In re Marriage of Brewer & Federici discusses the ability to set aside a judgment based on mistake of fact, because only one party had all of the information at the time of signing the judgment.
The couple in this marriage had been married 17 years. The wife was an executive at a television network, and the husband was a stay at home dad who managed the house and cared for the parties’ daughter.
During the divorce process the wife’s final declaration of disclosure identified a retirement account; however, it did not list the second retirement account. For the account listed, her disclosure stated that the value was unknown. The parties entered into a stipulated judgment dividing the assets. After the judgment was entered, the husband learned that the wife had two retirement accounts worth more than $500,000. He filed a motion to set aside the judgment, and the family law judge set it aside. The wife appealed.
The appellate court agreed with the husband. It stated that the wife had a fiduciary duty to not only disclose the asset, but also to provide the value of the asset as required in Family Code section 2100( c). It stated that spouses may be relieved of a stipulated judgment based upon incomplete or inaccurate facts. In these circumstances, the moving party must prove that the grounds would affect the original outcome and that the moving party would materially benefit from the granting of the relief as required in Family Code 2121(b).
FC 2100(c): In order to promote this public policy, a full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities in which one or both parties have or may have an interest must be made in the early stages of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, regardless of the characterization as community or separate, together with a disclosure of all income and expenses of the parties. Moreover, each party has a continuing duty to immediately, fully, and accurately update and augment that disclosure to the extent there have been any material changes so that at the time the parties enter into an agreement for the resolution of any of these issues, or at the time of trial on these issues, each party will have a full and complete knowledge of the relevant underlying facts.
FC 2121(b): In all proceedings under this chapter, before granting relief, the court shall find that the facts alleged as the grounds for relief materially affected the original outcome and that the moving party would materially benefit from the granting of the relief.
If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as division of property or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, spousal support and/or child support, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.
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