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California Spousal Support: What is a Gavron Warning?

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If you’re dealing with California spousal support negotiations or court proceedings, you should probably familiarize yourself with Gavron warnings. The term originated from a California appellate court decision called the Marriage of Gavron over 20 years ago.

The Gavron warning is a fair warning to the supported spouse in a California divorce case that he or she is expected to become self-supporting. Gavron warnings are often issued simultaneously alongside permanent spousal support orders.

Gavron warnings in California have complex layers in connection with Family Code section 4330. There is not a precise definition for Gavron Warning, but the Gavron decision is codified by Family Code 4330(b), so Californians have guidance.

In California Family Code 4330(b) it states:

“(b) 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.”

The legislation’s use of the phrase “may advise” when describing the court’s application of this piece of legislature means that the court does not have to issue a Gavron warning. The law code specifically advices California family court judges that they can decide not to issue a Gavron warning in cases involving marriages considered “long duration.” Long duration in terms of California divorce court tends to indicate a marriage of 10 years or more, but marriages that last less than ten years can still, in some cases, be considered “long term” by the judge hearing the case.

If you would like to issue a Gavron warning or if you have been issued a Gavron warning, please get in touch with one of the experienced California divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.

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