Ex-Wife’s Petition to Enforce Unpaid Alimony Is Time-Barred – Attorney Blase Argues, and Wins

Representing ex-husband in this post-decree case, Phoenix family law attorney Aaron T. Blase argued successfully that ex-wife’s petition to enforce the spousal support obligation 11 years after the decree, was statutorily time-barred.
 
April 22, 2011 - PRLog -- PHOENIX, Ariz. –  In what can only be described as a complete victory for the ex-husband, Attorney Aaron T. Blase argued successfully on an OTSC petition that his client was not in contempt of court, and was not required to pay spousal support because 11 years had passed without enforcement.  

“She had the right to bring an action to enforce the obligation for five years,” explained Attorney Blase, “but never did anything.” The statute requires that an action to collect on a debt arising out of a judgment, in this case a divorce decree, must be brought within five years from the date of entry of the judgment. “The law is very clear on this,” continued Blase, “if an enforcement action isn’t brought within five years, and is not renewed, then it is time-barred.”  

Reflecting on the case, Blase noted that “we didn’t get my client’s attorneys fees covered, which was unfortunate. But opposing counsel and the ex-wife had demanded nearly $100,000 to settle her claim. In the end she got zero.” Blase’s client seemed very satisfied with the representation he received.

The Arizona law that Blase relied on is A.R.S. § 12-1551(B), which addresses the time period for enforcing a money judgment, including court-ordered spousal maintenance in a divorce decree.

“Nothing prevented the ex-wife from renewing the judgment by affidavit, or suing to collect within the five year period – she just didn’t do so,” said Blase. By the time she finally sought to enforce her right to spousal support, 11 years had passed and it was simply too late. “People need to understand that their right to enforce a judgment for money is time-limited.”  Blase emphasized that “you don’t have an open-ended ability to drag your ex-spouse into court. At some point – and our legislators have decided it’s five years if no affidavit of renewal is filed – that’s it, your time’s up.”  

Attorney Aaron T. Blase [http://www.sdsfamilylaw.com/CM/AttorneyBios/AaronBlase.asp] devotes 100% of his family law practice to litigation at the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, pllc. Admitted to practice in Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas, Blase is a seasoned practitioner with over 16 years of domestic relations experience, including matters of divorce, paternity establishment, visitation, and modifications.

For more information, visit www.SDSFamilyLaw.com or call 602-548-3400.

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Scott David Stewart, a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, is the founder and principal of the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, pllc.

The Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, pllc, an Arizona divorce and family law firm with offices in Phoenix and Chandler, represents clients in Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Tempe and Surprise. Areas of practice include divorce, child custody, parenting time and visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), property and asset division. Every case accepted by the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, pllc, receives personal attention, careful meticulous preparation, skilled negotiation, and aggressive litigation.
The firm’s website is www.SDSFamilyLaw.com.

The firm will continue focusing on family law, including divorce, child custody, parenting time and visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), and domestic violence.

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Scott David Stewart, a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, is the founder and principal of the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, pllc, an Arizona divorce and family law firm with offices in Phoenix and Chandler.
Visit today at www.SDSFamilyLaw.com.
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