To ask for a court hearing to change your existing child support order:
1. Fill out your court forms
Read Which Financial Form - FL-155 or FL-150? (Form DV-570) to find out if you can use the simpler Form FL-155. And use the Information Sheet for Request for Order (Form FL-300-INFO) to learn how to fill out Form FL-300.
2. Have your forms reviewed
Ask your court's family law facilitator to review your paperwork. The facilitator can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case. You can also hire your own lawyer to review your papers or to get legal advice, either with your entire case, or just the parts of it that you may need more help with (called “limited scope representation” or “unbundling”). Click for help finding a lawyer. Click to learn more about “limited scope representation.”
3. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms
One copy will be for you; another copy will be for your child's other parent. The original is for the court. If the LCSA is involved in your case, make 3 copies.
4. File your forms with the court clerk
Turn in your forms to the court clerk. The clerk will keep the original and return the copies to you, stamped "Filed." You may have to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver. If the LCSA is involved in your case and support is the only issue, you will not be charged a filing fee.
5. Get your court date
The clerk will give you a court date and write it on your Form FL-300. If you are also asking for custody orders, you may also get a date for mediation.
6. Serve your papers on the other parent (and the LCSA if involved)
Have someone at least 18 (NOT you) serve the other parent and the LCSA (if involved) with a copy of your papers and a blank Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (Form FL-320) and blank Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150).
You can serve the other parent (and the LCSA if involved) by mail. You can serve the other parent (and the LCSA if involved) by mail. It must be done at least 16 court days before the hearing plus 5 calendar days for mailing. And remember, someone else — not you — must mail the papers. You can also have someone else serve your papers in person, and if so, it must be done at least 16 court days before the hearing.
For more information about "service." Look at the front of Form FL-300 to see if the court ordered you to serve any other documents.
7. File your proof of service
Have your server fill out a Proof of Service by Mail (Form FL-335) for the other parent (and another for the LCSA if involved in the case). You must then file the Proof (or Proofs) of Service with the court. It is very important your server fills out the Proof (or Proofs) of Service correctly. If possible, have your family law facilitator review this paperwork to make sure it was filled out properly.
If the papers were served in person, your server has to fill out a Proof of Personal Service (Form FL-330).
8. Go to your court hearing
Go to your court hearing, and take a copy of all your papers and your Proof (or Proofs) of Service.
Read Going to Court to find out how to prepare for your court hearing.
Keep in mind family law facilitator can help you mediate your child support issues. So even after you ask for a court date, you can try to work out child support with your child’s other parent, and the family law facilitator can help you. If you can work out an agreement, the facilitator can help you write it up and turn it in to the judge for his or her signature, making it a court order. If the LCSA is involved in your case, they will need to sign the agreement as well. If you do not reach an agreement in mediation, you can still go in front of the judge so he or she can make a decision in your case. The facilitator will not be able to write up the agreement if the LCSA is involved in the case since they have to agree to and sign any agreement between the parents.
After the court hearing
Once the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, the judge will sign a court order. Remember that the court may make child support orders as well as medical support orders.