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Making Foreign Divorce Judgments, Orders, and Decrees Valid and Enforceable California Court Orders
People from every country come to California to pursue their dreams and to escape financial and personal problems. They bring with them the baggage of unsatisfied obligations for support, unresolved child custody disputes, and unpaid property settlements. Ex-spouses and lovers follow the scofflaws here with their foreign court orders to collect what is owed. Stolen children, unpaid support, and unsatisfied money judgments are the fallout from a litigious and peripatetic populace. The challenge for the California lawyer is to enforce a foreign court order issued under an alien court system with different rules, procedures, and standards.
Before California law can be utilized to enforce foreign (3) divorce judgments the foreign court order (4) must first be established as a California order. To establish the order as a California order, it must be recognized by our courts as valid.
The full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution prescribes that a state must recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. (5) However, this mandate does not apply to the decrees of foreign countries. Even without the assurance of the full faith and credit clause, our courts may give recognition to the judgment of a foreign nation as matter of comity. The comity doctrine holds that, as a courtesy, a court may recognize a foreign court order, but is not compelled to do so. This extension or denial of comity is discretionary and is reviewed on an abuse of discretion standard, (6) allowing the trial court wide latitude. Because the comity doctrine is discretionary, it is undependable.
Due to the comity doctrine's unreliability, business and government agencies have lobbied successfully for legislation that will ensure that support orders, money judgments, and custody decrees issued in foreign countries will be recognized by our courts in the same manner as they would recognize the judgments of the other states. The statutes that serve this purpose were drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act is primarily designed to enforce custody decrees (7) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act enforces support orders (8) between the states. They each, however, include provisions that allow for the recognition of foreign country court orders. The Uniform Foreign Recognition of Money Judgments Act (9) ("UFMJRA") was drafted specifically to ensure that money judgments from other countries will be recognized by California courts.
The uniform laws relating to support and custody permit the registration of foreign court orders and objections to registration and enforcement issues are resolved in the Family Law Department of the Superior Court. Registration simplifies the process because the order becomes a California court order at the time of registration. On the other hand, to obtain recognition of orders for the payment of non-support foreign money judgments under UFMJRA, a complaint must be filed to establish the judgment in the Superior Court. The issues raised under UFMJRA relating to jurisdiction and enforcement are resolved in the Civil Department of the Superior Court, even though they may arise out of a family law judgment. (10)
The statutes described above cover most orders in a divorce decree - custody orders, support orders, orders for the payment of money to equalize the division of the marital property, and orders for attorney's fees.
Foreign orders for the division of California real property are not covered by any uniform law. The comity doctrine is the only recourse in obtaining recognition of the foreign court order. The party enforcing a foreign court order to divide California real property may bring an action for partition in the Civil Department of the Superior Court. When these actions are filed, a lis pendens is often filed and recorded con-currently in the county where the property is located.
Whether the foreign order is recognized as a California order utilizing the common law comity doctrine or is being established pursuant to statute, the same constitutional jurisdictional prerequisites apply. (11) Thus, the California court must first determine whether the foreign country had jurisdiction over the parties when the order was issued. To make this determination, the part of the judgment that is being enforced must be examined. For the purpose of determining whether the foreign court had jurisdiction, a divorce judgment is not treated as if it were one court order. The divorce judgment is unique in that it contains separate court orders for support, custody, children, and property, each having different jurisdictional requirements. This division of the divorce judgment into separate orders with different jurisdictional requirements is called the doctrine of divisible divorce. (12) Thus, for a court to recognize an order or enforce a divorce judgment it must have the requisite jurisdiction over the part of the decree that must be enforced.
To properly terminate marital status requires the court to possess subject matter jurisdiction over the res; child custody orders require subject matter jurisdiction over the children; orders for the payment of money require in personam jurisdiction; and orders regarding property division may require both in rem and in personam jurisdiction. For example, if a child of divorcing parents were legally living in California for six or more months (13) at the date the divorce is filed, the California court would have subject matter jurisdiction to make custody orders, but if the parent who is obligated to pay support for the child were living in Scotland, and our court did not have personal jurisdiction over him, a support proceeding would have to be commenced in Scotland.
