There Is Such a Thing as "Bad Publicity"

For a prime example of lack of insight into potential litigation ramifications see today's opinion in Marriage of Schu, B269831 in which Division Six of the Second Appellate District published an opinion beginning with the legal point: "California's so called 'No Fault Divorce' law does not require a court to ignore evidence of fault when deciding spousal support. This is especially the case when the spouse seeking support is guilty of domestic violence." In affirming the trial court's denial of support to Genise Gomez, the Court explained her acts of domestic violence were sufficient support for an order denying her spousal support.

An interesting legal point, but "What did she do?" you might inquire. The opinion recounted that, not only did Gomez supply alcohol and pornographic movies to her kids and their friends, but she also began having oral sex with her son's 12-year-old friend, progressing to intercourse, with these events lasting several years. When it appeared this would become public, Gomez told one of her children to hold down her daughter while she hacked off her hair because she would not supply information permitting her access to social media sites. This humiliated her daughter, causing her long-term emotional damage.

The legal point was this conduct was more than sufficient to constitute "domestic violence" sufficient to justify a denial of child support. The other lesson to be learned -- other than not committing crimes against minors -- is that not only do physical actions have consequences, but advancing legal arguments may have long-term consequences as well. Ms. Gomez' deeds are now recounted in a case published in California's official reports, enshrined in law libraries in perpetuity. Not only that, but an internet search reveals multiple webpages announcing a "child molester" was suing her ex-husband for child support.

It would seem the appellant would have been a lot better off slinking away in quiet ignomy, rather than risking permanent publicity by seeking a few thousand dollars a month. Read the opinion: