California Court of Appeals Affirms Decision Ordering Wife to Reimburse Husband's Spousal Support Payments
During separation or divorce, spousal support is the payment that a court orders one spouse to pay to the other, on a monthly basis, for general support. Determining the amount of spousal support is a complicated process, and one that is not governed by any specific legal guidelines. The amount awarded fluctuates from case to case. Parties are encouraged to consult with an experienced San Diego family law attorney, someone who has detailed knowledge of the local laws and practices. Doing so will help to ensure that your right to receive a suitable amount of support is met (or to protect you from paying an unreasonable amount of spousal support).
Many surprising disputes have arisen over the right to receive spousal support in family law cases throughout California. In a recent court of appeals case, a husband sought to terminate his spousal support payments to his wife based on evidence that she remarried. The wife opposed the motion, arguing that she never actually remarried, but rather, merely procured a marriage license in Arizona without "consummating" the marriage. The parties later obtained an annulment, which she claimed was not the same as a divorce.
Here, the parties were married in 1985 and had two children who are both adults. The wife filed for divorce in 2000 and the judgment of dissolution was entered in 2001. After being awarded a temporary monthly support of $1,423, the wife was later awarded $2,400 in spousal support for five years beginning July 2002. At that point, the husband was also ordered to pay wife's attorney's fees of $25,000. Five years later, in October 2007, the wife sought a modification of spousal support - to permanent support, claiming that she had several medical conditions that prevented her from obtaining full-time employment. In June 2008, the court reinstated the $2,400 monthly payment, and the following year the award became permanent. The court ordered the husband to pay additional attorney's fees of $10,000.