September 7, 2011

New Case Law – Stipulated Judgments are Enforceable as Long as They Do Not Violate Law or Public Policy

On August 31, 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided Porter and Griffin.

In this case, the Court of Appeals stated that the stipulated divorce judgment that the parties had agreed to in 2009 was enforceable even though it treated a child for whom the parties were legal guardians as a child of the marriage. Under Oregon law, a child of the marriage is a biological child of the parties or a child whom the parties adopted during the marriage. The former husband and wife had two biological children and were legal guardians of the husband’s nephew, who had lived with them since birth. The stipulated judgment determined custody, parenting time, and child support for all three children, treating all of them as children of the marriage. The husband sought to modify the child support award, arguing that the court had no authority to approve or enforce a judgment which he believed was void. The court stated that it would enforce a stipulated judgment as long as it didn’t violate law or public policy even if the trial court would have lacked authority to order the parties to provide support for the nephew.

The entire opinion can be found here.