Blake v. Blake (2021), Timely Filing in Divorce Cases

Published on
December 22, 2022
Written by
Angel Murphy

As the saying goes, “timing is everything,” and few areas reflect this fact and law. When it comes to the law, timing can be of critical importance in many different ways; timing can have significance in contract formation, breach of contract, liability for various torts, and so forth. In family law, timing can play a decisive role in how divorce judgments are developed, property division unfolds, and so on. A recent case – Blake v. Blake (2021) – demonstrates the importance of timing and waiting long enough before filing a particular motion. Let’s look at this case in detail.


The couple, in this case, litigated their divorce in 2020, and a final decree was entered on January 7, 2021. This judgment included all the normal items – assets, child custody, and child support. However, they hadn’t established the amount of child support at the time of the initial decree. And so, the wife ultimately filed a motion to challenge the judgment and obtain a specific amount (for child support). The wife filed that motion in a timely fashion. And then six days later, a judge entered $747 in a follow-up order. The wife then attempted to file an objection to that order. When they brought the wife’s motion against the support amount to the court, the court rejected it without considering its merits.

The reason is that they filed this second motion prematurely because the order with the $747 amount was not a “final order.” Because this order wasn’t final, the court was required to throw out this secondary appeal from the wife.

Critical Lesson: Timely Filing in Divorce Cases Have a Determinative Influence

In this case, we can see the relevance of timing very quickly. Timing played out both in favor of and against the wife’s interests because she filed her first motion promptly (29 days after the judgment, and there was a 30-day deadline!) but filed her secondary motion in a tardy manner. Although she received an amount for child support, it wasn’t the amount she desired, which ultimately goes back to timing. The court couldn’t even consider her secondary appeal on its merits because of the lateness. So her only option was to file an additional appeal when the timing became appropriate. This situation is precisely the sort of thing you can remedy with the help of a capable family law attorney.

A competent attorney can notify their client of all relevant deadlines and advise them accordingly. In the Blake v. Blake case, this could’ve meant that the wife received a higher child support amount.

Contact the Murphy Law Firm for More Information

The timing might not be everything in law, but as we can see, it is certainly very critical. The last thing you want is for your divorce case to unfold unfavorably solely on the basis of bad timing alone. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to The Murphy Law Firm today by calling 240-493-9116.

Angel Murphy

Personable. Passionate. Persistent.

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