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Obtaining an expedited child support order in California

The topic of this blog post is obtaining an expedited child support order in California. The California Family Code provides a very useful method to obtain an expedited child support order, in some cases without a hearing. This means that a child support order may be obtained faster than the traditional method of filing an order to show cause. The relevant statutes are contained in Chapter 5 of the California Family Code, sections 3620 through 3634.

The forms used are official Judicial Council forms FL-380 through FL-382. Click below to view the official forms. http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm?filter=MO

These statutes allow a party to file and then serve a request for an expedited child support order. The procedure and relevant rules for using this method to obtain an expedited order for child support are as follows: In an action for expedited child support that has been filed and served, the Court may, without a hearing, make an order requiring a parent or parents to pay for the support of their minor child or children during the pendency of that action, pursuant to this chapter, the amount required by Section 4055 or, if the income of the obligated parent or parents is unknown to the applicant, then the minimum amount of support as provided in Section 11452 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. See Family Code § 3621.

The court shall make an expedited support order upon the filing of all of the following: (a) An application for an expedited child support order, setting forth the minimum amount the obligated parent or parents are required to pay pursuant to Section 4055 of this code or the minimum basic standards of adequate care for Region 1 as specified in Sections 11452 and 11452.018 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (b) An income and expense declaration for both parents, completed by the applicant. (c) A worksheet setting forth the basis of the amount of support requested. (d) A proposed expedited child support order. See Family Code § 3622.

(a) An application for the expedited support order confers jurisdiction on the court to hear only the issue of support of the child or children for whom support may be ordered. (b) Nothing in this chapter prevents either party from bringing before the court at the hearing other separately noticed issues otherwise relevant and proper to the action in which the application for the expedited support order has been filed. See Family Code § 3623.

(a) Subject to Section 3625, an expedited support order becomes effective 30 days after service on the obligated parent of all of the following: (1) The application for an expedited child support order. (2) The proposed expedited child support order, which shall include a notice of consequences of failure to file a response. (3) The completed income and expense declaration for both parents. (4) A worksheet setting forth the basis of the amount of support requested. (5) Three blank copies of the income and expense declaration form. (6) Three blank copies of the response to an application for expedited child support order and notice of hearing form. (b) Service on the obligated parent of the application and other required documents as set forth in subdivision (a) shall be by personal service or by any method available under Sections 415.10 to 415.40, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure. (c) Unless there is a response to the application for an expedited support order as provided in Section 3625, the expedited support order shall be effective on the obligated parent without further action by the court. See Family Code § 3624.

(a) A response to the application for the proposed expedited support order and the obligated parent’s income and expense declaration may be filed with the court at any time before the effective date of the expedited support order and, on filing, shall be served upon the applicant by any method by which a response to a notice of motion may be served. (b) The response to the application for an expedited support order shall state the objections of the obligated parent to the proposed expedited support order. (c) The simultaneous filing of the response to the application for an expedited support order and the obligated parent’s income and expense declaration shall stay the effective date of the expedited support order. (d) No fee shall be charged for, or in connection with, the filing of the response. See Family Code § 3625.

The obligated parent shall cause the court clerk to, and the court clerk shall, set a hearing on the application for the expedited support order not less than 20 nor more than 30 days after the filing of the response to the application for the expedited support order and income and expense declaration. See Family Code § 3626.

The obligated parent shall give notice of the hearing to the other parties or their counsel by first-class mail not less than 15 days before the hearing. See Family Code § 3627.

If notice of the hearing is not given as provided in Section 3627, the expedited support order becomes effective as provided in Section 3624, subject to the relief available to the responding party as provided by Section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure or any other available relief whether in law or in equity. See Family Code § 3628.

(a) At the hearing on the application for the expedited support order, all parties who are parents of the child or children who are the subject of the action shall produce copies of their most recently filed federal and state income tax returns. (b) A tax return so submitted may be reviewed by the other parties, and a party also may be examined by the other parties as to the contents of the return. (c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), a party who fails to submit documents to the court as required by this chapter shall not be granted the relief that the party has requested. (d) The court may grant the requested relief if the party submits a declaration under penalty of perjury that (1) no such document exists, or (2) in the case of a tax return, it cannot be produced, but a copy has been requested from the Internal Revenue Service or Franchise Tax Board. See Family Code § 3629.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the amount of the expedited support order shall be the minimum amount the obligated parent is required to pay as set forth in the application. (b) If a hearing is held on the application, the court shall order an amount of support in accordance with Article 2 (commencing with Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2. See Family Code § 3630. When there is a hearing, the resulting order shall be called an order after hearing. See Family Code § 3631.

An order after hearing shall become effective not more than 30 days after the filing of the response to the application for the expedited support order and may be given retroactive effect to the date of the filing of the application. See Family Code § 3632. An order entered under this chapter may be modified or terminated at any time on the same basis as any other order for child support. See Family Code § 3633.

As stated in this blog post the method described above is an extremely useful tool to obtain an expedited child support order, in some cases without a hearing, provided that the other party does not oppose it. And even if there is a hearing it must be held not more than 30 days from the filing of any response. This is significantly faster in most cases than the traditional methods of obtaining a child support order.

To view over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation sold by the author of this blog post visit: View over 300 sample legal documents for sale

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

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