Beware of the Gavron Warning

by | Sep 24, 2021 | Divorce, Spousal Support

The divorce process sets both spouses up to go back to single life, while still ensuring neither is completely left behind. Parties must divide their assets acquired during marriage, and one spouse is often ordered to financially support the other by way of spousal support. Once the court orders support, it also has discretion to issue what is called a Gavron warning. No party should take this warning lightly, as it can have serious consequences on the support given and received.

What Is A Gavron Warning?
A Gavron warning comes from case law that has been codified in Family Code section 4330, subdivision (b). The Family Code specifies that the court has discretion to warn recipients of spousal support that they should make reasonable efforts to become self-supporting in a “reasonable period of time,” considering his or her circumstances. A reasonable period of time differs depending on the length of the marriage. The Family Code specifies that for marriages that lasted longer than 10 years, the supported spouse will have half the length of the marriage to become self-supporting. A Gavron warning can be given either verbally or in writing by the court.

How Do I Comply With A Gavron Warning?
The best way to comply with a Gavron warning is by using reasonable, good-faith efforts to obtain employment, or if already employed, making sure your job matches your skill set and education levels. This sounds vague and quite objective – and that’s because it is. Courts want to make sure that they are considering the specific and unique set of circumstances in each family law case. Thus, the standards in determining whether the supported spouse has complied with the Gavron warning have more meaning once the facts of your case are applied.

What Are The Consequences Of Not Complying?
If the court issues a Gavron warning to the supported spouse and they fail to make reasonable, good-faith efforts to become self-supporting during the allotted time, the court may impute income to them when determining spousal support. This means that the supported spouse may end up receiving less support or no support at all.

Complying with a Gavron warning can be tricky. That’s why it is best to consult with a family law attorney when handling spousal support. Contact Butler Law, PC today! One of our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process.