Is my divorce final if I never fully paid my lawyer?

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Is my divorce final if I never fully paid my lawyer?

I was married and divorced in CA. My divorce was final in 1999.  I was enlisted in the military both when I got married and when the divorce became final. When I received my honorable discharge in 2000, my focus was on moving back to AZ, so my outstanding lawyer fees went on the back burner. It’s been 10+ years, and neither my attorney of record or my ex have contacted me in any way. I would like to get in front of this matter now, to prevent any complications at a later and less convenient time.

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is difficult to answer this question.  The finality of the divorce may or may not be related to the filing of the paperwork. If the attorney stopped doing work on the file because he had no retainer left then maybe the answer is yes.  But there is no direct correlation to payment and finality if the paperwork was in.  Am I making myself clear?  What you can do now is to contact the attorney to straighten out the matter.  If you can not locate him or her then contact the state department that licenses attorneys. You can also check with the California Courts (in the county in which the matter was filed) as to the statue and if the final order or decree was signed.   


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