Capitol Alert

Divorced dad gathers signatures to limit alimony payments in California

A Southern California businessman is renewing a campaign to give voters a say over the state’s divorce and spousal support laws.

An initiative proposed by Steve Clark of Huntington Beach would restrict judges from ordering someone to pay more than five years of alimony to his or her divorced spouse.

He must collect signatures from 623,212 registered voters by Feb. 3, 2020 to qualify the initiative for the ballot that year, according to an announcement from Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Clark filed paperwork for a similar initiative in 2014. It did not go before voters.

Clark’s battle to amend the state law was rooted in his own divorce and alimony dispute, which he said cost him thousands of dollars, according to his website

“That money was spent on lawyers when it could’ve been spent on my daughter’s education,” he told KCAL in 2015.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.