Abusive Spouse Won’t Get Alimony

Abusive Spouse Won’t Get Alimony

Courts Can Help You Avoid Paying an Ex-Spouse who Has History of Abuse

More and more women are paying alimony because they make more than their ex-husbands during their marriages. While there isn’t much anyone can do about that, there is one exception to the spousal support rule: When the woman has been a victim of domestic abuse.

“It is the only time that spousal support can be denied when it would otherwise be paid,” says Belinda Rachman, 52-year-old Carlsbad, California based lawyer specializing in divorce mediation. “The one that sticks out most in mind is if you have documented a history of abuse. But the key here is documented.”

Since the courts are sensitive to domestic violence in general, Rachman points to situations where the wife, the only breadwinner in the family, is actually a victim of abuse. In this case, spousal support isn’t black and white. Even though she is bringing home the paycheck, she can use that as a leg to stand on legally when spousal support is decided when the marriage ends.

“The richer person would normally have to pay the poorer person support. But if you can prove he is a bum — and that means there has to be a documented history of abuse: police coming to the house, doctor’s reports, “you know, a real paper trail of proof — then it could result in the judge not ordering support,” she says.

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