Family Code Section, Section 218, modified a long prohibition on post-judgment discovery in California Family Law cases.
Section 218 states in part “With respect to the ability to conduct formal discovery in family law proceedings, when a request for order or other motion is filed and served after entry of judgment, discovery shall automatically reopen as to the issues raised in the post-judgment pleadings currently before the court. The date initially set for trial of the action specified in subdivision (a) of Section 2024.020 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall mean the date the post-judgment proceeding is set for hearing on the motion or any continuance thereof, or evidentiary trial, whichever is later.” (Cal. Fam. Code § 218.)
Previously, Marriage of Boblitt, (2014) 223 Cal. App. 4th 1004 , held that existing California law (including Code of Civil Procedure Section 2024.020, which applied to general civil cases) also applied to post-judgment proceedings in family law cases. Boblitt stood for the proposition that absent an agreement from the opposing side or court order allowing the reopening of discovery, there was no right to post-judgment discovery. This holding was problematic in family law cases, as it is typically difficult to obtain the opposing party’s consent to reopen discovery, and expensive and time consuming to obtain the court’s approval.
Sean M. Patrick, Attorney at Law is experienced in handling family law cases in California. including divorce, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, Restraining Orders and modification of existing orders. Contact our office at 916-226-6062 today to confidentially discuss your case.