Gavron Warnings and Spousal Support
Spousal support in California is not an automatically ordered by the family court when going through a divorce. As more women continue to provide a second household income, they are not given as often as some people might think. Additionally, Gavron warnings are becoming more common in negotiated marital settlements between experienced divorce attorneys that include spousal support.
Family Code § 4330(b)
The Gavron warning does not have a set definition, but California Family Code § 4330(b) discusses the advisement given to spouses expecting or asking for spousal support. Family Code § 4330(b) states:
When making an order for spousal support, the court may advise the recipient of support that he or she should make reasonable efforts to assist in providing for his or her support needs, taking into account the particular circumstances considered by the court pursuant to Section 4320, unless, in the case of a marriage of long duration as provided for in Section 4336, the court decides this warning is inadvisable.
Short vs Long-term Marriage
Since a Gavron warning is discretionary, a family law judge may or may not give it to spouses in short-term marriages. In California a long-term marriage is generally a marriage of 10 years or longer. In some cases, a marriage of less than 10 years can be considered a long-term marriage. Any questions on how a long-term marriage and the Gavron warning should be discussed with a spousal support attorney in Sacramento during a free consultation.
How is a Gavron warning given?
A Gavron warning can be given verbally in court or in writing. It is usually given in a long-term marriage. The Gavron warning can be given regardless of whether the supported spouse is employed. Once again, the family court has discretion on whether to give a Gavron warning. This is especially true when the supported spouse is underemployed. This leads to the question about how much time should be given to a spouse to make reasonable efforts to assist in his or her support needs after a Gavron warning. California law has generally stated “fair” notice.
Every request for spousal support is going to have its own unique circumstances. The spouse who does not have a positive work history, education and skills to become employed in a short period of time should not be treated the same as one who has these advantages. However, a judge may not give a Gavron warning to a spouse (regardless of work suitability) who is entering their later, non-income producing, years of life.
The Court may also have the discretion to give a Gavron warning with a temporary spousal support order. Generally, that would be a little unusual. Typically, Gavron warnings are more commonly given, if at all, at the time of judgment.