You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

California Child and Spousal Support: Establishing, Modifying, and Enforcing

Get the best results for your client in a family law support case with step-by-step guidance, time-saving tips, and sample forms in this affordable, in-depth guide.

Get the best results for your client in a family law support case with step-by-step guidance, time-saving tips, and sample forms in this affordable, in-depth guide.

  • Show why “guideline” child support is inadequate or excessive in a particular case
  • Confidently cite Fam C §4320 spousal support factors to your client’s advantage
  • Successfully build a case for imputing income to a party
  • Modify support in light of employment or other changes
  • Find the remedy you need to enforce or set aside a support order
  • Avoid procedural pitfalls and jurisdictional traps in both California and interstate cases
  • Understand remedies available through the Department of Child Support Services
 
OnLAW FA94840

Web access for one user.

 

If you are signed in and a new attorney, your adjusted cost appears below.

$ 290.00
Print FA33840

approx. 550 pages, looseleaf, updated 8/18

 

If you are signed in and a new attorney, your adjusted cost appears below.

$ 290.00
Add OnLAW to print FA94840(40)
$ 129.00

Get the best results for your client in a family law support case with step-by-step guidance, time-saving tips, and sample forms in this affordable, in-depth guide.

  • Show why “guideline” child support is inadequate or excessive in a particular case
  • Confidently cite Fam C §4320 spousal support factors to your client’s advantage
  • Successfully build a case for imputing income to a party
  • Modify support in light of employment or other changes
  • Find the remedy you need to enforce or set aside a support order
  • Avoid procedural pitfalls and jurisdictional traps in both California and interstate cases
  • Understand remedies available through the Department of Child Support Services
 

1

Court’s Authority to Order Payment of Child Support

Hon. Barrett J. Foerster

  • I.  PERSONS SUBJECT TO SUPPORT ORDER AND CHILDREN FOR WHOM SUPPORT MAY BE ORDERED
    • A.  Parents
      • 1.  Support Duty for Minor Children
        • a.  Nature and Extent of Duty  1.1
        • b.  How Support Duty Is Shared  1.2
        • c.  Effect on Support Duty of Interference With Visitation or Concealment of Child
          • (1)  Interference With Visitation Rights  1.3
          • (2)  Concealment of Child  1.4
      • 2.  Support for Adult Children  1.5
        • a.  Support Duty Pending Adult Child’s Graduation From High School  1.6
        • b.  Incapacitated Adult Child Without Sufficient Means  1.7
        • c.  Payment of Support Arrearages After Child Reaches Adulthood  1.8
        • d.  “Indirect” Child Support  1.9
      • 3.  Related Issues
        • a.  Determining Parentage  1.10
        • b.  Liability Following Parent’s Death  1.11
        • c.  Child Support Treatment in Bankruptcy Court  1.12
        • d.  Criminal Liability of Parents for Nonsupport  1.13
        • e.  Liabilities to Third Parties
          • (1)  Parental Liability to Third Parties Who Provide Necessities to Child  1.14
          • (2)  Liability of Parent to Child’s Relative or Other Parent for Voluntary Support of Child  1.15
    • B.  Stepparent’s Support Duty by Estoppel  1.16
    • C.  Grandparents’ Liability for Visitation Expenses  1.17
  • II.  PERSONAL JURISDICTION REQUIRED OVER PARTY ORDERED TO PAY SUPPORT  1.18
    • A.  Bases of Jurisdiction  1.19
      • 1.  Physical Presence of Party in Forum State at Time of Service  1.20
      • 2.  Domicile  1.21
      • 3.  Consent  1.22
      • 4.  Minimum Contacts  1.23
        • a.  Requirements for Minimum Contacts  1.24
        • b.  When Sufficient Contacts Are Assessed  1.25
    • B.  Continuing Jurisdiction  1.26
    • C.  Personal Jurisdiction Under UPA and UIFSA  1.27
  • III.  PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH COURT MAY ORDER CHILD SUPPORT
    • A.  Marital Dissolution and Related Proceedings  1.28
    • B.  Domestic Partnership Dissolution Proceedings  1.29
    • C.  Civil Action to Enforce Parental Support Duty  1.30
    • D.  Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) Proceedings  1.31
      • 1.  Court’s Authority to Make Temporary Support Orders  1.32
      • 2.  Private UPA Actions to Establish Parental Relationship; Standing  1.33
        • a.  Parent-and-Child Relationship  1.34
        • b.  Parentage Presumptions  1.35
        • c.  Voluntary Declaration of Paternity  1.36
        • d.  Proof of Adoption  1.37
        • e.  Child Support and Related Expenses  1.38
      • 3.  Standing to Enforce UPA Support Order  1.39
      • 4.  Private UPA Actions to Enforce Oral or Written Promise of Support  1.40
    • E.  Title IV and Other DCSS Actions
      • 1.  Background  1.41
      • 2.  How DCSS Discharges Its Obligations  1.42
      • 3.  Standing Required  1.43
      • 4.  DCSS Entitled to Notice of Other Proceedings  1.44
      • 5.  Assignment of Support Rights  1.45
      • 6.  Other Relief Available  1.46
      • 7.  Ineffective Defenses to DCSS Action for Reimbursement  1.47
    • F.  Domestic Violence Protection Act Proceedings  1.48
      • 1.  Prerequisites for Child Support Order Under DVPA  1.49
      • 2.  Effect of Other DVPA Orders on Child Support Amount  1.50
    • G.  Dependency and Guardianship Distinguished
      • 1.  Background  1.51
      • 2.  Dependency Proceedings  1.52
      • 3.  Guardianship Proceedings  1.53
  • IV.  ISSUES RELATED TO COURT’S AUTHORITY TO ORDER CHILD SUPPORT
    • A.  Overview  1.54
    • B.  Parental Support Agreements
      • 1.  Agreement Must Not Divest Court of Jurisdiction Over Support  1.55
      • 2.  Court May Extend Support Duty Pursuant to Parties’ Agreement  1.56
      • 3.  Agreements Below Support Guideline Amount  1.57
      • 4.  Agreements Under UPA  1.58
    • C.  Child’s Emancipation  1.59
    • D.  Termination of Parental Rights  1.60
    • E.  Child’s Adoption  1.61

2

Procedure to Establish Initial Child Support Orders

Shanon K. Quinley

  • I.  PROCEDURAL CONTEXT
    • A.  Jurisdiction and Venue for Child Support Orders
      • 1.  Subject Matter and Personal Jurisdiction in General  2.1
        • a.  Subject Matter Jurisdiction  2.2
        • b.  Personal Jurisdiction  2.3
      • 2.  Jurisdiction If Simultaneous Support Action Brought in Another State  2.4
      • 3.  Venue  2.5
    • B.  Selection of Court Proceeding and Relationship of Support to Other Relief
      • 1.  Selection of Court Proceeding  2.6
      • 2.  Relationship of Child Support Application to Other Relief  2.7
        • a.  Child Custody and Visitation  2.8
        • b.  Spousal Support and Family Support  2.9
        • c.  Restraining or Protective Orders; Property Control  2.10
        • d.  Finding of Parentage  2.11
    • C.  Timing and Significance of Initial Support Application  2.12
      • 1.  Requesting Temporary Support at Outset of Case
        • a.  Obtaining Support at Noticed Hearing on Temporary Orders  2.13
        • b.  Application for Expedited Support Order  2.14
        • c.  Relationship of Temporary to “Permanent” Support at Time of Trial  2.15
        • d.  Retroactivity of Order  2.16
      • 2.  Supplemental Support Petition for After-Born Child  2.17
  • II.  PLEADINGS, SERVICE OF PROCESS, AND DISCOVERY
    • A.  Pleadings and Papers Involved in Requesting Child Support
      • 1.  Petition and Response  2.18
      • 2.  Application for Support Using Request for Order Procedure
        • a.  Request for Order and Related Papers
          • (1)  Using Request for Order as Order to Show Cause or Notice of Motion  2.19
          • (2)  Completing Request for Order and Supporting Declaration  2.20
          • (3)  Advising Court About Public Assistance; Notice to Child Support Agency  2.21
          • (4)  Income and Expense Declaration  2.22
          • (5)  Income Tax Returns  2.23
        • b.  Requesting Orders Shortening Time  2.24
        • c.  Service of Process  2.25
    • B.  Responsive Declaration and Related Papers
      • 1.  Responsive Declaration  2.26
      • 2.  Other Papers  2.27
    • C.  Use of Expedited Child Support Order Procedure  2.28
    • D.  Discovery and Analysis of Financial Information  2.29
      • 1.  Discovery
        • a.  Informal Exchanges of Information  2.30
        • b.  Statutory Disclosure Requirements  2.31
        • c.  Formal Discovery Under Code of Civil Procedure  2.32
          • (1)  Family Law and Other Interrogatories  2.33
          • (2)  Demand for Inspection, Copying, Testing, Sampling, or Production  2.34
          • (3)  Requests for Admission  2.35
          • (4)  Oral and Other Depositions  2.36
            • (a)  Oral Depositions  2.37
            • (b)  Deposition Subpoena for Personal or Business Records  2.38
          • (5)  Other Formal Discovery Devices  2.39
        • d.  Internet Resources
          • (1)  Social Networking Sites  2.40
          • (2)  Other Online Resources  2.41
      • 2.  Analysis of Financial Information From Specific Documents
        • a.  Income and Expense Declaration  2.42
        • b.  Income Tax Returns and Related Documents
          • (1)  Personal Returns  2.43
          • (2)  Business Returns  2.44
          • (3)  Related Documents  2.45
        • c.  Payroll Vouchers (Pay Stubs)
          • (1)  Taxable Income  2.46
          • (2)  Nontaxable Income  2.47
          • (3)  Mandatory and Optional Deductions  2.48
        • d.  Profit and Loss Statement of Business  2.49
      • 3.  Use of Experts to Aid in Discovery or Analysis  2.50
      • 4.  Additional Issues Raised by Discovery
        • a.  Potential for Disclosure of Tax Fraud  2.51
        • b.  Purported Business Expenditure Is Not “Expense of Business” for Support Purposes  2.52
        • c.  Third Party Privacy  2.53
  • III.  SUPPORT HEARING OR TRIAL
    • A.  Preparation for Short Cause Hearing or Main Trial
      • 1.  Short Cause Hearing  2.54
      • 2.  Trial  2.55
    • B.  Calendar Priority of Child Support Hearing  2.56
    • C.  Live Testimony Versus “Trial on Declarations”  2.57
    • D.  Spousal Testimonial Privileges Inapplicable  2.58
    • E.  Requesting Court Findings  2.59
    • F.  Requesting Statement of Decision  2.60
  • IV.  COURT’S CHILD SUPPORT ORDER
    • A.  Effective Date of Order
      • 1.  Order Effective When Made  2.61
      • 2.  Retroactivity  2.62
    • B.  Contents of Order
      • 1.  Support Amount and Payment Details  2.63
      • 2.  Information Required by Fam C §4056 if Support Differs From Guideline or at Party’s Request  2.64
      • 3.  Findings on Circumstances for Support Order  2.65
      • 4.  Mandatory and Discretionary Additions or “Add-Ons”  2.66
      • 5.  Health Insurance  2.67
      • 6.  Information on Wage Assignment or Assignment Waiver  2.68
      • 7.  Security for Payment on Showing of Good Cause  2.69
      • 8.  Parties’ Support Agreement Reflected in Order  2.70
      • 9.  Attorney Fees and Costs  2.71
      • 10.  Notice of Rights and Responsibilities; Information About Modification  2.72
    • C.  Local Support Agency’s Consent to Below-Guideline Stipulated Order
      • 1.  Need for Agency Joinder in Stipulation and When Stipulation Prohibited  2.73
      • 2.  Order for Job Training or Placement  2.74
    • D.  Appeal, Effect, and Modifiability of Order
      • 1.  Appeal From Support Order  2.75
      • 2.  Existing Order Made Without Prejudice for Future Orders  2.76
      • 3.  Modifiability and Terminability of Order  2.77
    • E.  Child Support Registry  2.78
  • V.  RELATED ORDERS AND ISSUES
    • A.  Qualified Medical Child Support Orders and COBRA Benefits
      • 1.  Qualified Medical Child Support Orders  2.79
      • 2.  Coordinating Health-Related Orders and COBRA Benefits  2.80
    • B.  Health Insurance for Low-Income Children  2.81
    • C.  Health Coverage Assignment Order  2.82
  • VI.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Application for Child Support  2.83
    • B.  Form: Sample Declaration Opposing Application for Child Support  2.84
    • C.  Form: Child Support Information and Order Attachment (Judicial Council Form FL-342)  2.85
    • D.  Form: Non-Guideline Child Support Findings Attachment (Judicial Council Form FL-342(A))  2.86
    • E.  Form: Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support and Order (Judicial Council Form FL-350)  2.87

3

Determining Child Support Under Statewide Guideline

Jennifer F. Wald

  • I.  REQUIREMENT THAT COURTS USE STATUTORY SUPPORT GUIDELINE
    • A.  Governing Statutes  3.1
    • B.  Federal Mandate for Statewide Guideline  3.2
    • C.  California’s Adoption of Guideline
      • 1.  Legislative Intent in Adopting Guideline  3.3
      • 2.  Periodic Review of Guideline by Judicial Council  3.4
  • II.  CALCULATION OF SUPPORT AMOUNT USING GUIDELINE
    • A.  Guideline Formula and Its Components Summarized  3.5
    • B.  Initial Determinations
      • 1.  Net Disposable Income: Gross Income Less Deductions
        • a.  Overview  3.6
        • b.  Gross Income Sources and Exceptions
          • (1)  General Rule Looks to Income From Any Source Derived  3.7
          • (2)  Salary and Wages  3.8
          • (3)  Self-Employment and Seasonal Income  3.9
          • (4)  Accounts Receivable  3.10
          • (5)  Employer-Paid Living Expenses  3.11
          • (6)  Stock Options  3.12
          • (7)  Royalties, Tips, and Gratuities  3.13
          • (8)  Personal Injury Awards  3.14
          • (9)  Other Items of Potential Income
            • (a)  Debt Reduction  3.15
            • (b)  Living Expenses Paid by Parent’s Business  3.16
            • (c)  Inheritances and Gifts  3.17
            • (d)  Income-Generating Assets and Imputed Income From Other Assets  3.18
            • (e)  Effect of Income From Subsequent Spouse or Nonmarital Partner  3.19
          • (10)  Funds Generally Excluded in Computing Gross Income
            • (a)  Life Insurance Benefits  3.20
            • (b)  Loans  3.21
            • (c)  Lump-sum Lottery Winnings; Exceptions  3.22
        • c.  Imputing Income Based on Earning Capacity
          • (1)  Authority to Consider Earning Capacity  3.23
          • (2)  Application of Earning Capacity Analysis  3.24
          • (3)  Court’s Power to Order Evaluations and Participation in Job Programs
            • (a)  Vocational Evaluations and Physical Examinations  3.25
            • (b)  Participation in Job Programs  3.26
          • (4)  Restrictions on Requiring Public Assistance Recipient to Seek Work  3.27
          • (5)  Incarcerated Parents  3.28
          • (6)  Deliberate Efforts to Conceal Income  3.29
          • (7)  Voluntary Change to Lower-Paid or No Employment  3.30
        • d.  Deductions From Gross Income  3.31
          • (1)  Income Taxes  3.32
          • (2)  Deductions Attributable to FICA  3.33
          • (3)  Mandatory Retirement Contributions and Union Dues  3.34
          • (4)  Health Insurance  3.35
          • (5)  Child or Spousal Support  3.36
          • (6)  Job-Related Expenses  3.37
          • (7)  Hardship  3.38
          • (8)  Other Deductions  3.39
        • e.  Effect of Child’s Independent Estate or Income  3.40
        • f.  Fine-Tuning Determination of Income
          • (1)  Allocation of Dependency Exemption for Year 2017 and Earlier Tax Returns  3.41
          • (2)  Allocation of Child Tax Credit  3.41A
          • (3)  Allocation of Head-of-Household Status  3.42
          • (4)  Calculation of Bonuses and Other Recurring and Nonrecurring Payments  3.43
      • 2.  Adjustment for Periods of Primary Physical Responsibility of Children  3.44
    • C.  Application of Guideline Formula and Use of Computer Software
      • 1.  Application of Guideline Formula
        • a.  Child Support  3.45
        • b.  Family Support  3.46
      • 2.  Use of Computer Software  3.47
    • D.  Low-Income Adjustment  3.48
    • E.  Findings Required at Party’s Request  3.49
  • III.  PRESUMPTIVE CORRECTNESS OF GUIDELINE AMOUNT AND ITS REBUTTAL
    • A.  Presumption That Guideline Formula Amount Correct  3.50
    • B.  Rebutting Presumption
      • 1.  Required Finding: Application of Formula Unjust or Inappropriate  3.51
      • 2.  Rebuttal Factors in Fam C §4057
        • a.  Overview  3.52
        • b.  Parties’ Stipulation to Different Amount  3.53
        • c.  Adjustment for Rental Value of Family Residence Subject to Deferred Sale  3.54
        • d.  Extraordinarily High Income of Payer Parent  3.55
        • e.  Party’s Inadequate Contribution to Child’s Needs in Relation to Custodial Time  3.56
        • f.  Special Circumstances Make Formula Amount Unjust or Inappropriate  3.57
  • IV.  ADDITIONAL SUPPORT ADJUSTMENTS
    • A.  Introduction  3.58
    • B.  Mandatory and Discretionary Additions (“Add-Ons”)
      • 1.  Mandatory Add-Ons
        • a.  Child Care Costs Related to Employment, Education, or Training  3.59
        • b.  Children’s Uninsured Health Care Costs  3.60
      • 2.  Discretionary Add-Ons
        • a.  Children’s Educational or Other Special Needs  3.61
        • b.  Travel Expenses for Visitation  3.62
      • 3.  Apportionment of Add-On Expenses  3.63
    • C.  Adjustment for Seasonal or Fluctuating Income  3.64
  • V.  RELATED INCOME TAX ISSUES
    • A.  Child Support Not Deductible or Includable as Income  3.65
    • B.  Special Rules for Treating Spousal or Family Support as Nondeductible Child Support  3.66

4

Grounds and Procedure to Modify or Terminate Child Support

Esther Rosenfeld

  • I.  AUTHORITY TO MODIFY OR TERMINATE CHILD SUPPORT
    • A.  Court’s General Authority to Modify or Terminate Child Support
      • 1.  Court May Modify or Terminate Support “As Necessary”  4.1
      • 2.  Meaning of “Termination” in Context of Child Support  4.2
      • 3.  Limits on Retroactivity of Modification  4.3
    • B.  Authority to Modify Foreign Child Support Orders  4.4
  • II.  GROUNDS TO MODIFY OR TERMINATE CHILD SUPPORT
    • A.  General Requirement of Changed Circumstances  4.5
    • B.  Changed Circumstances Not Required if Order Below Guideline Amount  4.6
    • C.  Effect of Denying Visitation or Custodial Rights on Modification  4.7
  • III.  PROCEDURE TO MODIFY OR TERMINATE CALIFORNIA SUPPORT ORDERS
    • A.  Court’s Jurisdiction and Venue
      • 1.  Subject Matter Jurisdiction  4.8
      • 2.  Personal Jurisdiction  4.9
    • B.  Effect of Contempt on Standing to Modify  4.10
    • C.  Applying for Modification  4.11
      • 1.  Moving Party’s Pleadings and Papers
        • a.  Request for Order  4.12
        • b.  Relief Requested and Supporting Declaration  4.13
        • c.  Income and Expense Declaration  4.14
        • d.  Other Papers  4.15
      • 2.  Responding Party’s Pleadings and Papers
        • a.  Responsive Declaration  4.16
        • b.  Income and Expense Declaration  4.17
        • c.  Other Papers  4.18
    • D.  Special Modification Procedure for Persons Deployed in Military Service  4.19
    • E.  Applying for Modification by Simplified Statutory Procedure
      • 1.  Authority  4.20
      • 2.  Use of Special Judicial Council Forms  4.21
    • F.  Discovery in Aid of Modification or Termination of Child Support Order
      • 1.  Use of Standard Discovery Methods  4.22
      • 2.  Use of Special Statutory Discovery Procedures and Forms
        • a.  Limit on Use of Procedure; Required Forms  4.23
        • b.  Request for Production of Income and Expense Declaration  4.24
        • c.  Tax Returns  4.25
        • d.  Enforcement and Sanctions  4.26
    • G.  Court Hearing and Order
      • 1.  Hearing  4.27
      • 2.  Order Modifying or Terminating Child Support  4.28
  • IV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Motion to Modify or Terminate Child Support  4.29
    • B.  Form: Sample Declaration Opposing Motion to Modify or Terminate Child Support  4.30

5

Court’s Authority to Order Payment of Spousal Support

Terry S. Wheeler

  • I.  SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDER REQUIRES UNDERLYING OBLIGATION
    • A.  Spouses’ Mutual Obligation of Support During Marriage
      • 1.  Parties Living Together  5.1
      • 2.  Parties Living Separately by Agreement  5.2
      • 3.  Liability to Third Parties for Necessaries Furnished to Spouse
        • a.  Doctrine of Necessaries  5.3
        • b.  Court Order for Payments to Third Party in Lieu of Spouse Distinguished  5.4
      • 4.  Liability of Decedent’s Estate for Support of Surviving Spouse  5.5
      • 5.  Criminal Liability for Nonsupport and Abandonment of Spouse  5.6
    • B.  Other Relationships That May Give Rise to Support Obligation
      • 1.  Registered Domestic Partnership  5.7
      • 2.  Putative Marriage and Putative Domestic Partnership  5.8
      • 3.  Nonmarital Cohabitation Distinguished  5.9
    • C.  Effect of Parties’ Agreement on Support Obligation
      • 1.  Premarital Agreements  5.10
      • 2.  Postnuptial Agreements  5.11
      • 3.  Marital Settlement Agreements  5.12
      • 4.  I-864 Federal Affidavit of Support for an Immigrant  5.12A
      • 5.  Discharge of Agreement in Bankruptcy Does Not Preclude Support Order  5.13
  • II.  PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH COURT MAY ORDER SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Dissolution-Related Proceedings  5.14
    • B.  Domestic Violence Protection Act Proceedings  5.15
    • C.  Civil Action to Enforce Spousal Support Duty  5.16
  • III.  LIMITATIONS ON COURT’S AUTHORITY TO ORDER SUPPORT
    • A.  General Statutory Limits on Court’s Authority to Order Spousal Support
      • 1.  Family Code §4320 Factors  5.17
      • 2.  Effect of Party’s Separate Estate  5.18
      • 3.  Convictions for Attempted Murder or Domestic Violence
        • a.  Attempted Murder  5.19
        • b.  Domestic Violence  5.20
    • B.  Order Generally Terminates on Death of Either Spouse or Remarriage of Supported Spouse  5.21
    • C.  Agreement May Preclude Court’s Authority to Modify or Terminate Support  5.22
    • D.  Court May Lack Jurisdiction Under UIFSA  5.23

6

Procedure to Establish Initial Spousal Support Orders

Katie Burke

  • I.  PROCEDURAL CONTEXT
    • A.  Jurisdiction and Venue for Spousal Support Orders
      • 1.  Subject Matter and Personal Jurisdiction in General
        • a.  Subject Matter Jurisdiction  6.1
        • b.  Personal Jurisdiction  6.2
        • c.  Court Jurisdiction if Simultaneous Action Brought in Another State  6.3
      • 2.  Venue  6.4
    • B.  Timing and Significance of Temporary Support Application
      • 1.  Requesting Temporary Support
        • a.  Obtaining Initial Support Order at Court Hearing  6.5
        • b.  Relationship of Temporary to Permanent Support  6.6
      • 2.  Retroactivity of Order  6.7
    • C.  Seeking Permanent Spousal Support  6.8
    • D.  Seeking Reservation of Court’s Jurisdiction to Request Support at Later Time  6.9
    • E.  Relationship of Spousal Support Application to Other Relief
      • 1.  Context of Support Application  6.10
      • 2.  Child Support  6.11
      • 3.  Property Control  6.12
      • 4.  Restraining or Protective Orders  6.13
      • 5.  Attorney Fees and Costs  6.14
    • F.  Pleadings and Papers Involved in Requesting or Opposing Spousal Support
      • 1.  Petition or Response  6.15
      • 2.  Support Application and Response
        • a.  Request for Order and Related Papers
          • (1)  Request for Order  6.16
          • (2)  Supporting Declaration  6.17
          • (3)  Income and Expense Declaration  6.18
          • (4)  Income Tax Returns  6.19
        • b.  Responsive Declaration and Related Papers
          • (1)  Responsive Declaration  6.20
          • (2)  Other Papers  6.21
    • G.  Service of Process
      • 1.  Request for Order  6.22
      • 2.  Responsive Declaration  6.22A
    • H.  Discovery and Analysis of Financial Information
      • 1.  General Discovery Procedures  6.23
      • 2.  Vocational Examinations  6.24
  • II.  HEARING ON TEMPORARY SPOUSAL SUPPORT AND COURT ORDER
    • A.  Preparation for Hearing on Temporary Support
      • 1.  Evidence Needed to Establish or Refute Need for Support  6.25
      • 2.  Need for Live Testimony Versus “Hearing on Declarations”  6.26
      • 3.  Domestic Violence  6.26A
      • 4.  Immigration Issues  6.26B
    • B.  Court’s Temporary Spousal Support Order
      • 1.  Effective Date of Order and Retroactivity
        • a.  Order Effective When Made  6.27
        • b.  Retroactivity  6.28
      • 2.  Duration, Appealability, and Modifiability of Order
        • a.  Duration of Order  6.29
        • b.  Appealability of Order  6.30
        • c.  Modifiability of Order  6.31
  • III.  TRIAL ON PERMANENT SUPPORT AND COURT ORDER
    • A.  Preparation for Trial on Permanent Support
      • 1.  Planning Evidence Presentation
        • a.  Focus on Fam C §4320 Factors in Planning Presentation  6.32
        • b.  Consideration of Other Support Factors  6.33
      • 2.  Possible Need for Bifurcated Trial if Support Waived in Premarital Agreement  6.34
      • 3.  Spousal Testimonial Privileges Inapplicable  6.35
      • 4.  Requesting Court Findings and Statement of Decision  6.36
      • 5.  Court’s Admonition to Recipient of Permanent Support (Gavron Warning)  6.37
    • B.  Court’s Permanent Spousal Support Order
      • 1.  Retroactivity of Permanent Spousal Support  6.37A
      • 2.  Matters Includable in Order Regardless of Form
        • a.  Findings on Marital Standard of Living and Parties’ Other Circumstances  6.38
        • b.  Information on Wage Assignment or Assignment Waiver  6.39
        • c.  Security for Payment  6.40
      • 3.  Support Payment Variations That Court May Order  6.41
      • 4.  Order Based on Parties’ Agreement
        • a.  Agreement Permits Flexibility in Creating Support Provisions  6.42
        • b.  Agreement-Based Order Is “Law-Imposed”  6.43
        • c.  Agreement-Based Orders for “Family Support”  6.44
      • 5.  Award of Attorney Fees and Costs  6.45
      • 6.  Appealability and Modifiability of Order
        • a.  Appealability of Order  6.46
        • b.  Modifiability and Terminability of Order  6.47
  • IV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order for Indefinite Term With Modifiable Amount  6.48
    • B.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order for Definite Term With Modifiable Amount  6.49
    • C.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order for Specified Period With Nonmodifiable Amount and Burden on Supported Party to Avoid Termination  6.50
    • D.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order Providing for Decreasing Amount (Step-Down) Over Time  6.51
    • E.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order Reserving Court’s Jurisdiction, With No Current Amount Payable  6.52
    • F.  Form: Sample Spousal Support Order Terminating Court’s Jurisdiction Over Support  6.53

7

Determining Spousal Support Amount

Christopher C. Melcher

  • I.  DETERMINING TEMPORARY (PENDENTE LITE) SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Authority for Temporary Support  7.1
    • B.  Purpose and Amount of Temporary Support  7.2
    • C.  Use of Support Guidelines  7.3
    • D.  Modification or Termination of Temporary Award
      • 1.  Modification  7.4
      • 2.  Retroactive Modification  7.4A
      • 3.  Estoppel Regarding Stipulated Reservation of Jurisdiction  7.4B
      • 4.  Termination  7.5
  • II.  DETERMINING PERMANENT (LONG-TERM) SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Permanent and Temporary Support Distinguished  7.6
    • B.  Authority to Award Support  7.7
    • C.  Reservation of Jurisdiction
      • 1.  Court’s General Discretion to Reserve Jurisdiction  7.8
      • 2.  Marriages of Long Duration  7.9
      • 3.  Short Marriages  7.10
    • D.  Mandatory Considerations in Setting Permanent Support
      • 1.  Limitations on Court’s Discretion in Ordering Permanent Support  7.11
      • 2.  Importance of Marital Standard of Living  7.12
      • 3.  Family Code §4320 and Related Factors
        • a.  Need for Consideration of All §4320 Factors  7.13
        • b.  Earning Capacity
          • (1)  Relationship to Marital Standard of Living  7.14
          • (2)  When Court May Impute Income in Assessing Earning Capacity; Use of Vocational Examinations  7.15
          • (3)  Effect on Earning Capacity of Supported Party’s Ability to Engage in Employment While Having Child Custody  7.16
        • c.  Goal to Become Self-Supporting; Gavron Warning  7.17
        • d.  Contributions to Attainment of Education or Training  7.18
        • e.  Ability to Pay  7.19
        • f.  Fluctuating Income  7.19A
        • g.  Consideration of Assets Used for Lifestyle  7.19B
        • h.  “New Mate” Income Excluded  7.19C
        • i.  Needs of Each Party; Effect of Child Support and Nonmarital Cohabitation  7.20
        • j.  Assets and Obligations of Each Party
          • (1)  Assets and Obligations as §4320 Factor  7.21
          • (2)  Denial of Support to Party With Sufficient Property or Income or for Imprudent Use of Assets
            • (a)  Denial of Support Out of Supporting Party’s Separate Property  7.22
            • (b)  Outright Denial of Support if Party Has Sufficient Estate and No Children  7.23
            • (c)  Denial or Termination of Support for Imprudent Use of Assets  7.24
        • k.  Duration of Marriage  7.25
        • l.  Age and Health  7.26
        • m.  History of Domestic Violence  7.27
        • n.  Immediate and Specific Tax Consequences  7.28
        • o.  Balance of Hardships  7.29
        • p.  Other Just and Equitable Factors  7.30
        • q.  Recurring Gifts  7.30A
        • r.  Adult Child Expenses  7.30B
    • E.  Security for Spousal Support; Insurance  7.31
    • F.  Undifferentiated Award of Family Support  7.32
    • G.  Support Award Based on Parties’ Agreement  7.33
  • III.  INCOME TAX ASPECTS OF SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Pre-2019 Support Agreements and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act  7.33A
    • B.  Modification of Pre-2019 Support Instruments  7.33B
    • C.  Tax-Deductibility of Spousal Support Under Pre-2019 Instruments  7.34
      • 1.  Payments in Cash  7.35
      • 2.  Receipt of Payments by or on Behalf of Spouse or Former Spouse  7.36
      • 3.  Payments Received Under Divorce Decree or Written Agreement  7.37
      • 4.  Payment Not Designated as Nonincludable and Nondeductible  7.38
      • 5.  Parties Not Part of Same Household if Judgment Entered  7.39
      • 6.  No Payment Liability After Payee’s Death  7.40
      • 7.  Payment Not Fixed as Payable for Child Support; Treatment of Family Support  7.41
      • 8.  No Joint Return  7.42
    • D.  Recapture of Front-Loaded Spousal Support  7.43

8

Grounds and Procedure to Modify or Terminate Spousal Support

Christopher C. Melcher

  • I.  AUTHORITY TO MODIFY OR TERMINATE SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Court’s Broad Authority Over Spousal Support  8.1
    • B.  Termination of Support Jurisdiction by Order or Agreement
      • 1.  Background  8.2
      • 2.  Support Orders for Definite Term  8.3
      • 3.  Support Agreements
        • a.  Clear Agreements Strictly Enforced  8.4
        • b.  Treatment of Ambiguous Agreements  8.5
    • C.  Termination of Support Jurisdiction by Operation of Law
      • 1.  Party’s Death or Remarriage  8.6
      • 2.  Effect of Domestic Violence Conviction  8.7
    • D.  Other Limitations on Jurisdiction
      • 1.  Appeal Pending  8.8
      • 2.  Default Under Existing Order  8.9
  • II.  GROUNDS TO MODIFY OR TERMINATE SPOUSAL SUPPORT
    • A.  Change of Circumstances Rule
      • 1.  Development of Rule and Showing Generally Required  8.10
      • 2.  No Automatic Modification if Rule Satisfied  8.11
      • 3.  Applicability to Temporary Orders  8.12
      • 4.  Limitations Imposed by Agreement  8.13
      • 5.  Dual Burden of Proof for Upward Modification  8.14
    • B.  Factors in Establishing Change of Circumstances
      • 1.  Importance of Evaluating Circumstances Since Prior Order  8.15
      • 2.  Failure of Assumption in Step-Down Order  8.16
      • 3.  Passage of Time Itself Not Change in Circumstances  8.17
      • 4.  Changes in Income  8.18
      • 5.  Retirement of Supporting Party  8.19
      • 6.  Failure to Make Efforts to Become Self-Supporting  8.20
      • 7.  Failure to Manage Finances Prudently  8.21
      • 8.  Assets or Income Sufficient for Own Support  8.22
      • 9.  Supporting Party’s “New Mate” Income  8.23
      • 10.  Cohabitation by Supported Party  8.24
      • 11.  Change in Party’s Health  8.25
      • 12.  Gifts From Third Parties  8.26
      • 13.  Cost of Living Changes  8.27
      • 14.  Changes in Child Support  8.28
      • 15.  Presumption Created by Conviction for Domestic Violence  8.29
      • 16.  Frustrating Visitation With Child  8.30
      • 17.  Breach of Property Obligation in Judgment  8.31
    • C.  Additional Considerations When Modifying or Terminating Support Order
      • 1.  Court’s Focus on Amount or Duration of Support  8.32
      • 2.  Consideration of Recapture Rule  8.33
      • 3.  Possibility of Support Termination  8.34
      • 4.  Temporary Support Modification  8.35
      • 5.  Retroactive Support Modification  8.36
  • III.  SPECIAL PROCEDURAL RULES
    • A.  Use of Request for Order  8.37
    • B.  Jurisdiction and Venue  8.38
    • C.  Service of Process  8.39
    • D.  Military Deployment  8.40
    • E.  Discovery in Aid of Modification  8.41
    • F.  Attorney Fees  8.42
    • G.  Hearing and Order
      • 1.  Need for Ruling Before Court’s Jurisdiction Terminates  8.43
      • 2.  Statement of Decision  8.44
    • H.  Effect of Preexisting Abstract of Support Judgment  8.45
  • IV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Request to Modify or Terminate Spousal Support  8.46
    • B.  Form: Sample Declaration Opposing Request to Modify or Terminate Spousal Support  8.47

9

Enforcement Remedies for Child and Spousal Support

Raymond R. Goldstein

  • I.  SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT OVERVIEW
    • A.  Court’s Broad Enforcement Authority  9.1
    • B.  Locating Assets and Developing Enforcement Strategies  9.2
    • C.  Special Considerations for Enforcement of Pendente Lite Support  9.3
    • D.  Family Support Enforceable to Same Extent as Child Support  9.4
    • E.  Calculation of Support Arrearages  9.5
    • F.  Renewal of Support Judgments
      • 1.  No Renewal Required for Support Judgments  9.6
      • 2.  Potential Advantages of Renewal
        • a.  Advantages Summarized  9.7
        • b.  Compound Interest  9.8
        • c.  Evocation and Preclusion of Defenses  9.9
    • G.  Effect of Party’s Death on Enforceability of Judgments
      • 1.  Death of Creditor  9.10
      • 2.  Death of Debtor  9.11
  • II.  POSTJUDGMENT DISCOVERY TO AID SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
    • A.  Discovery Limited Unless Family Law Matter Pending  9.12
    • B.  Particular Discovery Measures
      • 1.  Interrogatories  9.13
      • 2.  Demands for Inspection and Copying  9.14
      • 3.  Examination Proceedings
        • a.  Nature of Examination Proceedings  9.15
        • b.  Examination of Judgment Debtor  9.16
        • c.  Examination of Third Party Who Controls Property  9.17
        • d.  Appearances of Witnesses at Examination  9.18
        • e.  Other Examination Provisions  9.19
  • III.  EARNINGS ASSIGNMENT ORDERS FOR SUPPORT
    • A.  Types of Orders  9.20
    • B.  Earnings Defined  9.21
    • C.  Authority and Procedure to Obtain Earnings Assignment Orders
      • 1.  Importance of Date Support Order Issued
        • a.  Recent Orders (Orders Issued On or After July 1, 1990)
          • (1)  Income Withholding Order  9.22
          • (2)  Earnings Assignment Order for Partner or Spousal Support  9.23
          • (3)  Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)  9.24
        • b.  Orders Before July 1, 1990  9.25
      • 2.  Service of Order on Employer and Employer’s Duties  9.26
      • 3.  Effect of Obligor’s Employment Change or Obligee’s Address Change
        • a.  Obligor’s Employment Change  9.27
        • b.  Obligee’s Address Change  9.28
      • 4.  Priority of Assignments Between Current Support and Arrearages  9.29
      • 5.  Ancillary Assignment Order Procedures
        • a.  Stay of Service and Termination of Stay of Assignment Order
          • (1)  Stay of Service  9.30
          • (2)  Termination of Stay  9.31
        • b.  Termination of Assignment Order  9.32
        • c.  Motion to Quash Assignment Order  9.33
  • IV.  LIENS ON REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AS ENFORCEMENT MEASURES
    • A.  Real Property Judgment Liens
      • 1.  Creation by Recordation  9.34
      • 2.  Procedure  9.35
    • B.  Personal Property Liens
      • 1.  Judgment Liens on Personal Property
        • a.  Creation and Duration  9.36
        • b.  Affected Property and Amount of Lien  9.37
      • 2.  Liens on Earnings  9.38
      • 3.  Liens Created by Order for Debtor or Third Party to Appear at Examination  9.39
      • 4.  Execution Liens  9.40
  • V.  PROPERTY SUBJECT TO ENFORCEMENT
    • A.  Debtor’s Property in General  9.41
    • B.  Community Property  9.42
  • VI.  ENFORCEMENT BY WRIT OF EXECUTION AND LEVY
    • A.  Writ of Execution
      • 1.  Function of Writ and Property Subject to Execution  9.43
      • 2.  Property Not Subject to Execution  9.44
      • 3.  Procedure to Obtain Writ of Execution  9.45
      • 4.  Recalling and Quashing Writ of Execution  9.46
    • B.  Levy on Property and Wage Garnishment
      • 1.  Use of Sheriff or Registered Process Server  9.47
      • 2.  Levy on Particular Property
        • a.  Deposit Accounts and Safe Deposit Boxes
          • (1)  Account or Box Held in Debtor’s Name—Alone or With Third Person  9.48
          • (2)  Account or Box in Name of Debtor’s Spouse—Alone or With Third Person  9.49
          • (3)  Account or Box Held Under Fictitious Business Name of Debtor or Debtor’s Spouse  9.50
        • b.  Vehicle or Vessel  9.51
        • c.  Debtor’s Interest in Decedent’s Estate  9.51A
      • 3.  Sale or Collection of Levied Property
        • a.  Sale  9.52
        • b.  Collection  9.53
      • 4.  Private Place Orders
        • a.  Need for and Use of Orders  9.53A
        • b.  Procedure to Obtain Orders  9.53B
      • 5.  Turnover Orders  9.54
      • 6.  Self-Settled Trusts  9.54A
      • 7.  Garnishments (Earnings Withholding Orders)
        • a.  Employees in General
          • (1)  Governing Law; Earnings Assignment Orders Distinguished  9.55
          • (2)  Amount Required to Satisfy Earnings Withholding Order  9.56
          • (3)  Payment of Withheld Wages to Levying Officer  9.57
          • (4)  Termination of Earnings Withholding Order and Final Earnings Withholding Order  9.58
          • (5)  Limits on Execution Against Unpaid Earnings  9.59
          • (6)  Redirection of Payments to State Disbursement Unit  9.60
        • b.  Military Employees
          • (1)  General Process for Garnishment of Military Pay or Benefits  9.61
          • (2)  Withholding of Active Duty Pay and Related Benefits  9.62
          • (3)  Military Retirement  9.63
          • (4)  Limitations in Reaching Veteran’s Benefits  9.64
          • (5)  Other Collection Processes Distinguished
            • (a)  Voluntary Allotments  9.65
            • (b)  Involuntary Allotments  9.66
  • VII.  EXECUTIONS ON REAL PROPERTY
    • A.  Importance of Meeting Procedural Requirements  9.67
    • B.  Distinction in Treatment for Property Having Dwelling  9.68
    • C.  Application for Sale of Dwelling  9.69
  • VIII.  EXEMPTIONS
    • A.  Generally  9.70
    • B.  Exemptions for Personal Property Under CCP §§703.010–704.210
      • 1.  Property Must Meet Statutory Criteria  9.71
      • 2.  Bankruptcy Exemptions Distinguished  9.72
      • 3.  Persons Entitled to Claim Exemption  9.73
      • 4.  Determining What Property Is Exempt
        • a.  Effect of Time When Lien Created  9.74
        • b.  Property Considered Exempt Without Making Claim  9.75
        • c.  Property Exempt on Basis of Proper Claim  9.76
        • d.  Application of Exemptions to Particular Property
          • (1)  Tools of the Trade
            • (a)  Available Only to Individual, Not Corporate, Debtors  9.76A
            • (b)  Treatment of Motor Vehicles as Tools of the Trade  9.76B
          • (2)  Household Effects  9.76C
          • (3)  Paid Earnings  9.76D
          • (4)  Private Retirement Benefits  9.76E
        • e.  Exempt Funds Require Tracing  9.77
      • 5.  Making and Opposing Exemption Claims
        • a.  Notice of Claim; Service  9.78
        • b.  Notice of Opposition and Setting Hearing  9.79
        • c.  Service of Notice of Opposition  9.80
        • d.  Hearing and Order; Action by Levying Officer  9.81
    • C.  Homestead Exemptions
      • 1.  Nature and Amount of Exemption  9.81A
      • 2.  Effect of Type of Homestead Involved
        • a.  Declared Homesteads  9.81B
        • b.  Statutory Homesteads  9.81C
      • 3.  Issues Involving Spouses and Domestic Partners  9.81D
  • IX.  ENFORCEMENT WITHOUT WRIT
    • A.  Charging Order Against Interest in Partnership or Limited Liability Company
      • 1.  Charging Order Used Instead of Execution  9.82
      • 2.  Procedure  9.83
    • B.  Lien Against Debtor’s Interest in Pending Action
      • 1.  Extent of Creditor’s Lien and Filing Notice of Lien  9.84
      • 2.  When Judgment Creditor May Intervene in or Be Deemed Party to Pending Action  9.85
      • 3.  Other Provisions  9.86
    • C.  Assignment Orders
      • 1.  Authority for Order and Procedure  9.87
      • 2.  Benefits of Assignment Order  9.88
      • 3.  Order Restraining Debtor From Assigning Right to Payment  9.89
    • D.  Enforcement Against Debtor’s Beneficiary Interest in a Trust
      • 1.  Action to Be Taken by Creditor  9.90
      • 2.  Effect of Spendthrift Provisions of Trust  9.91
    • E.  Security Deposits for Support
      • 1.  Child Support  9.92
      • 2.  Spousal Support  9.93
  • X.  CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS
    • A.  Contempt as Remedy in Support Cases  9.94
    • B.  Nature of Action  9.95
    • C.  Civil and Criminal Contempt Compared
      • 1.  Civil Contempt  9.96
        • a.  Valid Order  9.97
        • b.  Service of Order to Show Knowledge  9.98
        • c.  Failure to Comply  9.99
      • 2.  Criminal Contempt  9.100
    • D.  Procedure for Family Court Contempt Action
      • 1.  Charging Affidavit, Filing, and Service  9.101
      • 2.  Citee’s Response
        • a.  Answer to Charge  9.102
        • b.  Motion for Dismissal  9.103
        • c.  Issuance of Warrant for Failure to Appear  9.104
      • 3.  Conduct of Hearing  9.105
      • 4.  Punishment  9.106
      • 5.  Recovery of Attorney Fees and Costs  9.107
  • XI.  CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT ORDERS
    • A.  California Law
      • 1.  Willful Nonsupport of Child  9.108
      • 2.  Leaving California to Avoid Payment of Spousal Support  9.109
    • B.  Federal Law  9.110
  • XII.  DEFENSES AND OBSTACLES TO ENFORCEMENT
    • A.  Waiver Issues
      • 1.  Support Arrearages  9.111
      • 2.  Prospective Support  9.112
    • B.  Laches  9.113
    • C.  Equitable Setoffs in Child Support  9.114
    • D.  Concealment of Children as Affecting Child Support Arrearages  9.115
    • E.  Unclean Hands  9.115A
    • F.  Crime Victim Restitution Rights   9.115B
  • XIII.  RECOVERY OF ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS  9.116
  • XIV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Abstract of Support Judgment (Judicial Council Form FL-480)  9.117
    • B.  Form: Writ of Execution (Judicial Council Form EJ-130)  9.118
    • C.  Form: Earnings Assignment Order for Spousal or Partner Support (Judicial Council Form FL-435)  9.119
    • D.  Form: Qualified Domestic Relations Order for Support (Judicial Council Form FL-460)  9.120
    • E.  Form: Notice of Lien (Judicial Council Form EJ-185)  9.121
    • F.  Form: Exemptions From the Enforcement of Judgments (Judicial Council Form EJ-155)  9.122

