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Setting Aside Divorce Judgments in Temecula, Riverside County

Set Aside of Divorce and Other Family Law Judgments and Orders

In some circumstances, the court may set aside (also called “vacating”) a judgment or other family court order if the facts and law allow such a set aside.  To make this happen, a party will need to file a motion with the family court where their judgment was entered.  This motion is called a “Request for Order” and when this document is filed a hearing date is set and at that hearing the court will consider whether a set aside is warranted and necessary.

Setting aside family court judgments and orders can be an extremely complex area of law and if you are contemplating filing for a set aside you should contact our office.  We are experts in family law and we have handled motions to set aside on a significant basis.  We understand all the rules and procedures involved and while this page provides a general outline of information related to setting aside judgments and orders, there are formalities that must be followed and our attorneys are also familiar with the Hemet family court judges that hear set aside motions.

Can a Marital Settlement Agreement be Set Aside Because it is Grossly Unfair?

No, unless there are grounds on another basis to set aside the judgment incorporating that MSA.  For example, if grounds exist to vacate a judgment based on fraud and the MSA is grossly unfair to one party, because the fraud basis will probably allow for the set aside the MSA will be vacated.  The simple fact that an agreement is unfair is not grounds to vacate or set aside the judgment- the Family Code specifically disallows the family court judge to set aside on the sole basis that an agreement is unfair to one party (see Family Code 2123).

What kinds of Judgments and Orders can be Set Aside?

There are numerous judgments and orders that the family courts in Riverside County can set aside.  These include Marital Settlement Agreements incorporated into a divorce (dissolution of marriage) judgment, stipulated judgments, stipulations, and Civil Code of Procedure 664.6 agreements.

What are the Legal Grounds to Set Aside a Divorce Order?

We begin the answer to this question by stating that there are several legal ways to seek a set aside in family court.  The first way is under Code of Civil Procedure 473, which allows for a party to file a set aside request within 6 months of the entry of the judgment by the court on the grounds of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, or for attorney negligence.  Next, if CCP 473 does not apply to the motion to set aside, the Family Code at section 2120 and the sections following may allow for the set aside.  Family Code 2122 provides for the grounds that a family law divorce judgment may be set aside, which includes fraud, perjury, duress, mental incapacity, mistake, and failure to follow the rules of disclosure.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Setting Aside a Divorce Agreement?

The maximum time allowed is two years for any of the grounds described above, from the date the aggrieved person learned of the problem. For example, in the case of fraud, the statute of limitations begins when the person learns of the fraud.  Most of the grounds for set aside must be pleaded within one year of the date of entry of judgment.

One additional method to set aside a judgment, and there is no statute of limitations, is when a respondent is not properly served with notice of the hearing and doesn’t have the opportunity to appear in the case.  If service was improper, the case cannot go forward and any judgments are invalid and will be set aside.

For more information about setting aside family law and divorce orders and judgments, contact our law firm today for a free, initial consultation. We are experts in the area of setting aside divorce judgments.