Is Child Abuse a Reason to Deny Alimony Payments?


Divorce laws are made with the intention of supporting equal treatment for both spouses, but there are occasionally cases that cause even the most seasoned Pasadena divorce lawyers to pause. Recently, California mother Carol Abar came forward with a horrifying tale regarding the payment of spousal support.

Ms. Abar says her young daughter, a child from a previous relationship, was raped by Mr. Abar for 16 years. When the daughter came forward with the abuse charges, Ms. Abar immediately filed for divorce. As part of the divorce decree, Ms. Abar had to make spousal support payments of $1,300 per month to her ex-husband Ed Abar.

Mr. Abar spent over a year in jail for charges related to the abuse and is currently a registered sex offender. The payments stopped while he was incarcerated, but he requested to have spousal support resumed upon his release. He is asking for $33,000 in past due support as well as resumption of future payments.

California law allows the court to take domestic abuse into consideration when deciding if alimony is appropriate. This means that a person who would otherwise be responsible for paying alimony could be released from the payment obligation if he or she left the marriage to escape an abusive spouse. However, child abuse is not specifically mentioned as a reason for denying a request for alimony even though leaving the marriage is clearly in the best interests of the child being abused. Therefore, it's possible the court could again rule in Mr. Abar's favor since there is no claim of domestic abuse involved.

As you might expect, Ms. Abar is fighting her ex-husband's request. She says that the ordeal has made both her and her daughter feel victimized once more.

Alimony cases often involve complex issues, even when there is no claim of abuse. It's crucial to hire a skilled attorney if you're involved in a divorce that includes a request for spousal support. As evidenced by the case of Carol Abar, the family court system does not always operate in the way that you might expect. Having a professional to advocate for your interests is the best way to protect yourself

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If you have questions regarding alimony payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce firm can provide the quality legal representation you need to handle any divorce-related issue.