Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 9. SUPPORT [3500 - 5700.905]

  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 3. SPOUSAL SUPPORT [4300 - 4360]

  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 2. Factors to be Considered in Ordering Support [4320 - 4326]
  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

4320.
  

In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances:

(a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following:

(1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.

(2) The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties.

(b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party.

(c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.

(d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.

(e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.

(f) The duration of the marriage.

(g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party.

(h) The age and health of the parties.

(i) All documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in 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 contendere.

(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) Issuance of a protective order after a hearing pursuant to Section 6340.

(5) A finding by a court during the pendency of a divorce, separation, or child custody proceeding, or other proceeding under Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200), that the spouse has committed domestic violence.

(j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.

(k) The balance of the hardships to each party.

(l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a “reasonable period of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.

(m) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with Section 4324.5 or 4325.

(n) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 938, Sec. 1. (AB 929) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4321.
  

In a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, the court may deny support to a party out of the separate property of the other party in any of the following circumstances:

(a) The party has separate property, or is earning the party’s own livelihood, or there is community property or quasi-community property sufficient to give the party proper support.

(b) The custody of the children has been awarded to the other party, who is supporting them.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 141.5. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4322.
  

In an original or modification proceeding, where there are no children, and a party has or acquires a separate estate, including income from employment, sufficient for the party’s proper support, no support shall be ordered or continued against the other party.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4323.
  

(a) (1) Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a nonmarital partner. Upon a determination that circumstances have changed, the court may modify or terminate the spousal support as provided for in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 3650) of Part 1.

(2) Holding oneself out to be the spouse of the person with whom one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the term is used in this subdivision.

(b) The income of a supporting spouse’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner shall not be considered when determining or modifying spousal support.

(c) Nothing in this section precludes later modification or termination of spousal support on proof of change of circumstances.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 82, Sec. 36. (SB 1306) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4324.
  

In addition to any other remedy authorized by law, when a spouse is convicted of attempting to murder the other spouse, as punishable pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 664 of the Penal Code, or of soliciting the murder of the other spouse, as punishable pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 653f of the Penal Code, the injured spouse shall be entitled to a prohibition of any temporary or permanent award for spousal support or medical, life, or other insurance benefits or payments from the injured spouse to the other spouse.

As used in this section, “injured spouse” means the spouse who has been the subject of the attempted murder or the solicitation of murder for which the other spouse was convicted, whether or not actual physical injury occurred.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 65, Sec. 2. (AB 2674) Effective January 1, 2011.)

4324.5.
  

(a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where there is a criminal conviction for a violent sexual felony or a domestic violence felony perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse and the petition for dissolution is filed before five years following the conviction and any time served in custody, on probation, or on parole, the following shall apply:

(1) An award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse is prohibited.

(2) If economic circumstances warrant, the court shall order the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the parties to be paid from the community assets. The injured spouse shall not be required to pay any attorney’s fees of the convicted spouse out of the injured spouse’s separate property.

(3) At the request of the injured spouse, the date of separation, as defined in Section 70, shall be the date of the incident giving rise to the conviction, or earlier, if the court finds circumstances that justify an earlier date.

(4) The injured spouse shall be entitled to 100 percent of the community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits of the injured spouse.

(b) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Domestic violence felony” means a felony offense for an act of abuse, as described in Section 6203, perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse.

(2) “Injured spouse” means the spouse who has been the subject of the violent sexual felony or domestic violence felony for which the other spouse was convicted.

(3) “Violent sexual felony” means those offenses described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

(c) If a convicted spouse presents documented evidence of the convicted spouse’s history as a victim of a violent sexual offense, as described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, or domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, perpetrated by the other spouse, the court may determine, based on the facts of the particular case, that one or more of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a) do not apply.

(d) The changes made to this section by the bill that added this subdivision shall only apply to convictions that occur on or after January 1, 2019.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 850, Sec. 1. (SB 1129) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4325.
  

(a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where there is a criminal conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor or a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor that results in a term of probation pursuant to Section 1203.097 of the Penal Code perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse entered by the court within five years prior to the filing of the dissolution proceeding or during the course of the dissolution proceeding, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the following shall apply:

(1) An award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse is prohibited.

(2) If economic circumstances warrant, the court shall order the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the parties to be paid from the community assets. The injured spouse shall not be required to pay any attorney’s fees of the convicted spouse out of the injured spouse’s separate property.

(3) At the request of the injured spouse, the date of separation, as defined in Section 70, shall be the date of the incident giving rise to the conviction, or earlier, if the court finds circumstances that justify an earlier date.

(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.

(d) The court may determine, based on the facts of a particular case, that the injured spouse is entitled to up to 100 percent of the community property interest in his or her retirement and pension benefits. In determining whether and how to apportion the community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits of the injured spouse, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

(1) The misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, as well as documented evidence of other instances of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s child, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence. The court shall also 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.

(2) The duration of the marriage and when, based on documented evidence, incidents of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, occurred.

(3) The extent to which the convicted spouse’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the convicted spouse to devote time to domestic duties.

(4) The extent to which the convicted spouse contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the injured spouse.

(5) The balance of the hardships to each party.

(6) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

(e) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Domestic violence misdemeanor” means a misdemeanor offense for an act of abuse, as described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 6203, perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse.

(2) “Injured spouse” means the spouse who has been the subject of the domestic violence misdemeanor for which the other spouse was convicted.

(f) The changes made to this section by the bill that added this subdivision shall only apply to convictions that occur on or after January 1, 2019.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 850, Sec. 2. (SB 1129) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4326.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), in a proceeding in which a spousal support order exists or in which the court has retained jurisdiction over a spousal support order, if a companion child support order is in effect, the termination of child support pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3901 constitutes a change of circumstances that may be the basis for a request by either party for modification of spousal support.

(b) A motion to modify spousal support based on the change of circumstances described in subdivision (a) shall be filed by either party no later than six months from the date the child support order terminates.

(c) If a motion to modify a spousal support order pursuant to subdivision (a) is filed, either party may request the appointment of a vocational training counselor pursuant to Section 4331.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), termination of the child support order does not constitute a change of circumstances under subdivision (a) in any of the following circumstances:

(1) The child and spousal support orders are the result of a marital settlement agreement or judgment and the marital settlement agreement or judgment contains a provision regarding what is to occur when the child support order terminates.

(2) The child and spousal support orders are the result of a marital settlement agreement or judgment, which provides that the spousal support order is nonmodifiable or that spousal support is waived and the court’s jurisdiction over spousal support has been terminated.

(3) The court’s jurisdiction over spousal support was previously terminated.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a party whose six-month deadline to file expired between January 1, 2014, and September 30, 2014, may file a motion pursuant to this section until December 31, 2014.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 202, Sec. 1. (AB 414) Effective August 15, 2014.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM