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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Legal Divorce Vacated

    My question involves divorce in the State of: North Dakota and California

    THis is a very complicated situation and I have basically lost hope...20,000 in lawyer fees and no answers....can anyone help??

    First of all I am miltary and stationed in ND. My ex moved here with me in 2007 and went back to visit her family off and on throughout the time while I was deployed. When returning from my deployment we decided it was time to end the marriage. She moved back to California in Dec 2008 and I filed for divorce here in ND Jan 2009. She was properly served but failed to respond or appear for the divorce. I was given a default judgement and legally divorced as of March 2009. In September of 2009 she filed a motion to quash the ND judgement in California saying that ND lacked juristiction over her. There was a hearing that I attended in california with my attorney who was fighting for that motion to be quash and telling my ex she needed to come to ND to vacate the judgment if she didnt agree with it. However, California ruled in her favor and Vacated my ND judgment and set our marital status back to married. She took in no evidence to decide that california had juristiciton or not. ND had full juristriction according to my ND lawyer and my California lawyer.

    My questions are:

    Can I get married now?
    Am I divorced or still married"
    Can California vacate my ND judgement?
    Can I just ignore CA completely and go on with my normal life because I have a legal ND judgement?
    What happens to me if I do not respond or appear at the CA divorce hearing since I am already legally divorced by North Dakota?


    Any help or answer anyone could provide will be great! i need some hope!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Legal Divorce Vacated

    Quote Quoting losthope
    View Post
    My question involves divorce in the State of: North Dakota and California

    THis is a very complicated situation and I have basically lost hope...20,000 in lawyer fees and no answers....can anyone help??

    First of all I am miltary and stationed in ND. My ex moved here with me in 2007 and went back to visit her family off and on throughout the time while I was deployed. When returning from my deployment we decided it was time to end the marriage. She moved back to California in Dec 2008 and I filed for divorce here in ND Jan 2009. She was properly served but failed to respond or appear for the divorce. I was given a default judgement and legally divorced as of March 2009. In September of 2009 she filed a motion to quash the ND judgement in California saying that ND lacked juristiction over her. There was a hearing that I attended in california with my attorney who was fighting for that motion to be quash and telling my ex she needed to come to ND to vacate the judgment if she didnt agree with it. However, California ruled in her favor and Vacated my ND judgment and set our marital status back to married. She took in no evidence to decide that california had juristiciton or not. ND had full juristriction according to my ND lawyer and my California lawyer.

    My questions are:

    Can I get married now?
    Am I divorced or still married"
    Can California vacate my ND judgement?
    Can I just ignore CA completely and go on with my normal life because I have a legal ND judgement?
    What happens to me if I do not respond or appear at the CA divorce hearing since I am already legally divorced by North Dakota?


    Any help or answer anyone could provide will be great! i need some hope!

    What did your attorneys say when you asked them these questions?

    (I lived in ND for several very cold years )
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Legal Divorce Vacated

    You need to be following the advice of your lawyers. They're the ones who know the details of your case.

    Is it reasonable to infer that there's something more going on here than a divorce judgment? That is, it is difficult to believe that your ex- sought to 'set aside' a divorce judgment simply so she could file her own case and get an equivalent judgment. It would be reasonable to infer that there was an aspect (or were aspects) of the North Dakota judgment that she found objectionable, above and beyond the mere fact of divorce - such as a determination of her right to spousal support.

    As I'm sure your lawyers have told you, the California court would have jurisdiction to decide if the judgment is valid in California, and to declare certain provisions such a spousal support determination to be unenforceable as inconsistent with a California resident's Due Process rights, but would not have jurisdiction to overturn the out-of-state grant of divorce. See, e.g., Hudson v. Hudson (1959) 52 Cal.2d 735, 344 P.2d 295. If the California court contends that it in fact set aside or vacated the out-of-court judgment, as opposed to merely finding that it was entered in violation of your (sort of) ex-wife's Due Process rights and thus would not be enforced in California, talk to your lawyers about an appeal.

