Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spousal Support and Child Abuse

Ed Abar was convicted of raping his stepdaughter over 16 years starting when she was 9 years old. When her mother, Carol Abar, found out what was happening to her daughter, she divorced Ed. Since Carol was the higher earner, she was ordered to pay Ed spousal support of $1,300 per month. Ed spent more than a year in jail for the rapes. A judge stayed the spousal support payments when he was in jail. He is now out of jail and seeks the reinstatement of the $1,300 per month in addition to approximately $30,000 in back-pay. At the time he was sent to prison, Carol had already paid him $22,000.

It does not appear that the judge has granted Ed’s request for spousal support, but the case caught the attention of Assemblywoman, Melissa Melendez who has introduced legislation (AB 681) which would prohibit spousal support from being awarded to a spouse who has been convicted of a violent sexual felony of a child of the marriage. Currently, while domestic violence between the spouses is taken into account when determining spousal support, child abuse is not technically a factor to be considered.

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