The divorced HB man tries once more to reform California’s “outdated” alimony regulation

A Huntington Beach man makes another attempt to reform California’s Alimony Act, this time by campaigning for a polling initiative that would limit payments to ex-spouses to a maximum of five years after a divorce or non-marital separation.

Steve Clark, a software engineer and divorced father, said this week if he had known 25 years ago that he might have to pay child support – also known as spousal support – he would not have married. He said he pays his ex-wife Cindy $ 1,000 a month and is due to do so for the rest of his life on a court order.

State law allows ex-spouses to receive maintenance for a “reasonable period”, which can be half the marriage or partnership. However, in the case of partnerships lasting 10 years or more, the judges can exercise their discretion and not set an end date for spousal maintenance.

Clark’s proposed reform initiative aims to “address the most egregious aspect of family law that is currently a potential lifelong obligation for the payer,” according to the website of his nonprofit He lists self-reliance, accountability, rights, roles and entitlements as the principles of his organization.

Clark admits he has to sharpen an ax, but says it’s the principle of the matter. He noted that child benefit is only required for 18 years.

“It really reflects a certain percentage of [the] Population in the country that has this concept of free money, “he said. “They think there is such a thing as free. It just means that someone else will pay for it. “

He added, “People don’t get married and that’s one of the reasons. I think a lot of young people hear horror stories. In this day and age it is really out of date. No need.”

His ex-wife could not be reached on Tuesday for comment.

Clark’s personal experience sparked his first unsuccessful attempt to get a reform initiative on the 2016 ballot. At that time, Clark’s proposal would only have given a year of maintenance to those who met certain hardship requirements.

Clark said the biggest hurdle in his latest proposal is raising enough money to hold a petitions company that will help collect the over 623,000 signatures required to bring the measure to voters in 2020 Month started.

Should their efforts fall short, Clark said they would keep pushing until people see the injustice.

This is the latest proposed election action by a Huntington Beach resident that has attracted attention in recent years.

In 2018, Daniel Horgan, a local real estate agent and mortgage broker, unsuccessfully circulated a petition aimed at banning semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the city. City Attorney Michael Gates later sued Horgan to prevent him from pursuing a petition the city described as a “placement” [Huntington] contrary to the second amendment to the constitution. “

In 2015, a Sacramento County judge halted the proposed election action by local attorney Matthew McLaughlin seeking to authorize the murder of gays by “bullets in the head” or “any other convenient means”.

McLaughlin’s so-called Sodomite Suppression Act did not make it to the signature collection process because the then state Atty. General Kamala D. Harris asked the court to ignore McLaughlin’s proposal and prevent him from moving forward.

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