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I was recently divorced through the Superior Court of California Placer County and my ex had an attorney and I did not.

Sacramento, CA |

Needless to say, I did not end up with an equitable division of our assets. My concern is with the language in the "Order after Hearing" that was filed by his attorney. The attorney wrote that "All arrears are set at zero". I need direction on how to have this removed from the "Order" as I never agreed to this as settlement nor did my ex ever file to have his arrears reduced or "set at zero". My ex is more than 32,000 in arrears and I want to have the State help me collect but fear they won't be able to with how the Order reads. I believe I read somewhere that the Judge (or Commissioner in my case) does not have jurisdiction to cancel or set at zero child support arrears.

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Attorney answers 4


I'm sorry that you're going through this. There are a lot of facts here which you didn't mention and you do have a statue of limitations issue. My suggestion: hire a lawyer to review the order and your case for your and advise you as to how to proceed. Avvo is intended for general answers and to be informational. You probably saw the disclaimer Avvo gives to all Avvo askers. What you're asking is really for legal advice which would necessitate an attorney client relationship.


As noted in the prior answer there seems to be a significant number of facts missing from your question that precludes an attorney from giving you meaningful advise in this forum. However, with regards to collecting on any arrears that may exist you should contact your county Department of Child Support Services, assuming that your case involves child support and not just spousal support. The Department will assist you in collecting support from your ex-husband at no cost, although the process may move more slowly than it would through private counsel.

You should also consult with an experienced family law attorney in your local community to determine what options you may have with regards to an appeal, set aside, or motion for reconsideration. Time is a significant factor in all of these options and accordingly you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible.

Any substantive or procedural information contained in this response is for informational purposes only. The provision of this information does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. To obtain legal advice relevant to your situation you should contact a local family law attorney. The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy is happy to provide a free one-hour consultation to individuals located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.


Unfortunately, you are already experiencing the consequences of not have an attorney. And, now, you are continuing that same path, expecting a different result. Unless you have a full understanding of California Family Law and California Evidence Code, you are going to have the same results as you experienced previously. There are a number of places that provide free/low cost legal services for those who qualify. For those who do not, it is a choice to either hire an attorney or not. The decision to not hire an attorney can end up costing you more than it would have to retain qualified counsel.

I agree with my learned colleagues: there is not enough information to give you an accurate response - it's like asking a Doctor to diagnose you without allowing him/her to examine you first. This forum is for general information. Your situation is complex and requires focused legal examination.

Get an attorney before you create more regrets.

Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.


Time is of the essence and you need to hire an attorney immediately in your are who can help you. If it is an order after hearing you only have 10 days to file a motion for reconsideration and you must provide new facts, something that an experienced lawyer will know how to do.