10

Additional Enforcement Remedies for Child Support

Raymond R. Goldstein

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  10.1
  • II.  ENFORCEMENT THROUGH DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES (DCSS)
    • A.  Overview of DCSS Services  10.2
    • B.  Arrearage Issues  10.3
    • C.  Effect of Obligee’s Receipt of State or Federal Public Assistance Payments
      • 1.  Assignment of Support Payments in Return for Public Assistance  10.4
      • 2.  Compromise of Assigned Arrears  10.5
    • D.  Enforcement Remedies Available Only to DCSS  10.6
      • 1.  Suspension of State Licenses
        • a.  Authority for Suspension  10.7
        • b.  Basis for Suspensions  10.8
        • c.  Right to Administrative and Judicial Review  10.9
      • 2.  Administrative Levies  10.10
      • 3.  Garnishment of Unemployment Benefits  10.11
      • 4.  Interception of Federal and State Income Tax Refunds
        • a.  Federal Tax Refund  10.12
        • b.  State Tax Refund  10.13
      • 5.  Passport Holds  10.14
      • 6.  Public Employees’ Retirement System  10.15
    • E.  Complaint Process  10.16
    • F.  Confidentiality  10.17
    • G.  Right to Bring Independent Action Despite Receipt of DCSS Services  10.18
  • III.  ENFORCEMENT UNDER PRIVATE CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTORS LAW
    • A.  Definitions and Application  10.19
    • B.  Requirements  10.20
    • C.  Remedies Against Private Child Support Collector  10.21
  • IV.  CHILD SUPPORT SECURITY DEPOSITS
    • A.  Security Deposits Based on Good Cause  10.22
    • B.  Security Deposits in Cases of Modifications or Unpaid Arrearages
      • 1.  Court’s Authority to Order Deposit  10.23
      • 2.  Notice and Hearing  10.24
      • 3.  Order for Deposit and Establishment of Account  10.25
      • 4.  Order for Disbursement and Replenishment  10.26
      • 5.  Dissolution of Account  10.27
  • V.  DEPOSIT OF ASSETS TO SECURE CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
    • A.  Authority to Order Deposit of Assets  10.28
    • B.  Obligee’s Application and Requirements for Order  10.29
    • C.  Obligor’s Opposition  10.30
    • D.  Assets Subject to Order for Deposit  10.31
    • E.  Use or Sale of Deposited Assets  10.32
    • F.  Return of Assets  10.33
  • VI.  INVOLVEMENT OF STATE DISBURSEMENT UNIT IN CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
    • A.  Operation of State Disbursement Unit  10.34
    • B.  Options for Support Payments
      • 1.  Direct Deposit Into Obligee’s Checking or Savings Account  10.35
      • 2.  Electronic Payment Card (EPC) or Standard Bank Check  10.36
    • C.  Obligor’s Payment Options  10.37
    • D.  Private Orders and the SDU  10.38
  • VII.  CHILD SUPPORT DELINQUENCY PENALTIES
    • A.  Overview  10.39
    • B.  Procedure  10.40
    • C.  Court’s Discretion to Decline Penalties  10.41
    • D.  Mandatory Penalties; Limitations  10.42
    • E.  Recovery of Attorney Fees  10.43
  • VIII.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Income Withholding for Support (Judicial Council Form FL-195)  10.44
    • B.  Form: Child Support Case Registry Form (Judicial Council Form FL-191)  10.45
    • C.  Form: Order for Child Support Security Deposit and Evidence of Deposit (Judicial Council Form FL-400)  10.46
    • D.  Form: Application for Disbursement and Order for Disbursement From Child Support Security Deposit (Judicial Council Form FL-401)  10.47
    • E.  Form: Notice to Local Child Support Agency of Intent to Take Independent Action to Enforce Support Order (Governmental) (Judicial Council Form FL-645)  10.48

11

Interstate Support Enforcement and Modification

Neil M. E. Forester

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  11.1
  • II.  OVERVIEW OF INTERSTATE SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AND MODIFICATION
    • A.  Federal Law  11.2
    • B.  California Law
      • 1.  Adoption of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and Later Contingent Amendment
        • a.  Adoption of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act  11.3
        • b.  Contingent Amendment of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act  11.4
      • 2.  UIFSA Compared With FFCCSOA  11.5
      • 3.  International Application of UIFSA  11.6
      • 4.  Important Definitions Under UIFSA
        • a.  Support Order; Child and Spousal Support Orders  11.7
        • b.  State; Home State; Initiating, Issuing, and Responding States  11.8
        • c.  Tribunal [Deleted]  11.9
  • III.  ENFORCEMENT AND MODIFICATION JURISDICTION UNDER UIFSA
    • A.  Enforcement Jurisdiction Under UIFSA
      • 1.  Background  11.10
      • 2.  Court’s Subject Matter Jurisdiction to Enforce Support Orders  11.11
      • 3.  Court’s Personal Jurisdiction to Enforce Support Orders  11.12
    • B.  Modification Jurisdiction Under UIFSA
      • 1.  Court’s Subject Matter Jurisdiction to Modify Support Orders
        • a.  Child Support  11.13
        • b.  Spousal Support  11.14
      • 2.  Court’s Personal Jurisdiction to Modify Support Orders Under UIFSA  11.15
  • IV.  UIFSA PROCEDURES IN GENERAL
    • A.  Bringing UIFSA Petition
      • 1.  Action by Individual or Agency  11.16
      • 2.  Proper Tribunal and Its Duties; Transfers  11.17
      • 3.  Pleadings and Papers; Service of Process  11.18
      • 4.  Nondisclosure of Party’s or Child’s Specific Identifying Information  11.19
      • 5.  Filing Fees, Attorney Fees, and Other Expenses  11.20
      • 6.  Assistance From Support Enforcement Agency  11.21
    • B.  Responding to Petition
      • 1.  Contesting Registered Foreign Support Order  11.22
      • 2.  Contesting Unregistered Foreign Support Order  11.23
    • C.  Choice of Law  11.24
    • D.  Communication Between Courts of Different States  11.25
    • E.  Discovery-Related Requests; Evidence  11.26
  • V.  DIRECT ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ORDERS WITHOUT LOCAL REGISTRATION
    • A.  Direct Enforcement of Foreign Income-Withholding Orders
      • 1.  Order Sent Directly to Obligor’s Employer  11.27
      • 2.  Duties of Obligor’s Employer; Immunity and Penalties  11.28
      • 3.  Obligor’s Contest of Order  11.29
    • B.  Support Agency’s Assistance in Enforcing Support or Income-Withholding Order  11.30
  • VI.  ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ORDERS AFTER LOCAL REGISTRATION
    • A.  Local Registration of Foreign Support Order and Notice of Registration
      • 1.  Registration Procedure for Enforcement; Relationship to Modification  11.31
      • 2.  Notice of Registration to Support Obligor and Obligor’s Employer  11.32
    • B.  Nonregistering Party’s Right to Contest Registered Order
      • 1.  Vacation of Order, Assertion of Defenses, or Contesting Remedies  11.33
      • 2.  Request for Hearing to Contest Validity or Enforcement of Order  11.34
      • 3.  Burden of Proof  11.35
    • C.  Effect of Confirmed Order  11.36
  • VII.  RELATED ISSUES
    • A.  Extradition of Individual Criminally Convicted for Nonsupport  11.37
    • B.  Use of Non-UIFSA Enforcement Measures Permitted  11.38
  • VIII.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Summons (UIFSA) (Judicial Council Form FL-510)  11.39
    • B.  Form: Uniform Support Petition (OMB-0970–0085)  11.40
    • C.  Form: Order to Show Cause (UIFSA) (Judicial Council Form FL-515)  11.41
    • D.  Form: Response to Uniform Support Petition (UIFSA) (Judicial Council Form FL-520)  11.42
    • E.  Form: Judgment Regarding Parental Obligations (UIFSA) (Judicial Council Form FL-530)  11.43
    • F.  Form: Notice of Registration of Out-of-State Support Order (Judicial Council Form FL-570)  11.44
    • G.  Form: Request for Hearing Regarding Registration of Support Order (Judicial Council Form FL-575)  11.45

