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Request for Attorney fees & modification of Spousal Support

Fremont, CA |

Santa Clara County Superior Court., (pre-trial)
I have a existing order for temporary support, and previously the court reserved awarding attorneys fees (I am unemployed).

I am filing:
FL 319 Request for Attorney's Fees and Costs
FL 158 Supporting Declaration to Request for Attorneys Fees and Costs
FL 150 Income and Expense Declaration
and
FL 157Spousal Support Declaration Attachment to FL 158

two questions:

1) In my FL 157 I've checked 1.b. which "requests the court to modify the judgement for spousal support". Is this correct? is the temporary support order a "judgement"?

2) is the request in FL 157 sufficient to get a modified temporary support order? or do I need to file a FL 300 Request for Order to modify Support with another supporting declaration to get the modified order?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

These are brand new forms and I'm guessing most attorneys (myself included) haven't had much of an opportunity to use these forms or appear in court on motions they filed using these forms. FL-157 is confusing in its relation to FL-158, but it is marked optional, so you don't have to use it. You do have to address the required factors, however, and so if you don't use the form you will have to draft your own declaration which might be preferable if you think your situation is better explained other than by using the form. I recommend getting the assistance of an experienced family law attorney in preparing this declaration to make sure you address all the factors you are required to under the statutes and court rules. If you can't afford to do that you need to spend some time doing the research on what is required in a request for fees and visit the self-help center to help you get everything filed properly. Attorney fees can be frustratingly difficult to get even for experienced attorneys and that's why very few attorneys will agree to take a case where they will have to seek their fees through the proceeding. Good luck!

The answer above does not constitute legal advise and is not based on any confidential information provided by the poster. Each situation is specific in nature and any answer offered is based only upon the information provided by the poster; the attorney does not warrant the answer is applicable to the poster's situation. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Sarah Victoria Cottingham

Sarah Victoria Cottingham

Posted

Oh, and to my knowledge the form alone will not constitute a request to modify support. You should file a motion requesting modification of support if you want support modified to be sure you put it at issue.

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

A agree vis a vis needing and OSC re Mod--and a very much concur that an award of fees is a far cry form GETTING those fees actually paid.That is very difficult. It involves debtor creditor law which has due process implications. You won't see that money anytime soon.

Sarah Victoria Cottingham

Sarah Victoria Cottingham

Posted

Good point! I hadn't even gotten to the collection stage in my answer. It's difficult to get a family law court to award the fees to begin with and then even more difficult to get the party ordered to pay such fees to cough up to dough.

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

Indeed. It really only works when the other side cooperates or there is a pending final division o if assets and debts.

Posted

Look for a local attorney willing to work on payments. Some bar associations (like Los Angeles County Bar Association) have attorneys that are willing to work on a modest means basis (discounted fees). Check the local bar associations for attorneys that may fit into this category.

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Posted

I agree with both of my colleagues on this one. There is also a Family Law Facilitator available to assist you with the preparation of forms.

Good Luck!

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Posted

These are new forms and have not yet been perfected. If you cannot afford an attorney to help you and if there isn't any self-help services available to you you might want to cross out the term "Judgment" and write above it "order". If it is not acceptable the court will let you know.