment. The case in the Second District Court of Appeals shows the burden proof on a party who claims they cannot gain meaningful work is on the party requesting support.
In the case in question, the party requesting the support was the husband. In the original trial he requested spousal support saying a disability prevented him from returning to work. The trial court found the Social Security Administration had denied his claim and that he was relatively young and still physically able enough to make repairs on the family home.
Upon appeal, the husband’s position was the trial court had denied spousal support because of a domestic violence order. The appellate court denied his request affirming the findings of the lower court. The appellate court found the man had not proven that he was unable to find work, and a new job would not threaten his pension from the previous employer.
The position of North County family law courts is different in every case as the facts are unique in each situation. Generally speaking, spousal support is usually accompanied with a Gavron Warning requiring the spouse receiving support to become self-sustaining within a period of time. If a claim of disability, or the lack of experience, education or skill in obtaining work is made it must be substantiaed with evidence. The burden lies upon the party making the claim regarding their capacity to find work.
Spousal support in a North County divorce case is often a contentious issue. These cases require divorce attorneys with extensive experience, legal skill and expertise. The attorneys at Burke & Domercq have decades of experience in North County family law cases. We invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment.