Amended in Senate July 8, 2013

Amended in Senate May 24, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 9, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 681


Introduced by Assembly Members Melendez and Skinner

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Section 4320 ofbegin delete, and to add Section 4324.7 to,end delete the Family Code, relating to spousal support.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 681, as amended, Melendez. Spousal support.

begin insert

Existing law requires a court to consider specified factors in awarding spousal support, including documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined, between the parties.

end insert
begin insert

This bill would require a court to also consider as a factor domestic violence perpetrated by either party against either party’s child, as specified.

end insert
begin delete

Existing law provides that when a spouse is convicted of a specified violent sexual felony against the other spouse, an award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse is prohibited, and the injured spouse is entitled to 100% of the community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits of the injured spouse. Existing law requires a family court to consider the criminal conviction of an abusive spouse in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with these provisions.

end delete
begin delete

This bill would prohibit the award of spousal support to a spouse convicted of a violent sexual felony against a child that was committed on or after January 1, 2014, in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage filed on or after January 1, 2014. The bill would provide that the conviction of this felony constitutes a change in circumstances for purposes of a spousal support modification request. The bill would require a family court to consider the criminal conviction of an abusive spouse in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with these provisions.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 4320 of the Family Code is amended to
2read:

3

4320.  

In ordering spousal support under this part, the court
4shall consider all of the following circumstances:

5(a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is
6sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the
7marriage, taking into account all of the following:

8(1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market
9for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported
10party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop
11those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to
12acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.

13(2) The extent to which the supported party’s present or future
14earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that
15were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party
16to devote time to domestic duties.

17(b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the
18attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license
19by the supporting party.

20(c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support,
21taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned
22and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.

23(d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living
24established during the marriage.

25(e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property,
26of each party.

27(f) The duration of the marriage.

P3    1(g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful
2employment without unduly interfering with the interests of
3dependent children in the custody of the party.

4(h) The age and health of the parties.

5(i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence,
6as defined in Section 6211, between the partiesbegin insert or perpetrated by
7either party against either party’s childend insert
, including, but not limited
8to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic
9violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting
10party, and consideration of any history of violence against the
11supporting party by the supported party.

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

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

14(l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting
15within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage
16of long duration as described in Section 4336, a “reasonable period
17of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half
18the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is
19intended to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater
20or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in
21this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.

22(m) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be
23considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal
24support award in accordance with Section 4324.5 begin delete, 4324.7,end delete or 4325.

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

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26

SEC. 2.  

Section 4324.7 is added to the Family Code, to read:

27

4324.7.  

(a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage filed
28on or after January 1, 2014, where there is a criminal conviction
29for a violent sexual felony that was committed by one spouse
30against a child on or after January 1, 2014, and the petition for
31dissolution is filed within five years following the conviction and
32any time served in custody, on probation, or on parole, an award
33of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the other spouse
34is prohibited.

35(b) As used in this section, “violent sexual felony” means those
36offenses described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of
37subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

38(c) As used in this section, “child” means a child as defined in
39subdivision (e) of Section 6211.

P4    1(d) A criminal conviction for a violent sexual felony that was
2committed by one spouse against a child, as described in
3subdivision (a), shall constitute a change in circumstances for
4purposes of a spousal support modification request. If a change in
5circumstances occurs as a result of a conviction for a violent sexual
6felony as described in subdivision (a), any spousal support owed
7in arrears to the convicted spouse shall be vacated.

8(e) A court may order a convicted spouse to repay to the other
9spouse any spousal support received from the other spouse from
10the date of commission of the violent sexual felony against a child,
11as described in subdivision (a), to the date of conviction.

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