Under Probate Code 3089, a probate court may divide community property to provide for the support and maintenance of an incompetent spouse if the competent spouse refuses to pay for it voluntarily. Here, however, the probate court erred in invoking the section and dividing community property to pay the considerable sums owed the conservator and various attorneys. Conservator and attorney fees are not support and maintenance, and Probate Code 3089 does not authorize a court to divide community property to pay those fees. Instead, fees are awarded in separately enforceable court orders—as in this case by execution of judgment liens on the proceeds of sale of the couple’s real property.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Bedsworth, J.); April 15, 2016 (published May 16, 2016; modified May 20, 2016); 2016 WL 2932364