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What are the statue of limitations on collecting a judgement in a family law judgement in California?

Los Angeles, CA |

The judgement was made in 1999. My ex-husbands was ordered to pay 1700.00 and 10% annual interest if not paid. He never paid so I recently filed a motion for the judge to total what he owes me. We have a future court date. He hired an attorney and the attorney called me telling me I'm a little to late to collect and that he paid me? My question is am I to late and if not what can I do?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Was this for child support or spousal support? Why did you wait this long to seek enforcement? Were any efforts made by you over the last 13 years?

Asker

Posted

No this was for back rent. He was living in my house. Well I got awarded the house and he wouldn't move out. He finally did and that money was for back rent while he was living there and he wasn't suppose to be living there. So this judgement was included in our final divorce. I do not have a good reason. I really didn't know how the whole process worked and finally found out and decided to collect. The reason I decided to try and collect is because I owe him 20,000.00 in back support and I need a total he owes me because I was going support and see if they could deduct the amount he owes me off my back support.. No other efforts were made by me.

Posted

California Family Code Section 291 provides that a money judgment entered under the Family Code, including a Judgment for Child, Family or Spousal Support, is enforceable until paid in full or otherwise satisfied. In an action to enforce a judgment for Child, Family or Spousal Support, the defense of laches may be raised only with respect to a support obligation owed to the state. The 1986 Federal Bradley Amendment also overrides any state Statute of Limitations on Child Support. Some years back (I don't recall when), there was a 10-year Statute of Limitations on enforcement of support obligations, which was subsequently repealed, either by the predecessor of Family Code Section 291, or by Family Code Section 291 itself. As to support arrearages which were 10 years overdue as of the effective date of the repealing statute, there may be a question as to the retroactivity of the repealing statute - if it isn't retroactive, then support obligations that were over 10 years overdue as of the repealing statute's effective date might not be collectible. Section 291's effective date was 2006, so the support obligation which your question addresses should be fully enforceable, in any event. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your enforcement proceedings.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Judith Ann Routledge

Judith Ann Routledge

Posted

As this seems to be a "one-time" payment of $1700, I doubt that it is for support.

Posted

Mr. Conviser is correct-- support judgements now are "evergreen" although some arguments have been made on the issue of "laches." HOWEVER the judge will not " total what he owes me"-- you must do that. Each payment starts to accrue the 10% simple interest as of the day it was not made so it is a fairly complex process assessing what it owed. (IF this was for support.)

if it was $1700 due as a division of community property it is barred by the 10 year statute.

Judith Ann Routledge

Judith Ann Routledge

Posted

FC 291 seems to incorporate more than just support judgments?

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

I stand corrected. Either this has been amended or I was given bad info at that MCLE class!

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