Contact Us for a Free Consultation 818-528-3471


Gavron Warning in California Spousal Support

Posted by Furman & Zavatsky | Nov 07, 2019

If you're going through a divorce, you are experiencing plenty of new legal terms, processes, and documents that are probably utterly confusing to you. That's to be expected, and your experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney will not only carefully guide you through the divorce process but will also strive to ensure that you know what to expect and that you understand what you're dealing with every step of the way.

Gavron Warning in California Spousal Support

A common misconception about spousal support – also known as alimony – is that the payments will last forever. In California, they simply don't and you are expected to become self-supporting.

The primary intent of spousal support is to protect a spouse who has become financially dependent of their former spouse, and to receive regular monthly payments until they can achieve financial independence.

A Gavron Warning is when the family court judge gives notice to a spousal support recipient they have to make a reasonable effort to become partially or fully financially independent of their former spouse. It's a legal document that you've probably never heard of before, but it's nothing to fear.

If you receive spousal support (alimony) in your divorce, it means that the court has determined that you aren't able to sustain the standard of living you enjoyed in your marriage without financial support and that your ex is capable of paying said support.

The court, however, does not usually intend this financial support to go on indefinitely. Instead, you'll be expected to work toward supporting yourself with a reasonable amount of time, and that's where the Gavron Warning comes in.

To give readers a better understanding about spousal support and the Gavron Warning, our California divorce attorneys are providing an overview below

Spousal Support

Spousal support is court-ordered monthly payments made by one spouse in the marriage to the other. It exists to allow a spouse who is not self-supporting to maintain a standard of living that was established during their marriage.

Depending on the circumstances in a divorce, a family court judge could order a spouse to pay the other support for a specific amount of time. As stated above, spousal support payments are not designed to last indefinitely.

Any spousal support recipient, and the spouse making the payments, needs to know how a Gavron Warning could be ordered by judge as a way to modify or terminate spousal support.

While there is no guarantee of spousal support in a California divorce, if you can demonstrate to the court that you have financial need and that your divorcing spouse has the means to cover it, you may be eligible for spousal support.

The court's goal is to allow you to continue living at the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage until you can become more self-sufficient. In other words, spousal support is intended as a stepping stone toward financial independence instead of as a permanent answer.

Gavron Warning

California Family Code 4330 defines a Gavron warning as follows:

When making a spousal support order, the court may advise a recipient of support they need to make reasonable efforts to assist in providing for their support needs, taking into account the circumstances considered by the court under Section 4320, unless, in the case of a marriage of long duration under Section 4336, the court decides the warning is inadvisable.

It should be noted the definition gives the judge discretion – and their decision to give the Gavron warning will depend on the circumstances. The lawyer for the spouse can ask the court to issue a Gavron warning, but the judge will make the final decision.

In simple terms, the main purpose of a Gavron warning is a way to set a time limit on how long one spouse must pay spousal support.

A Gavron Warning is a notice that is issued by the judge to the spouse who receives spousal support. This warning will let you know that – although you are receiving spousal support in the present – you are expected to move toward financial independence.

The warning is a mechanism for informing you that the court expects you to make every reasonable effort to support yourself financially within a reasonable period. Often, judges issue Gavron Warnings at the same time that they establish spousal support.

The Gavron Warning's Origins

The Gavron warning began with a divorce case that was ultimately decided in appellate court. It was determined that, before spousal support can be either modified or terminated, the court must provide the party receiving spousal support of his or her obligation to put forth reasonable efforts to become less financially dependent. After that case, the Gavron Warning was codified into California Law.

It's important to point out that Gavron Warnings are not issued in every instance of spousal support. In fact, the court takes many considerations under advisement in determining whether the warning is appropriate. There are certain factors that generally make a Gavron Warning less likely, including:

  • If you were married at least 10 years
  • If you supported your spouse while he or she became more financially successful
  • If you gave up a career to stay home and raise the children

If you do receive a Gavron Warning, however, you will need to work toward becoming more financially independent within a reasonable amount of time. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you need to start looking for a job or return to school before the ink dries on your divorce decree.

What is a Reasonable Period of Time?

A reasonable period of time in which to become financially self-supporting is subject to interpretation, but it does not mean immediately.

Again, the amount of time deemed reasonable is likely to be predicated upon how long your marriage lasted and other such factors. A marriage of more than 10 years (a marriage of long duration) is likely to be given more careful consideration by the court.

If you were married less than 10 years, the general definition of a reasonable period of time is half the number of years you were married. For example, if you were married eight years, four years of spousal support will likely be considered reasonable.

Experienced Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Whatever your divorce concerns are, our dedicated divorce lawyers serve the greater Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley.

We understand it can be difficult to support yourself without alimony, but failing to follow the Gavron Warning could result in modification or termination of your spousal support. This is why you should seek advice from our family law attorneys as we have been helping clients with spousal support matters for many years.

We have the experience, compassion, and skill to help you. Our knowledgeable legal team is committed to skillfully advocating for the spousal support to which you are entitled. To schedule a free consultation, contact or call us our law firm.

Furman & Zavatsky
15821 Ventura Blvd #690
Encino, CA 91436

About the Author

Call a Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer

Family law disputes have the potential to have a significant impact on your quality of life and overall happiness. As a result, it is critical for you to protect your rights to the fullest extent possible when involved in a dispute related to family law. The lawyers of Furman & Zavatsky have the skill and experience to resolve your case as favorably as possible and provide compassionate and understanding legal counsel and representation. We also offer flat fee legal services for divorce and family law issues.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys, call our office today at 818-528-3471. Read our blog on how to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer.

Furman & Zavatsky
17200 Ventura Blvd., #105
Encino, CA 91316
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 09:00am - 05:00pm