California residents may be shocked to hear of a possible loophole in the state’s divorce law. Due to the possible loophole, the victim of a sexual assault in a marriage may be forced to pay support money to the perpetrator after the couple divorces. However, some people are trying to fix this oversight.
Under current law, the spouse who earns the larger share of the couple’s earnings may have to pay support money to the other spouse after a divorce. That in itself is not surprising. However, there is no exception for when the wealthier spouse is the victim of a sexual assault perpetuated by the poorer spouse. In such situations, the wealthier spouse may have to support the very person that assaulted him or her.
The oversight came to light recently when a Carlsbad, California, woman divorced her husband after he sexually assaulted her. The ex-husband was convicted of the assault and is currently spending time in jail. Yet, the judge in the case has ordered the woman to support her ex-husband. The judge was following California law in doing so, and the woman is now trying to get that law changed.
The issue brings to attention the many complexities of divorce law. Without the assistance of an experienced California attorney, many may find themselves at the bitter end of a bargain that leaves them in a bad position overall. Here, the woman has most likely already retained the advice of counsel, who may be assisting her with seeking a change to the law. The attorney may be able to help with ensuring that her predicament is eventually rectified.
Source: KPBS, “Effort To Change Calif. Divorce Law,” Mitch Blacher, Nov. 1, 2011