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Legal Information: California

Statutes: California

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January 5, 2024

4324.5. Violent sexual felony; domestic violence felony; prohibited awards

(a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where there is a criminal conviction for a violent sexual felony or a domestic violence felony perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse and the petition for dissolution is filed before five years following the conviction and any time served in custody, on probation, or on parole, the following shall apply:

(1) An award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the injured spouse is prohibited.

(2) If economic circumstances warrant, the court shall order the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the parties to be paid from the community assets. The injured spouse shall not be required to pay any attorney’s fees of the convicted spouse out of the injured spouse’s separate property.

(3) At the request of the injured spouse, the date of separation, as defined in Section 70, shall be the date of the incident giving rise to the conviction, or earlier, if the court finds circumstances that justify an earlier date.

(4) The injured spouse shall be entitled to 100 percent of the community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits of the injured spouse.

(b) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Domestic violence felony” means a felony offense for an act of abuse, as described in Section 6203, perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse.

(2) “Injured spouse” means the spouse who has been the subject of the violent sexual felony or domestic violence felony for which the other spouse was convicted.

(3) “Violent sexual felony” means those offenses described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

(c) If a convicted spouse presents documented evidence of the convicted spouse’s history as a victim of a violent sexual offense, as described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, or domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, perpetrated by the other spouse, the court may determine, based on the facts of the particular case, that one or more of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a) do not apply.

(d) The changes made to this section by the bill that added this subdivision shall only apply to convictions that occur on or after January 1, 2019.