Can My Divorce Judgement Be Set Aside

Can My Divorce Judgement Be Set Aside?

Getting through your divorce can feel like running a marathon. When it’s over and your divorce documents are signed and filed, it can feel like you can finally breathe and move on with your life. Once your case is over, the last thing you want is to have to return to court over a divorce-related issue. However, there can be circumstances when a court should set aside a divorce order. If you have concerns about your California divorce order being final, you need to know: Can my divorce judgment be set aside?

When can a California Divorce Judgment be Set Aside?

Under California law, there are certain limited circumstances when a divorce judgment can be undone or set aside. The grounds for setting aside a divorce judgment are as follows:


When one party believes they were defrauded by the other during the divorce process, the injured party can file an action or motion to set aside the divorce judgment.

This claim involves actual fraud or “where the defrauded party was kept in ignorance or in some other manner was fraudulently prevented from fully participating in the proceeding.” An injured party must bring a fraud action within a year of when the party discovered or should have discovered the alleged fraud.


An injured party can also file an action or motion based on perjury. This claim applies to perjury committed “in the preliminary or final declaration of disclosure, the waiver of the final declaration of disclosure, or in the current income and expense statement.” Like fraud, the injured party will have one year after the date on which they discovered, or should have discovered, the perjury.


Another reason to move to set aside a California divorce judgment is duress. This type of claim may arise when one party has been abusive toward the other during the marriage. If someone believes they were forced to make certain decisions against their will during their divorce case, they will have two years from the date of judgment to file to have the judgment set aside on this basis.

Mental Incapacity

Someone can also bring an action or motion based on a claim that they lacked mental incapacity when the divorce judgment was signed. This type of claim must be brought within two years after the date of entry of judgment. Mental incapacity claims may occur when a party has a physical or mental condition that impacts their ability to process information.

Mistake of Fact or Law

If a party committed a reasonable mistake of fact or law, they may have a claim to set aside the divorce judgment. Someone raising this claim will have one year after entry of judgment to file their action or motion.

Failure to Disclose

If a party believes their former spouse failed to comply with the case disclosure requirements, they can file an action or motion to set aside the divorce judgment within one year after the date on which they either discovered or should have discovered the failure to comply.

The California Code of Civil Procedure also provides additional grounds for setting aside a judgment. If you believe your divorce judgment was unfairly rendered, you may have cause to file a motion to set aside the judgment. However, it’s important to recognize that you cannot set aside a divorce judgment because you regret certain decisions. This remedy is limited to specific circumstances, most of which pertain to a party being blatantly dishonest.

If you believe your divorce judgment may need to be set aside, you should contact an experienced California divorce attorney to discuss your concerns. You and your California divorce attorney can evaluate your case and review your options.

Contact a California Divorce Attorney

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced divorce attorneys who can help you with your divorce and post-judgment issues. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.


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