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Gavron Warning - how enforceable is this?

Riverside, CA |

When a judge issues a Gavron warning to an ex-wife, how enforceable is this warning? If and when the ex-spouse has not really been making any reasonable effort to look for employment, what's the Gavron warning’s impact on this situation and how can it be imposed?

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Attorney answers 3


The "Gavron warning" is generally given in any case in which one party is asking for spousal support and appears to not be making a REASONABLE effort to become self-supporting or closer to self-supporting. How much "enforcement" occurs depends both on the judge hearing the case and how employable the receiving spouse can be shown to be.


Did the judge give a time line when he gave the warning? The Judge has discretion in deciding when enough time has passed and a person should be self-supporting. He/she will look at all the facts and from that make a determination. When a Judge gives a Gavron warning, a time limit will often be placed on it which lets the supported person know that the Judge is going to look at the issue again.

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


The Gavron warning can be enforced. When it is given at the time the spousal support order is made, there is usually no time table established for the reasonable time period. If enough time has passed and the other party has made no effort to become self supporting, you would have to file an Order to Show Cause to terminate the support order. The court would probably give the ex-spouse additional time (setting a specific time table) or might even reduce support in a step-down method.

This can create problems, because if you ask the court to terminate the order, she can ask for the court to raise the order. You need to talk with an experienced Family Law attorney before you open this door.

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