The Impact Domestic Violence Has on Your Family Law
For example, there is a rebuttable presumption that a spouse convicted of an act of domestic violence within five years prior to the filing of the dissolution proceeding, or at any time thereafter cannot be awarded spousal support. Family Code § 4325(a). However, the convicted spouse can rebut this presumption showing that they had been a victim of domestic violence.
What are the requirements for this presumption to apply? First, the violence must occur between the parties to the dissolution. The presumption does not apply if the domestic violence conviction was against a former spouse, child, relative or cohabitant. Second, there must be an “act of domestic violence”. An “act of domestic violence” is defined as an abuse perpetrated against a spouse. Abuse can be an intentional or reckless attempt to cause bodily injury, a sexual assault, or any behavior that can place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury. Abuse can also include molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property or disturbing the peace of the other party. Finally, the criminal conviction for domestic violence must occur within five years prior to the filing of the dissolution action.
To rebut this presumption, the convicted spouse has the burden of proof to show the nonexistence of the presumed fact (that spousal support should be denied). The convicted spouse can show that they were in fact the victim of domestic violence perpetrated by the other spouse or by any other factors the court deems just and proper. Proof might be in the form of medical bills, police reports, photographs, or witness testimony.
To conclude, being convicted of domestic violence can have a substantial impact on your family law case. Call 661-295-4644 to see if Rand Pinsky can help you with your family law matter.
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