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Recovering assets provided by a family law judgment

Divorced spouses in California may be aware that it is their responsibility to collect the money that they are entitled to from a divorce judgment. The family law court plays no role in the collection of assets or money that a spouse is due from property division proceedings. The recipient may seek collection as soon as the judgment has been entered by the court and if no injunction or stay order has been issued regarding the payment.

The former spouse who owes the money may be provided with an address for mailing the payment. If the spouse agrees to pay the amount in one lump sum, the other party can accept an amount less than what has been specified by the court. However, agreement to accept lesser payment means that no further claim on the subtracted amount may be made.

Another option for collection is payments on a regular basis. If the paying partner fails to pay on time, a reminder letter along with a copy of the court order may be issued. If the payment is not made voluntarily and according to the order, serious legal action to force payment may be pursued against the owing party.

However, illegal methods cannot be used to collect money owed. These methods include harassing the former spouse for payment, attempting to spoil the person's social or professional image by divulging to an employer or other people the spouse's debts from the divorce, unnecessary inquiry about the person's whereabouts and contacting the person early in the morning or late at night.

The debtor may be protected by certain laws regarding debt collection and any untoward act on the part of the person who owes the money may go against that person. If the former spouse is unwilling to pay, the best advice might be to consult a lawyer to provide the necessary suggestions regarding payment recovery.

Source: Courts.CA.gov, "Collect Your Family Law Money Judgment," Accessed on May 15, 2015

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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