    As your lawyers have also no doubt informed you, if you default in a California divorce action a default judgment will ultimately be entered. But if the California court is claiming jurisdiction to award alimony, grant a share of your pension, etc., tread very carefully. Again, talk to your lawyers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2

    Default Re: Legal Divorce Vacated

    Thank you for your response. The reason why I am asking is because I really have absoulotely no money left to appeal. My california lawyer is telling me to appeal and actually they are saying that they dont know how california is doing this. But to appeal I already owe this lawyer 17,000 and in order to appeal she wants me to pay her all that money plus another retainer. I have no money left and I am considering bancrupcy. My north Dakota lawyer is telling me to do nothing because california cannot do anything because everything was legally done in ND and there is no reason why more full faith and credit should be given to CA over ND. He said I am legally divorced here in ND and the rest of the 49 states except CA so as long as I do not plan on going to CA i am good. Also that CA cannot vacate it and my ex would have to come to ND to vacate the divorce. Since I was living here for the last 2 years in ND there is no way I would have met the CA residency requirement to file there. So ND was my only option. My ex was also living here and had only returned to CA for less than 3 months when I filed so she herself would not have met the residencey requirements for CA either. Yes you are correct she is fighting for spousal support. She has never worked in her life and she said she does not want to work. ND did not award spousal support to her. Ca came in and vacated my ND divorce and awarded her 1400 a month leaving me with about 400 a month for my own expenses and this 400 a month does not cover my bills. I just do not understand why if she did not agree with the divorce than why didnt she respond to it. My lawyer even wrote her a letter explaining to her that if she didnt respond or come to the hearing either by phone or show up it would be awarded as a default. She instead waited til she met her residency requirement there in CA and turned around and filed a motion to quash saying ND lacked juristriction of her saying she moved here to ND with me however she never lived here more than six months because she went to visit her family every five months but this was not true and the judge asked for no evidence or proof. ANd awarded it to her. The CA judge however did tell her she needed to find a job and told her she needed to give my lawyer a monthly report of her good faith job efforts. In the last two months she only has applied for four jobs. One of those four jobs the place is not even open yet. the other 3 you need experience or college so she is not qualified for those. On top of her saying that she is stuggling so much she was able to afford to go to Nicaragua for vacation this DEcember for the whole month. She always is wearing new clothes and her friends say they go out and party all the time. So while I am the one actually struggling and going bancrupt she is partying and enjoying life. I was supposed to get married and I am expecting a baby. I have talked to 3 different attorneys in ND and they said I can get married. However my Ca lawyer said she doesnt recommend it because CA is saying I am still married. To me this is not fair why i should have to put my life on hold and pay more attorney fees when she had the opportunity to respond and come to the nD hearing which she didnt do. So does anyone know can i get married? And what shoudl I do follow my ND lawyer advice and doing nothing but then that means the CA divorce hearing which is in March will go to a default right and she will get what she wants? I am just confused and I have different lawyers telling me different things! Which should I do. WHat do you do if you do not have the money to appeal? My ND lawyer says california lawyers are just looking to get more money and that I have a legal judgement and unless I vacate it they cannot do it. So if I do not pay the spousal support will I go to jail? Who judgement is the legal one mine or hers? I just do not know what to do and I am loosing all hope. I am confused and I just want this over! Any advice if this was you?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Legal Divorce Vacated

    If you have an unpaid, unappealed spousal support order out of California, that could dog you even if you have a prior divorce out of North Dakota. The California court doesn't have the power to vacate a North Dakota divorce judgment, but as was previously explained it does have the power to find that North Dakota violated your ex's Due Process rights and that spousal support should have been decided in California. If you don't appeal that aspect of the finding, and don't contest the California divorce case such that the court enters a permanent support order, it's even possible that North Dakota would enforce the California support order - or that you'll have to spend even more money to keep that from happening, with her getting free enforcement services from a prosecutor's office.

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