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Initiative to Overhaul Law on Spousal Support

In a Los Angeles Times article dated May 20, 2015, entitled, Businessman seeks initiative to ‘overhaul’ outdated California alimony law,” Huntington Beach businessmen, Steve Clark, an independent software consultant, not only learned the hard way how expensive the divorce process itself can be, but was mortified upon learning that he would have to pay spousal support to his ex-wife for several years to come. Although Mr. Clark’s proposed “overhaul” of the law concerning spousal support is radical (by the text of his proposed legislation, it appears that he wants to eliminate spousal support altogether), there is clearly a need to re-examine how the family law court system operates, including, but not limited to, the way in which the amount and duration of spousal support is determined. However, barring any sudden changes to the law, current and future litigants have to operate under the statutory scheme and court system that exists today. In this regard, proper planning, both prior to marriage (for example, in the form of a prenuptial agreement) and prior to filing for divorce (educating yourself regarding California community property and family law prior to filing for divorce) can work to ease the pain and minimize the impact, both financially and emotionally, of your decision to end your marriage. You’ve heard the old saying “it’s cheaper to keep her,” which probably in Mr. Clark’s case was true.  But just as any other major decision in life, you should educate yourself and seek the appropriate professional advice prior to making any such decisions. Check out the full article.