Pursuant to Family Code section 4320(m), there is a rebuttable presumption that when there has been a criminal conviction for an act of domestic violence by one spouse against the other within 5 years before, or any time after, filing of the dissolution petition, a court should not make a spousal support award to the abusive spouse.
So, what does this mean? If you have been convicted of an act of domestic violence by your spouse within 5 years (before or after the filing of the divorce petition), a court has discretion to not award the abusive spouse with spousal support.
Does the abusive spouse have any recourse? For instance, if the abusive spouse has redeemed himself or herself, if he or she has attended anger management classes etc., is there a chance to obtain spousal support, especially, if there is a great disparity in income between the parties? According to the same code section, in order to rebut the presumption set forth above, “the court may consider, among other things, documented evidence of a convicted spouse’s history as a domestic violence victim.”