Hi, I am a US citizen living in New Zealand. Ex husband has filed with CA court for an order to terminate spousal support and also for $10,000 in attorney & court costs as I have gained employment. I cannot afford an attorney, but am prepared to negotiate a lesser amount of spousal support as my income is not enough to support me. His attorney has invited me to "send her an offer" which I am prepared to do, along with a declaration of my income & expenses.
You don't need to file the declaration but prepare it and mail it to the attorney with a numerical offer including either a very brief cover letter or scan documents and send by email. If you can agree on a number, then attorney can draft a Stip & Order and you can avoid going to court. Otherwise, you have to file a Responsive Declaration and the I&E nine court days prior to the hearing.
If you want the court to have jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support, you must file a Response (http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl120.pdf). Serve it on the attorney (have a friend mail it and sign the Proof of Service http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl335.pdf) then file it with the court - with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, so that you'll get a filed copy.
This will preserve your rights and avoid getting your default taken.
Then negotiate as you wish, knowing that you still have a right to have your day in court, if you can't settle.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
Absolutely. If you can settle the case without the necessity of going to court, that is cheaper for everyone.
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