Family Code 290 Gives the Court Power to Enforce Its Orders

Family Code 290 is bad news for those who do not follow court orders

Family Code 290 gives the family court great power to enforce its own orders. Those orders including family law judgments.

What does Family Code 290 state?

Family Code 290 states the following.

"A judgment or order made or entered pursuant to this code may be enforced by the court by execution, the appointment of a receiver, or contempt, or by any other order as the court in its discretion determines from time to time to be necessary."

Why is Family Code 290 important?

We will refer to judgments and orders as simply "orders." That way we do not have to keep writing both words.

To understand Family Code 290's importance, you have to understand its breadth. That breadth includes the following according to section 290's language.

  1. Execution of the order, which by itself is broad,
  2. Appointing a person as a receiver, which is a person the court appoints to carry out the orders,
  3. Contempt, about which we have written a comprehensive guide (linked below), and
  4. The "catch-all" of any other order as the court in its discretion determines necessary. The words "time to time" is probably part of Family Code 290 because it gives the court the ability to revisit its prior orders and issue additional or different ones.

In other words, the Court can make any order within its general powers to enforce its orders. That is good news for those who have orders they want enforced and bad news for those who violate court orders.

Do not misunderstand the above as, "the court can do whatever it wants." That is not the case. California case law that originates from our Appellate Courts and Supreme Court and even Federal Law has placed limitations on the court's powers, as have other California code sections. A common example deals with retirements and the situations a spouse may and may not enforce a judgment against the other spouse's retirement account. That is just one example.

Those types of issues are beyond this article's scope. There is no substitute for a consultation with an experienced family law attorney about your specific questions and situation.

Our family law firm has offices in Southern California and we offer an affordable strategy session.

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