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Following a default judgment of uncontested divorce - property and asset division. What to do when other party can't be found?

San Francisco, CA |

The other party is hiding and sending threatening and harassing messages via email to family and friends. Domestic violence restraining order granted but unable to be personally serve. How to proceed with judgment collection?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. How were they served? If they were properly served, then file a Request for Default and then ask the court to set a trial date. Send your documents to the last known address if they were indeed properly served, It is their responsibility to make the court aware of any address changes.


  2. Your first step is to ensure that you have a valid judgment in the family court. Was service done properly and was a proof of service filed? Once you determine if your judgment is valid and will withstand any motions to set aside you can begin the collections process. You should contact an attorney to discuss your collections alternatives.


  3. It is unclear if you are asking for a default in a divorce or a DVRO. If you have been able to serve the divorce papers then you should be able to collect a default judgment. Once the judgment is entered in your favor you can use it to collect the assets you are entitled to. If your former spouse lives in another state you will need to register your California judgment in that state in order to collect his/her assets there

    The Law Offices of Durham and Ng represent clients in family law matters throughout the state of California and offers free consultations. However, the above answer is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. The facts of each individuals case are unique and no legal advice can be offered without a thorough review of your specific facts and court filings.


  4. With the advent of the internet, locating someone has become easier. Do an online search and get an inexpensive background or address search. Attempts have been made to go "off the grid" by very smart people, unsuccessfully. Good process servers can lend assistance. Be sure to file the Abstract of Judgment as to money owed you with the county recorder. Personal service will be required, but can be done by publication, if properly requested of the court. Collection can be difficult, perhaps consulting an attorney that specifically handles it would be best.

    The comments made here are meant to direct you to receive local consultation from an attorney in your area and ask proper, detailed questions to get the best legal advice upon which you can take appropriate action.

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