Tasha Smith's Divorce Shows How Domestic Violence Allegations Can Affect Spousal Support Payments


When a Pasadena divorce is pending, the lower earning spouse is often left worrying about how to make ends meet until the settlement is finalized. To help ensure that basic expenses are paid, a judge can require temporary spousal support

Although most of us think of women as the ones receiving spousal support, men are eligible to receive payments if they earn less than their wives. Why Did I Get Married? actress Tasha Smith has recently been ordered to pay $50,000 in up-front spousal support payments to estranged husband Keith Douglas. The money is intended to help him pay necessary expenses until the court rules on a permanent solution.

Douglas and Smith were married in December 2010, after dating for one year. Douglas was serving as her manager until their split. They have no children together, but their divorce has been filled with allegations of domestic violence by both parties. Douglas was the first to file a restraining order, claiming that Smith's frequent drinking sent her into violent rages. In response, Smith filed her own restraining order claiming that Douglas was in fact the abusive party and suffered from fits of jealousy during which he accused her of sleeping with other women.

Although California is considered a no-fault divorce state, allegations of domestic violence can play a role in eligibility for alimony. If a spouse has been convicted of domestic violence within the five years prior to the dissolution proceeding, there is a presumption that the abusive spouse should not receive alimony payments. This rule is intended to protect higher earning spouses from being forced to finance their abuse, although the convicted spouse is allowed to submit evidence to rebut the presumption against him or her.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation or have questions about your eligibility for spousal support, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our experienced Pasadena divorce lawyers can help you receive a settlement that will protect your long-term financial interests.