Once the California court has determined that the foreign court had proper jurisdiction to issue the order, it must then determine if the defendant had notice and an opportunity to be heard in the foreign country. (14) Only after these constitutional requirements are met and the order is recognized, can it be enforced in California.
Recognition of Foreign Custody Orders
Foreign custody orders are enforced in California pursuant to California's version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act ("UCCJA"), codified as Family Code § 3400 et seq. To register a foreign judgment, a certified copy (15) of that judgment must be filed in the superior court of the county in which it is to be enforced, (16) along with a translation of that judgment (17) and a declaration filed under the UCCJA. (18) This declaration provides information to the court that may assist it determining whether it has jurisdiction. The declaration notifies the court where the child or children lived in the last five years, if there is another action pending in another court, and if any other parties claim to have custody of the child.
Once the custody order is registered, it can be enforced using the same procedures as would any other California court order. Notice of the registration is not required. When the enforcement is sought on the registered order, the type of notice given will depend on the remedy sought. In the case of a kidnaping, often no notice is required. The defendant may challenge the registration on the basis that the foreign court's orders are invalid by filing a motion to quash. If the order was rendered in a country whose institutions are similar to those of other states and a "reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to affected persons," (19) that order will be recognized by the California court.
In re Marriage of Malak (20) is significant in that it affirms that our courts will recognize court orders from countries with laws different from our own. The trial court in Malak refused to recognize the child custody orders of the Sherei Sunnit Court of Beirut, Lebanon, because the court believed that the Islamic court issued an interim custody decree without notice, that the order did not afford Mrs. Malak "notice and opportunity to be heard," and because the Islamic court did not appear to hold the "best interest of the child a central consideration in its determination of custody." (21) The appellate court reversed the trial court and found that Lebanese law provided for reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard and was not unlike California's ex parte procedure authorized by former Civil Code section 4600.1. (22) Further, since the Lebanese court acted when Lebanon was homeland of both parties (23) , had significant connections with the family (24) and its laws looked to the best interests of children, it acted under statutory provisions substantially in accordance with our uniform custody laws (25) .
In situations where different countries issue valid conflicting custody orders, priority is given to the first person to file their custody action. (26) An instructive example of how this type of conflict was resolved is described in In re Stephanie M. (27) In Stephanie M. it was held that a California dependency court properly refused to recognize the custody order of a Mexican court when the Mexican court order was issued after the dependency court issued its order terminating the parental rights of a Mexican couple living in Long Beach. The child's grandmother (who lived in Mexico) and the child's foster parents both requested that they be appointed guardians of the child. After a thorough investigation and numerous hearings, the trial court granted the foster parents guardianship. Only after the California court entered its final order did a Mexican court issue a conflicting order granting the guardianship of the child to the grandmother. The Mexican consulate wrote a letter advising the California court that there was a guardianship decree from a Mexican court and that pursuant to the Multilateral Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocol on Disputes of April 23, 1963, (28) the California court had to recognize and enforce the Mexican court order. (29) The California dependency court refused to vacate its order and enforce the Mexican order. The California Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision and held that although California courts may enforce foreign custody orders of other countries, they are not obligated to do so. (30) The Supreme court further held that the letter from the Mexican consulate informing it there was a guardianship decree from a Mexican court does not bind the California court where there was a prior California judgment terminating the parental rights of a Mexican child. (31) Moreover, the Supreme Court held that the Multilateral Vienna Convention does not apply, since that treaty recognizes the jurisdiction of a court in the receiving state (in this case California) to apply its laws to a foreign national and does not make jurisdiction dependent on notice (the Mexican consulate claimed it was not given notice). The Supreme Court held that the trial court properly applied the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, (32) which states that international custody orders are to be enforced to the same extent that the order of a sister state would be enforced. (33)
One of the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act is to "deter abductions and other unilateral removals of children undertaken to obtain custody awards." (34) To recover stolen children requires quick and decisive action on the part of the attorney. After registering the certified copy of the foreign order (with the translation), a warrant in lieu of writ of habeas corpus can be filed to order the release of the child. (35) The assistance of the District Attorney can be used to locate the party and the child and to bring the child to the hearing. (36) The party detaining the child may attempt to persuade the court to conduct a hearing to determine the best interest of the child. This attempt to relitigate the issue of custody must be vigorously resisted. The only issues that should be addressed at the hearing are whether there is a valid foreign court order, whether the order was made by an institution similar in nature to ours, and whether the party had notice and opportunity to be heard in the foreign jurisdiction. (37)
The party detaining the child is also likely to argue that the California court should assert "emergency jurisdiction" under Family Code § 3403(a)(3) because "the child has been subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse or is otherwise neglected or dependent which includes a child who has a parent who is victim of domestic violence...." Emergency jurisdiction should only be asserted for the purpose of insuring that the child is safely returned to the country that issued the custody order and not for the purpose of modifying the foreign country's' court order. (38)
The party seeking to enforce a foreign custody order can also request that the party violating the order pay attorney's fees, travel costs, and other expenses to the party and their witnesses. (39)
Foreign Support Orders and Paternity Judgments
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA") (40) was enacted as California law on January 1, 1998 to more efficiently enforce the child and spousal support orders, as well as paternity judgments, of other states and countries. (41) The prerequisite to enforce another country's orders under UIFSA is that the country of origin must have a "law or procedure substantially similar to UIFSA's, or one of UIFSA's precursors - the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act ('URESA') and the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act ('RURESA')." (42) UIFSA does not require that there be reciprocity between the foreign country and California for a foreign support order to be enforced. (43)
UIFSA may be used to collect a foreign support order, (44) as well as "related costs and fees, interest, income withholding, attorney's fees, and other relief." (45) UIFSA also provides for the recognition of foreign paternity judgments. UIFSA allows the recognition of orders from "administrative law agencies or a quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage." (46) This definition provides latitude to enforce orders made in foreign countries with legal systems very different from California's.
To register a foreign support order under UIFSA the applicant must file two copies, including one certified copy, of all orders to be registered (including a translation), (47) including any modification of an order, (48) with the applicable judicial council form or a letter to the court clerk requesting registration. (49)
On receipt of a request for registration, the court will file the order as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of the foreign court order, regardless of the form of the request. (50) The request must specify the grounds for the enforcement remedy sought. (51) An application for a determination of arrearages under the foreign court order or an actual writ of execution may be issued on application to the court at the same time the order is registered or at later date. A support order or income-withholding order is registered when the order is filed. (52) Once registered, the foreign order may be enforced like any other support order issued by this state. (53)
Under the former support act (URESA), the majority of support proceedings were relitigated in the local court even though the foreign court's order was clear and unambiguous. Furthermore, even when an existing order of one state was "registered" in a California, the defending party often asserted the right to modify the foreign order. This meant that several different support orders could be in effect in several states or countries. (54) This problem is rectified by UIFSA, in that the California court may not modify the foreign court order if it is determined that the foreign court had proper jurisdiction to issue its order (55) unless neither party resides in the foreign country or if the parties agree in writing that it can modified in California.
When a support order or income withholding order issued in another country is registered in California under UIFSA, the clerk will send out a notice of the registration to the party who owes the support. The notice informs the party that they have twenty days to contest the validity or enforcement of a registered order in this state. The party objecting to the registration may seek to vacate the registration, assert any defense to an allegation of noncompliance with the registered order, or to contest the remedies being sought or the amount of any alleged arrearages. If the nonregistering party fails to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law. (56)
A party contesting the validity or enforcement of a registered order or seeking to vacate the registration has the burden of proving one or more of the following defenses: (57)
Refusal to permit visitation cannot be used as a defense to support orders registered pursuant to this act, (59) despite the fact that there is conflicting California state law regarding this issue. (60) When registering a paternity judgment of a foreign country under UIFSA, nonparentage cannot be plead as a defense to enforcement. (61) In a provision modeled after a similar section in the UCCJA, (62) UIFSA provides that a court may contact the court of another state in writing, by telephone, or by other means to obtain information concerning the laws of that state, the legal effect of an order of that tribunal, and of a proceeding in the other country. (63) The law of the foreign country governs the nature, extent, amount, and duration of current payments and other obligations of support and the payment of arrearages under the order, (64) as well as discovery that must be done in the foreign country. The procedural, substantive, and choice of law rules of California are controlling in all other respects (65)
UIFSA provides an even more streamlined method of enforcing wage assignment orders. The act does not require the wage assignment order to be registered. Rather, the wage assignment order can be sent directly to the obligor's employer, which triggers wage withholding by that employer without the necessity of a hearing - unless the employee files an objection with the court.
The Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act (66) ("UFMJRA") covers family law orders for the payment of money that are not for spousal or child support. (67) To be recognized by our courts, the UFMJRA requires that the order be conclusive and enforceable (even though an appeal may be pending or the order is subject to appeal). (68) The defendant may apply for a stay of enforcement if an appeal is pending or the defendant is entitled to and intends to appeal the judgment. (69) Once established, the order is enforceable as though it were a judgment of another state. There is no expedited method of registration of foreign judgments as there is under UIFSA. A complaint to establish a foreign country judgment must be filed in California alleging the elements set forth in the UFMJRA. (70)
The UFMJRA requires that before giving recognition to a foreign judgment there must be personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Under the statute, personal jurisdiction is obtained by personal service in the foreign country, a voluntarily general appearance of the defendant, consent to service in the foreign country, or the defendant was domiciled in the foreign country. (71)
The defenses to recognition of the foreign court order under the UFMJRA are:
The California legislature should bolster the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act by adding a section that would authorize the registration of certified family law money judgments similar to that provided for by Family Code § 3416, which permits the filing of foreign custody orders or to UIFSA. A certified copy of the foreign judgment would be filed in our court with a family law case number. Any objections relating to the validity of the foreign court order could be addressed at the time enforcement procedures commenced. This amendment would mean that most foreign divorce orders (except those relating to real property and restraining order) would be addressed in the family law department in an expedited manner by registration.
The uniform statutes described above do not explain how to calculate the dollar amount of a judgment issued in a foreign currency, but in Pecaflor Construction, Inc. v. Landes (73) it was held that when enforcing a foreign judgment rendered in a foreign currency, the foreign money judgment must ordinarily be converted to American dollars using the exchange rate that was in effect at the time of the foreign judgment.
The lawyer enforcing a foreign judgment in California must use ingenuity in obtaining recognition of that judgment. While some orders in a judgment require registration, other orders in the same judgment require that a complaint be filed to establish the order as a California order. Despite the fact that several statutes address the diverse aspects of a divorce judgment, most orders will be recognized by California courts without having to rely on the comity doctrine.
As international commerce continues to expand and people immigrate to California in greater numbers, lawyers will need more efficient means of enforcing foreign court orders. With a few revisions to the current uniform statutes, the enforcement of foreign divorce judgments in California, which once involved expensive civil litigation, will be accomplished simply and cost-effectively in the family law court.
1. Peter M. Walzer is Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and a Fellow of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer practicing in Woodland Hills.
2. Laurel Brauer is a family lawyer practicing in Century City.
3. Statutes often use the term "foreign" to refer to another state. In this article foreign refers to other countries.
4. This article discusses the enforcement of judgments, decrees, and orders. We use these terms interchangeably because the requirements for enforcement are the same.
5. U.S. Const. Art IV, Sec.1.
6. In re Stephanie M., 7 Cal. 4th 295, 314, 27 Cal. Rptr. 2d 595 (1994).
7. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act Family Code § 3400 et seq. See the National Conference on Commissioners on Uniform State Law with the complete text of the Uniform Statutes cited here.
8. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Family Code § 4800 et seq.
9. Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act (UFMJRA) Code of Civil Procedure § 1713 et seq.: "(1) 'Foreign State' means any governmental unit other than the United States, or any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession thereof, or the Panama Canal Zone, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; (2) 'Foreign judgment' means any judgment of a foreign state granting or denying recovery of a sum of money, other than judgment for taxes, a fine or other penalty, or a judgment for support in matrimonial or family matters." Code Civ. Proc. § 1713.1 (1) & (2).
10. Bringing a family law action in the Civil Department of the Superior Court takes much longer to process, and many of the judicial officers are not familiar with family law.
11. The constitutional requirements are codified in each of the uniform laws discussed herein.
12. Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541, 68 S. Ct. 1213 (1948).
13. Cal. Fam. Code § 3403(a)(1).
14. Kulko v. Superior Court, 436 U.S. 84, 98 S. Ct. 1690 (1978).
15. See The Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents done at The Hague October 5, 1961, entered into force for the United States October 15, 1981 (located on the Internet at http://lawlib.wuacc.edu/forint/treaties/index.htm and in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest - Selected International Conventions for the requirements of certification of a party to the convention). Evidence Code § 1530(a)(3) describes the requirements of certifying an official writing of a foreign country not signatory to the convention.
16. Cal. Fam. Code § 3416(a) states that "[a] certified copy of a custody decree of another state may be filed in the office of the clerk of any superior court of this state. The clerk shall treat the decree in the same manner as a custody decree of the superior court of this state. A custody decree so filed has the same effect and shall be enforced in like manner as a custody decree rendered by a court of this state." See the sidebar for a explanation of obtaining certified copies from foreign countries.
17. Cal. Evid. Code § 753(a).
18. Cal. Fam. Code § 3409 and see Judicial Council form MC-150.
19. Cal. Fam. Code § 3424.
20. In re Marriage of Malak, 182 Cal. App.3d 1018, 227 Cal. Rptr. 841 (1986).
21. Footnote 1 in Malak describes the findings of the Sherei Court indicating that the court did examine what was in the best interests of the children. It also describes divorce under the Muslim Sharia laws.
22. Replaced by Cal. Fam. Code § 3060 through Family Code § 3064.
23. Cal. Fam. Code § 3403(a)(1).
24. Cal. Fam. Code § 3403(a)(2).
25. Cal. Fam. Code § 3424.
26. Cal. Fam. Code § 3406.
27. In re Stephanie M., 7 Cal. 4th 295 (1994).
28. This is referred to as a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce. There are many countries not specifically covered by the Uniform Acts, but there may be a treaty that would be controlling. These treaties are numerous and beyond the scope of this article. Information may be obtained by contacting the State Department.
29. In re Stephanie M., 7 Cal. 4th 295 (1994).
30. The supreme court cites the comity doctrine for the proposition that the courts are not obligated to recognize foreign court orders, but later in the opinion they cite the uniform act, which states that they are obligated to enforce international custody orders to the same extent that the order of a sister state would be enforced. Cal. Fam. Code § 3424. The court does not explain this contradiction.
31. In re Stephanie M., 7 Cal.4th 295 (1994).
32. Cal. Fam. Code § 3424.
33. Cal. Fam. Code § 3414 states "[O]nce a decree is entered by a court that does have jurisdiction under the act, the decree is not to be modified by the courts of another state" [in this case another country] unless "it appears ... that the court which rendered the decree does not now have jurisdiction under the jurisdictional prerequisites substantially in accordance with this party or has declined to assume jurisdiction to modify the decree" and the modifying court has jurisdiction. Id. at 315.
34. Cal. Fam. Code § 3401(5).
35. Cal. Fam. Code § 3411 on obtaining a warrant of arrest against the party and a protective custody warrant for the child. An alternate procedure is to make an ex parte application for a "turn over order." This is followed by an order to show cause hearing not less than three court days from the date the ex parte order issued. The benefit of this procedure is that from the time the children are picked up they are in the care of the rescuing parent (instead of in juvenile hall or foster care). The downside is that the court may not set the hearing for a month, and a judicial officer unfamiliar with the law in this area may permit a full custody hearing rather than a relatively simple jurisdictional hearing.
36. Cal. Fam. Code § 3131.
37. See To Catch a Child Thief, Peter M. Walzer, California Lawyer, December 1991, which discusses the specific procedures for picking up a stolen child.
38. In re Joseph D., 19 Cal. App.4th 678, 23 Cal. Rptr. 2d 574 (1993).
39. Cal. Fam. Code § 3416(b).
40. UIFSA developed from the congressional legislation in 1975, 1984, 1988, and 1996 relating to child support enforcement procedures such as wage withholding, tax intercepts, and credit reporting and federal substantive requirements (the Bradley Amendment, 1986, which directs states to enact laws that prohibit retroactive reduction of a child support arrearage stemming from a court order) spurred the National Conference of Commissioners to revise the two prior uniform support statutes (the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (RURESA) and the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA)) and come up with UIFSA Welfare reform, known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Congress mandated enactment of UIFSA in order for a state to remain eligible for the federal fund of child support. 42 U.S.C.66 states in part "(f) In order to satisfy section 454(2)A), on and after January 1, 1998, each state must have in effect the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, as approved by the American Bar Association on February 9, 1993, together with any amendments officially adopted before January 1, 1998, by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws."
41. Cal. Fam. Code § 4901(19)(ii). It specifically defines a state as "[a] foreign jurisdiction that has enacted a law or established procedures for issuance and enforcement of support orders which are substantially similar to the procedures under this chapter, the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, or the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act."
42. Cal. Fam. Code § 4901(16). Former Family Code §4844 (URESA) states: "When the Attorney General is satisfied that reciprocal provisions will be made by a foreign jurisdiction for the enforcement of support orders made within this state, the Attorney General may declare the foreign jurisdiction to be a reciprocating state for the purpose of this chapter. Any such declaration ... may be reviewed by the court in an action brought under URESA." As of the April 15, 1998, the Attorney General had declared the following foreign jurisdictions to be reciprocating states: all the Canadian provinces, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Bermuda, France, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Fiji, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Austria, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England.
43. Cal. Fam. Code § 4901(22).
44. "Judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary, final, or subject to modification, for the benefit of a child, a spouse, or a former spouse, which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or reimbursement, and may include related costs, and fees, interest, income withholding, attorney's fees, and other relief."
45. Cal. Fam. Code § 4901(21).
46. Cal. Fam. Code § 4901(22).
47. Cal. Evid. Code § 753(a).
48. Cal. Fam. Code § 4951(a).
49. Statement for Registration of Foreign Support Order and Clerk's Notice, Form EJ-120. This is the form drafted by the Judicial Council for use under URESA. No new form has been issued.
50. Cal. Fam. Code § 4941(b).
51. Cal. Fam. Code § 4951(c).
52. Cal. Fam. Code § 4952.
53. Cal. Fam. Code § 4952(b).
54. Uniform Conference of Commissioners, Prefatory note II.B.3. Under UIFSA, the principle of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction aims, so far as possible, to recognize that only one valid support order may be effective at any one time.
55. Cal. Fam. Code § 4952(c).
56. Cal. Fam. Code § 4955.
57. Cal. Fam. Code § 4956.
58. Cal. Fam. Code § 4953(B).
59. Cal. Fam. Code § 4919(d).
60. Cal. Fam. Code § 3556 and In re Marriage of Damico, 7 Cal. 4th 673 (1994).
61. Cal. Fam. Code § 4929.
62. Cal. Fam. Code § 3406.
63. Cal. Fam. Code § 4931.
64. Cal. Fam. Code § 4953.
65. Cal. Fam. Code § 4906.
66. Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act (UFMJRA), Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713 et seq. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.1(1)&(2) states: "(1)'Foreign State' means any governmental unit other than the United States, or any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession thereof, or the Panama Canal Zone, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; (2) 'Foreign judgment' means any judgment of a foreign state granting or denying recovery of a sum of money, other than judgment for taxes, a fine or other penalty, or a judgment for support in matrimonial or family matters."
67. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.1(2).
68. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.2. The Sister State Money-Judgment Act authorizes the registration of the other state's judgment using judicial council forms EJ-105 Application for Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment and form EJ-110 Notice of Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment.
69. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.6.
70. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.4 to § 1713.5.
71. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.5. This section states the criteria for establishing jurisdiction in business matters and accident cases.
72. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1713.4. This section codifies the common law doctrine of comity.
73. Pecaflor Construction, Inc. v. Landes, 198 Cal. App.3d 342, 243 Cal. Rptr. 605 (1988).
The California court may award alimony/spousal support to either spouse in any amount for any period of time that it deems just and reasonable based on the standard of living during the marriage. The amount of alimony/spousal support and the duration will vary significantly from case-to-case and is often dependent upon the division of property.
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