Although evidence of misconduct is not considered by the court when determining whether to grant a divorce, documented evidence of domestic violence is considered when determining the amount of spousal support due. This consideration may be valuable for victims for whom the online publication of intimate images is one component of an abusive relationship. Additionally, there is a presumption against providing spousal support to a spouse with a criminal conviction of domestic violence against the other spouse.
b. Text of the Statutes
Cal. Fam. Code § 4320
“In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances:
[. . .]
(i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party.”1
Cal. Fam. Code § 4325
“(a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where there is a criminal conviction for an act of domestic violence perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse entered by the court within five years prior to the filing of the dissolution proceeding, or at any time thereafter, there shall be a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that any award of temporary or permanent spousal support to the abusive spouse otherwise awardable pursuant to the standards of this part should not be made.
(b) The court may consider documented evidence of a convicted spouse's history as a victim of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, perpetrated by the other spouse, or any other factors the court deems just and equitable, as conditions for rebutting this presumption.
(c) The rebuttable presumption created in this section may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Research is ongoing.
- 1. Cal. Fam. Code § 4320 (West 2011).