Can Spousal Support be Awarded with a Finding of Domestic Violence?


It is against public policy to have a spouse pay support to their abuser. If a spouse has been found to have committed domestic violence towards their spouse, they are unable to collect spousal support. Domestic violence can include physical harm, as well as emotional distress against the spouse or against the other party’s child. 


What is considered to be Domestic Violence?


All documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Family Code Section 6211, between the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s child including but not limited to, consideration of: 

  1. A plea of nolo contendre. 
  2. Emotional Distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party. 
  3. Any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party. 
  4. The issuance of a protective order after a hearing pursuant to Family Code Section 6340. 
  5. A finding by a court during the pendency of a divorce, separation, or child custody proceeding.


Keep in mind if the victim’s spouse can provide evidence of domestic violence, he or she can argue that spousal support should not be awarded to the abusive party. 


If there was evidence and it was proven and this abusive spouse was convicted, then at that point, there is a presumption that spousal support will not be awarded to the abusive spouse.


If you have any questions regarding spousal support, do not hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a call.