Skip to main content


Oakland, CA |

From 1987 to 1993, I supported my ex-wife through her last year of college and in through law school and her passing the bar. directly there after I was incarcerated and she filed for divorce and filed a chapter seven and I was not able to obtain legal assistance being incarcerated. I was told that since I since I had supported her and paid for her career I was entitled to a percentage of her income she generated from the career I had paid for. Is that correct? and if so is there a time limit or a date that I would have to file or take her to court to gain or minimally regain the cost I paid for her college.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The rights you are inquiring about would have been determined during the divorce. I do not know of any alternative other than through your divorce case.

  2. The question about "time limit" or "date" you ask is one that is answered by the Judgment on Marital Dissolution. You must obtain a copy of that document in order to answer that question. However, it sounds as though she obtained a dissolution judgment while you were incacerated, and likely by "default". It is also likely that in the default judgment, i.e. a proceeding that would have occurred in your absence, she requested of the judge that the spousal support obligation owed to either of you be "terminated". If there is nothing in the final Judgment of Dissolution stating under the topic of "Spousal Support" that the court "reserves jurisdiction" or a "reservation of jurisdiction" then you likely have no opportunity to seek any support or any part of her income.

  3. As an addendum to the advice already given, a motion to set aside judgment may be filed within a reasonable time no longer than 6 months from the date of judgment. There must be a basis made in accordance with statute, e.g., mistake, inadvertance or excusable neglect. Without actually reviewing your documents, it is difficult to provide more than general advice.

  4. If the dissolution was "finalized" and a judgment was entered, this issue would have been addressed. Alot would depend on the verbiage in the judgment.

Divorce topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics