Exchanging Final Information With the Other Person (Step 5)

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If the former spouses or partners cannot decide how much support should be paid, at least 5 court days before the hearing, each of them must give to the other
(or their attorney) a copy of all documents that indicate their current or recent income.

These documents are to include, but not be limited to:

  • an updated Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150);
  • pay statements (or other proof on income -- workers compensation, unemployment, or disability payments, for example) for the two full months prior to the hearing date;
  • all Internal Revenue Service [IRS] W-2 forms for the two previous years;
  • all IRS 1099 forms for the two previous years;
  • the most recent two years’ state and federal tax returns with all schedules and attachments;
  • any requests for extensions to file tax returns for the last previous tax year;
  • if you are self employed, a profit and loss statement - from the date covered by the last filed tax return to present - specifying all income received or owed and all operating expenses on a monthly basis;
  • any IRS K-1 forms or corporate income tax returns that reflect income paid or payable to a spouse or partner for the previous two tax years;
  • any schedule of income, balance sheet or other documentary evidence that the spouse or partner intends to introduce at the hearing.
NOTE: For privacy reasons, people may cross-out their social security numbers on all of the documents they submit.

The judge will want to see a copy of all of these documents as well. Therefore, at least three (3) photocopies of each document should be made:

  • one for the other former spouse or partner;
  • one for the court;
  • one for the files of the former spouse or partner preparing the documents.

There are a number of California State rules Opens new window about preparing documents for court. Most importantly:

  • use 8 ½ by 11 inch white paper;
  • use only one side of the paper;
  • use only a blue-black or black print color;
  • put the case name and number on each piece of paper;
  • fasten the papers together firmly at the top; and
  • number each page consecutively at the bottom. 

NEXT (Step 6): Prepare a week before your court hearing.

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