In re Marriage of GarciaAnnotate this Case
In an earlier action in which Florencia Garcia petitioned to dissolve her marriage to Juan Garcia (Dissolution Action), the family court found that Florencia did not meet her burden of establishing a valid marriage and quashed service as to Juan and dismissed the action. Florencia then filed the underlying action in which she petitioned for nullity of marriage (Nullity Action). In the Nullity Action, Juan appealed two family court orders: (1) one in which the court found that Florencia was Juan’s spouse or putative spouse, and she could proceed with the claims in her petition (Putative Spouse Order); and (2) one in which the court directed Juan to pay Florencia spousal support arrears, ongoing spousal support and attorney fees and costs (Support Order). In challenging the two orders, Juan raised a single legal issue for review on appeal: under res judicata, did the judgment in the Dissolution Action bar the relief Florencia sought in the Nullity Action? The Court of Appeal concluded the Dissolution Action and the Nullity Action involved different primary rights, and thus affirmed the Support Order. Because the Putative Spouse Order was not final, the Court dismissed Juan’s appeal.