Is the end of spousal support as we know it coming to California? If Huntington Beach resident Steve Clark and his grassroots organization CalAlimonyReform.org has their way, it could be.
Clark is an IT consultant who recently went through a divorce battle and was shocked at just how expensive spousal support (or alimony) could be in California. He has now been speaking to the press since last week, since CalAlimonyReform.org received permission from the state to start gathering signatures to get a new alimony law on the 2016 ballot.
“I was able to experience first-hand the many pitfalls associated with the process. The amount of time and money coupled with the emotional stress was more than I could have ever anticipated,” Clark told MyNewsLA.com. He also revealed to CBS Los Angeles that his spousal support battle cost $100,000. "That money was spent on lawyers when it could’ve been spent on my daughter’s education."
Clark's cause hinges on the idea that the idea of spousal support is outdated and should not be applied to every California divorce. "With approximately 47 percent of women in the U.S. labor force, alimony reform should no longer be thought of as a gender issue," Clark said. He also added that spousal support is too often wielded as a retaliatory tactic.
Putting Alimony on the 2016 Ballot
CalAlimonyReform.org now has until November 2 of this year to get signatures from 5% of a recent tally of California voters-- 365,880 in all. Under Clark's proposed legislation, existing spousal support awards of less than 10 years would be terminated, while those awards greater than 10 years would gradually be reduced to zero over a five year period.
It is still unclear what kind of support the measure would have if it collects enough signatures to make it to the 2016 ballot. CalAlimonyReform.org is currently scheduling and holding petition signing events around Southern California.
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