family law money judgement been issued against your former spouse or domestic partner
for something such as back
spousal support, or medical expenses for your children?
If your spouse has not sent you the payment, you will have to collect on
the judgement your ex-spouse or domestic partner owes you; the court does
NOT collect on money judgements for people.
When can you begin collecting on the money your ex owes you? You can initiate
collection once the judgement has been entered providing there is no stay
(a suspension or delay in enforcing the order because of a bankruptcy
case, appeal, or other legal action).
What You Can Do
Let’s say that there is no stay preventing you from enforcing the
judgement. In that case, you can give your ex-spouse or domestic partner
an address where they can mail your payment. If you choose, you can offer
to accept less than the full judgement if your ex pays you right away.
If you agree to accept less than the full amount, you are forfeiting your
right to receive the rest of what’s owed to you.
What if my ex does not pay me?
If your ex does not pay you by the date the court ordered him or her to,
the next step is to send them a letter with a copy of the court order.
In this letter, you can remind your ex that he or she owes you the money,
and if they don’t pay you, you may need to take further action.
If your former spouse or domestic partner has a judgement against him or
her for money they owe you and they refuse to pay you, we recommend contacting
an attorney from our office. It can get complicated and it can take a
long time to collect what you are owed without a lawyer’s guidance.
Whatever you do, do not resort to illegal means to collect your debt. For
example, do NOT:
- Lie about the debt
- Harass your ex
- Ask someone else about where your ex is located
- Tell your ex’s employer about the money they owe you
- Talk to other people about what your ex owes you
- Contact your ex before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. about the debt
If you need further information about collecting on a family law judgement,
don’t hesitate to
contact the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Cleary & Green, LLP for a free