Set aside a divorce judgment or other family law order

In a few situations, a judge can cancel or undo an order or judgment in your family law case. This is called a set-aside. 

Before you start

There are very limited reasons a judge can cancel—set aside (or vacate)—an order or a judgment. Before you ask, you need to figure out if you have a legal reason. You must include the specific legal reason in your request. There are deadlines for how long you have to ask the judge to set aside the order. 

These instructions only cover a request to set aside. This is different than an appeal or a request for reconsideration. Those have different legal requirements. Talk to a lawyer to find out more about an appeal or reconsideration.

Get help at your court's Self-Help Center or talk to a lawyer for advice. 

If you ask the judge to set aside the order and you don't have a legal reason, the judge can order you to pay the other side's legal fees (if they hired a lawyer to respond to your request). 
 

At a glance

Steps to ask a judge to set aside an order

The basic process to set aside an order or judgment is similar. 

  • Figure out if you have a legal reason

    You need to give the judge a legal reason why they should set aside the order or judgment.

  • Fill out and file forms

    Fill out and file forms with the court. Pay a filing fee. Get a court date.

  • Serve the other side

    Serve your spouse or other parent by having someone else deliver the forms to them.

  • Go to the court date

    Prepare for your court date, where the judge will make a decision about your request.

Set aside a family law order or judgment

What's next?

Find out if you have a legal reason to set aside the order or judgment.