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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 15, 2017 02:21 PM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence and Rep. Brandon P. Neuman
To: All House members
Subject: Cosponsor Memo - Ensuring a Victim of Domestic Violence is not Forced to Pay Their Abuser APL
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to make an abusive spouse ineligible to receive alimony pendente lite (APL) from the person that he or she was convicted of abusing.
The purpose of APL is to ensure financial fairness during the divorce process. While we recognize this very legitimate purpose, we would respectfully contend that it is never “fair” for a spouse to have to financially support someone they are divorcing because that person beat them.
This legislation comes in response to a terrible, but not unfortunately not unique, situation involving a financially successful woman who had been abused by her husband. Her husband was charged and pled guilty to assaulting his wife. Upon filing for divorce, the victim’s attorney informed her that she would almost certainly be ordered to pay APL to her soon-to-be ex-husband, because she made more money than he did. Sure enough, the court ordered her to pay APL to her abuser.
This legislation specifically addresses APL; it does not affect any eventual property settlement. In addition, it only applies where the abusive spouse was convicted of abuse, based on a standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
We would appreciate your support and cosponsorship of this initiative.

Introduced as HB983