Child Support Judgment Not Enforced Within Statutory Period In California

Puig v. Ryberg (1991) 230 Cal. App. 3d 141 [283 Cal. Rptr. 604] and In re Marriage of Ryan (1994) 22 Cal. App. 4th 841 [27 Cal. Rptr. 2d 580] are interpreted as holding that a child support judgment is extinguished if not enforced within the statutory period, we disagree with their holdings, as did the appellate court in Garcia. (In re Marriage of Garcia (1998) Cal. App. 4th at p. 700.) The appellate court in Puig, although it relied upon In re Marriage of Wight (1989), did not distinguish between enforcement as a matter of right and discretionary enforcement of the support judgment. (Puig v. Ryberg, supra, 230 Cal. App. 3d at p. 145; see Garcia, supra, 67 Cal. App. 4th at p. 700.) The appellate court in Ryan, after specifically noting that provisions of the former Family Law Act provided for enforcement by writ of execution within the statutory time frame and, thereafter, at the discretion of the trial court, merely referred to the judgment as fully enforceable as to amounts within the statutory time frame. (In re Marriage of Ryan, supra, 22 Cal. App. 4th at p. 850.)