Enforcement of Child Support Judgment After 10 Years In California

In In re Marriage of Garcia (1998), the wife sought in 1997 to enforce a 1966 child support judgment, where no payments had been received since 1972. There had been no modifications or renewals of the support order. (Garcia, supra, 67 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 696-697, 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 242.) The appellate court in Garcia analyzed the statutes that had been in effect and concluded, properly we believe, that prior to 1993, enforcement of a support judgment for amounts not more than 10 years overdue could be had without prior court approval. As to amounts more than 10 years overdue, it was within the trial court's discretion whether to allow enforcement pre-1993. (Id. at pp. 697-698.) Garcia concluded that pre-1993 law did not establish a "statute of limitation" beyond which a support judgment was no longer enforceable; the prior statutory scheme merely provided for a difference in methods of enforcement. ( Garcia, supra, 67 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 699-700, see also, In re Marriage of Wight (1989) 215 Cal. App. 3d 1590 264 Cal. Rptr. 508.)