Each party to an action has to pay a filing fee because California is a no fault divorce state and because the Court system needs the money. If a party is low enough on the income scale, he/she may qualify for a fee waiver.
I don't think an inmate can qualify for spousal support because one of the things the court looks at is the asking party's need which is zero if that person is being housed, clothed and fed. One of the other things the court looks at is whether the asking party has the ability to work. If incarcerated, probably not much possibility of that.
Everyone -- Petitioner & Respondent -- has to pay filing fees. If you cannot afford the fee, you can request a Fee Waiver.
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The fee is for the "use" of the court system. It does not matter whether you're petitioner or respondent.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The posting of... more
This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The posting of this answer does not create an attorney client relationship with the person who posted the question or any other person.