Step 3: Give the Other Party Copies of the Papers

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California law requires that the former spouse or partner asking for support be given formal notice that you have filed Responsive papers. This is called "service of process." It is very important to make sure the other person gets their copy of the court forms in the right way.

To view a short video called “Service of Process,” click here. Opens new window


How to serve court forms:

There are two ways that copies of the documents you have filed with the court can be “served” (given to the person who is asking to pay support.) These are:

  • By personal service Opens new window
    A person over 18 who is not connected with the court case can give the forms to
    the person.
  • By first class mail (called service by mail Opens new window )
    A person over 18 who is not connected with the court case can mail the forms to the other person.

Service of Process checklist:

1. What needs to be served?

  • A copy of ALL of the forms you filled out and filed with the court.

2. Who has to be served?

  • The former spouse or partner asking to be paid support.
  • If either of you is receiving public assistance, the agency which provides the assistance also is to be served by mail.

3. When do the papers need to be served?

  • Responsive papers must be filed and served no later than 9 court days before the hearing.

REMEMBER: You cannot serve your own papers. Another adult (18 years or older) who is not involved in the case must be asked to serve the papers.

Click "next" to go on to Step 4: Tell the court that you have given the other party copies.


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