While family legal issues in a single case can be multiple and various, it is common for disputes involving child custody, visitation rights or financial support to require a court decision. Each state has its own laws and mandates regarding family law, but changes and modifications to these laws often stem from cases in other states.
Austin readers may be interested in the recent decision in a case involving a woman who was ordered to pay spousal support to her ex-husband as part of the terms of their divorce. The case was heard in California, but the situation could also take place in Texas. On Nov. 6, a Superior Court judge ordered that the woman, whose ex-husband is currently in prison for sexually assaulting her, would not have to pay the man’s divorce attorney $25,000.
As part of the divorce settlement, the woman agreed to pay the attorney $47,000 in legal fees. However, after a continued battle over whether the woman would have to pay her ex-husband spousal support, the attorney requested the additional $25,000. The judge’s decision was reportedly based largely in part on a California law set to go into effect in 2013 that stops a judge from being able to order a victim of spousal abuse to pay his or her ex spousal support.
It is unclear whether other states will begin to adopt similar legislation, but the ruling in this case may eventually affect family law courts across the country. There are many factors that go into a court’s decision regarding alimony and child support. It is important for all of those involved in such disputes to be fully aware of their options for obtaining a truly equitable settlement.
Source: nctimes.com, “Assaulted spouse escapes bill for ex’s legal fees,” Teri Figueroa, Nov. 12, 2012