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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Importance of a Divorce Judgment!

"But I thought I was already divorced!?"
I have practiced divorce and family law for over a decade. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I HEARD THIS SILLY STATEMENT?
FIRST, obviously, Judgment is important because it concludes your case.

I think many clients confuse Judgment with temporary Orders, which we often see in a divorce case.

In California, there is a waiting period prior to entry of Judgment. (6 months after proper service of the initial papers). Prior to entry of Judgment, temporary Orders are often secured and enforced. (aka "pendente lite", which means pending litigation).
This leads me to the SECOND reason obtaining a JUDGMENT is important in your case.
In a divorce case, though the pre-Judgment orders are "temporary", temporary does not mean they expire automatically. "Temporary" only means until Judgment, or a subsequent Order, is entered.
In one of my cases, the parties were married for 3 short years. Divorce was filed in 1996, and a temporary order was obtained - H to pay W $1000/mo for child support and $2000/mo for spousal support.
After the temporary order was entered, both parties went their merry ways, and assumed their divorce was final.
It is now 2010. W has now filed a case with Department of Child Support Services, and alleges that NOTHING was paid for these past 14 years. There is now 1.5 million owing in back child support, and about 2.75 million owing in back spousal support.
What's wrong with this picture?
Had this case gone to Judgment, there is NO WAY the Judge would have awarded 2.75 million in spousal support; rather, spousal support would likely not exceed the length of the marriage (3 years), so maximum H would have paid would be $72,000. NOT 2.75 million.
In addition, the parties are STILL legally married.
Moral of the story: Temporary orders are insufficient. GET YOUR CASE TO JUDGMENT.


Tony Raz said...

This is a great post for anyone that needs help with finding legal advice. I found a malpractice attorney in the Los Angeles area that helped me get to the bottom of my civil suit.

Elison Duncan said...

Importance of divorce judgment wants to both side wait. But special litigation, every time get court period, submit original document in the court. All charges pay the lawyer to terms and conditions. A divorce Judgment come to in between decision.

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