Starting a Spousal or Partner Support Case

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In California, after a person has opened a court case to get:

  • a divorce,
  • legal separation,
  • to dissolve a domestic partnership, or
  • for domestic violence restraining orders

(if the parties were married or domestic partners), he or she can file forms in a family law court Opens new window asking the court to order his or her former spouse or partner to pay him or her a specific amount of money every month.

These forms are filed as part of another family law court case so please remember:

  • Usually the case number will be the same as the case number for the divorce, separation or domestic violence protection request.
  • The “petitioner” will be the same as the “petitioner” in the other court case – no matter who is asking for support.
  • The “respondent” will be the same as the “respondent” in the other court case – no matter who is being asked to pay support.

The person who is being asked to pay support reviews the forms he or she received, and then uses the blank forms included in that packet to say if he or she agrees or disagrees with the request for spousal or partner support, and to give information about his or her finances.

  1. If the request for support is with a "Petition for Divorce or Legal Separation" (form FL-100 or FL-103), the person being asked to pay support has 30 days to file a Response with the court.
  2. If the request for support is with an "Order to Show Cause" (form FL-300) and an "Income and Expense Declaration" (form FL-150), a Response and a completed Income and Expense Declaration are to be filed no later than 9 court working days before the hearing.

NOTE: If the Response is not filed in time, the petitioner may ask the court to consider the respondent in default Opens new window

REMEMBER: The Office of the Family Law Facilitator can help you with any part of this process if you don’t have an attorney to represent you.

  • For information about the Family Law Facilitator’s Office in the county where you live, click here. Opens new window

Special information about what the petitioner and the respondent must do at the start of a court case:


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