Bill prevents alimony payment in assault cases

April 12, 2012 6:12:02 PM PDT
The State Assembly unanimously passed a bill preventing a spouse convicted of violent sexual assault to be awarded alimony and attorney's fees.

"It speaks to the issue of the law, the loophole in the law, that in effect resulted in Crystal Harris -- a San Diego County woman -- actually having to pay her abuser. It just didn't make logical sense," said the bill's author, Assm. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

That abuser was the woman's husband. Currently, judges cannot award spouses alimony or other benefits, only when the spouse is convicted of attempted murder or solicitation of murder. The legislation passed Thursday will add violent sexual felonies to that restriction.

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