The California Family Code and other portions of state law govern many aspects of a divorce proceeding. Courts in this state are empowered to issue any number of orders affecting the parties’ rights to items such as marital property, spousal support, and child support. It should come as no surprise that couples who are going through the divorce process must adhere to many of the procedural and substantive legal requirements set forth under these laws. In order to best protect your rights, you are encouraged to contact an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area, who can guide you every step of the way.
The failure to comply with certain legal requirements can negatively affect your rights in a case. In a recent court decision, In re Marriage of Wisniewska, the parties lived in Poland at the time of their divorce. As one would assume, various court proceedings concerning the couple’s divorce took place in Poland, and the divorce judgment was filed there on October 21, 2010. At the time, they had two adult children living in the United States and one minor child who still lived with them in Poland. In March 2011, the husband filed papers to register an out-of-state support order in the San Mateo County Superior Court, where his ex-wife now lived, in order to enforce the divorce judgment.
It seems that the wife was the “non-custodial parent” and obligated to pay child support under the Polish divorce decree. She opposed the notice of registration, arguing that she was awaiting a ruling from a Polish court on her motion to modify the amount of child support. The trial court granted the husband’s request and registered the Polish decision. By virtue of this decision, a case was opened with the County’s Department of Child Support Services, which in turn determined that the wife owed more than $8,000 in child support. The husband took certain legal steps to enforce the support order, which the wife opposed. In response, the husband sought attorney fee sanctions under § 271 of the California Family Code.