Applying for Temporary Spousal or Child Support in California
File Petition for Dissolution/Legal Separation or other applicable petitionIf no court case is pending, you need to file a Petition for Dissolution/Legal Separation Form FL-100 (if you are married), a Petition for Dissolution of Domestic Partnership Form FL-103 (if you are in a domestic partnership), Petition to Establish Parental Relationships Form FL-200 (if you are not married and have a child with the persion with whom you want child support). You can find the court forms at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi.
File Income and Expense DeclarationAny time either party seeks an order for money in a family law action, each party must file a complete and accurate Income and Expense Declaration Form FL-150. You can find the court form at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi. Follow the directions carefully and do not leave any blanks. If a question does not apply, enter a "0" in the field. Attach your last three paychecks and a profit and loss for any business you own. Also, make a copy of your last tax return and bring it to court with you.
Calculate Guideline Supportcourts use a computer program to calculate child support. The amount the computer generates is called "guideline child support." The court has to order support according to the guideline, except in cases where the guideline would not be appropriate, such as cases where there is a special needs child and the expenses for the child are much higher as a result. There is a free child support calculator at
http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Resources/CalculateChildSupport/tabid/114/Default.aspx. You need to follow the directions carefully and enter correct information. The calculator also generates a proposed amount for temporary spousal support -- which is spousal support pending trial. Los Angeles County Superior Court uses the guideline for Santa Clara County. Check the local rules for your county to see which temporary spousal support guideline it uses. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/localrules.htm
File Order to Show CauseThis is like a motion or formal request for a court order. You need to complete the Order to Show Cause Form FL-300 and the Application for Order Form FL-310. You can find the court forms at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi. In the Application for Order, enter the guideline child and/or temporary spousal support amounts you are requesting. Also attach a copy of your support calculation so the judge can see the information you used to determine support.
Consider Other Requests to MakeYou can include other requests in your Order to Show Cause, such as:
(1) Child Custody and Visitation. If there is no written agreement or order regarding custody, you should include a request for these orders in your application. This will give the court authority to make a custody order. The court must know the time share each of you have with your child to calculate child support.
(2) Retroactive Support. You can ask that the support be ordered retroactive (meaning back in time to the date the petition for dissolution was filed or to the date you file your Order to Show Cause).
(3) Property Control. You can ask for temporary possession of a residence and for an order that the other party pay community debts pending trial. Payment of these debts may give the other party a right to reimbursement.
(4) Attorney Fees. You can request money to hire an attorney to help you with your case. The court must look at each party's need and ability to pay for these fees.