12

Setting Aside Support Orders and Judgments

Christine N. Donovan

  • I.  OVERVIEW OF BASES FOR SETTING ASIDE SUPPORT ORDERS AND JUDGMENTS
    • A.  Legal Theories Underlying Right to Set Aside Orders and Judgments  12.1
    • B.  Set-Asides Under Family Code  12.2
    • C.  Other Bases for Set-Asides
      • 1.  Set-Asides Under CCP §473  12.3
        • a.  Mandatory Set-Asides  12.4
        • b.  Discretionary Set-Asides  12.5
        • c.  Payment of Fees and Costs on Set-Aside  12.6
      • 2.  Set-Asides Based on Traditional Equitable Relief  12.7
      • 3.  Set-Asides of Orders Entered in Violation of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act  12.8
      • 4.  Set-Asides of Orders to Pay Waived Fees and Costs for Other Party  12.9
  • II.  SET-ASIDES UNDER FAM C §§3690–3693
    • A.  Availability of Remedy Under Fam C §§3690–3693  12.10
    • B.  Grounds and Associated Time Limits
      • 1.  Actual Fraud  12.11
      • 2.  Perjury  12.12
      • 3.  Lack of Notice; Effect of Proper Service  12.13
      • 4.  No Relief If Order Simply Inequitable When Made  12.14
    • C.  Procedure
      • 1.  Action or Motion Permitted  12.15
      • 2.  Required Affidavit or Declaration  12.16
      • 3.  Statement of Decision  12.17
    • D.  Set-Aside Limited to Provisions Materially Affected by Circumstances  12.18
  • III.  SET-ASIDES UNDER FAM C §§2120–2129 FOR NONDISCLOSURE AND RELATED GROUNDS
    • A.  Considerations in Choosing Fam C §§2120–2129
      • 1.  Broad Remedies of Fam C §§2120–2129 Include Set-Aside Under Fam C §2107 for Nondisclosure  12.19
      • 2.  Set-Asides Under Fam C §§2120–2129 and Fam C §§3690–3693 Contrasted  12.20
    • B.  Applicability to Registered Domestic Partners  12.21
    • C.  Underlying Facts Must Materially Affect Outcome  12.22
    • D.  Grounds for Setting Aside Judgment; Limitations Periods
      • 1.  Perjury in Disclosure Declarations  12.23
      • 2.  Noncompliance With Disclosure Requirements  12.24
      • 3.  Fraud  12.25
      • 4.  Mistake  12.26
      • 5.  Duress  12.27
      • 6.  Mental Incapacity  12.28
    • E.  Other Remedies Not Precluded by Set-Aside Statutes  12.29
    • F.  Effect of Inequitable Judgment or Attorney’s Negligence  12.30
    • G.  Extent of Judgment Set-Aside  12.31
    • H.  Effect of Setting Aside Judgment Under Fam C §§2120–2129
      • 1.  Marital Settlement Agreement  12.32
      • 2.  Valuation Date of Property  12.33
      • 3.  Existing Support Order  12.34
      • 4.  Bona Fide Lessee, Purchaser, or Encumbrancer for Value of Real Property  12.35
    • I.  Procedure to Set Aside Judgment Under Fam C §§2120–2129
      • 1.  Request for Order  12.36
      • 2.  Service Requirements and Deadlines  12.37
    • J.  Statement of Decision  12.38
  • IV.  SET-ASIDES OF TITLE IV-D SUPPORT ORDERS  12.39
    • A.  Set-Aside of Default Order or Judgment Based on Presumed Income  12.40
    • B.  Set-Aside of Default Judgment or Order Based on Mistaken Identity  12.41
  • V.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Request for Order Under Fam C §2122 to Set Aside Judgment  12.42
    • B.  Form: Sample Declaration Opposing Request for Order Under Fam C §2122 to Set Aside Judgment  12.43

Selected Developments

August 2018 Update

The current update includes changes that reflect recent developments in case law, legislation, and court rules. Summarized below are some of the more important developments included in this update.

Attorney Fees

Obtaining a dismissal from a California court of an action on the ground that the agreement at issue contained a forum selection clause specifying the court of another jurisdiction does not render that party a “prevailing party” for purposes of entitlement to attorney fees under CC §1717. DisputeSuite.com, LLC v Scoreinc.com (2017) 2 C5th 968. See §9.116.

Child Support

Dependency exemption. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act implemented many significant changes for families. Among them is the suspension of personal exemptions, including the dependency exemption, effective for taxable years 2018 through 2025. See IRC §151(d)(5), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, §11041, 131 Stat 2054). See §§3.41, 3.41A.

Child tax credit. Parents who are separating or divorcing should consider how to allocate or share the child tax credit, which was increased from $1000 to $2000 per qualifying child for taxable years 2018 through 2025. See IRC §24(h), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, §11022, 131 Stat 2054). See §3.41.

Family support. Because of federal legislative changes regarding the deductibility of spousal support, family support will not be an option available to parties who execute an agreement after December 31, 2018. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed IRC §§71 and 215, eliminating the tax deduction for the spousal support payor. See Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, §11051, 131 Stat 2054). See §3.46.

Enforcement

UIFSA burden of proof. The burden of proof falls on the party objecting to enforcement of an international support order to prove that a country is not subject to UIFSA jurisdiction. Cima-Sorci v Sorci (2017) 17 CA5th 875. See §§11.6, 11.35.

UIFSA modification. A California court may not modify a final money judgment of arrearages from another state to add interest under a California statute when the issue of interest was not litigated in that state and the laws in each state differ. Marriage of Connolly (2018) 20 CA5th 395, 405 (adding interest to judgment of arrearages violated full faith and credit clause). See §11.13.

Spousal Support

Determination of amount. A trial court properly construed a stipulated judgment provision that a husband would pay his former wife a percentage of his annual bonus in determining what components of the husband’s later compensation packages were annual bonuses, but the wife failed to produce evidence to support a request to modify monthly spousal support to continue payments past an agreed-on expiration date. Marriage of Minkin (2017) 11 CA5th 939. See §7.19.

Factors; income and assets. A trial court reasonably inferred that a husband’s transfer of income-producing business to current wife was a bad faith attempt to eliminate his business income on paper, while still enjoying its benefits through his wife’s ownership. Marriage of Berman (2017) 15 CA5th 914. See §§7.21, 8.19, 8.23.

Immigrant spouse. A Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) constitutes a legally binding and enforceable contract between a sponsor and a sponsored immigrant, requiring the sponsor to provide “support to maintain the sponsored alien at an annual income that is not less than 125 percent of the Federal poverty line during the period in which the affidavit is enforceable.” 8 USC §1183a(1)(A). Although such support is not considered spousal support, the immigrant spouse may enforce the agreement in a family law proceeding in state court. Marriage of Kumar (2017) 13 CA5th 1072. See §5.12A.

Obligation to support spouse. When a debt is incurred preseparation, a “station in life” test looking to the marital standard of living will apply. Thus, a debt incurred by a wife during marriage for computers for her law office was considered for “necessaries of life” under Fam C §914(a)(1) because her law practice generated community property income and the computers were necessary to operate the law practice. Direct Capital Corp. v Brooks (2017) 14 CA5th 1168. See §5.3.

Taxation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed IRC §§71 and 215, eliminating the federal tax deduction for spousal support payers. This change in tax treatment applies to any divorce or separation instrument executed after December 31, 2018. Existing spousal support orders and agreements are not affected by this change, although a couple may expressly modify an existing agreement in order to adopt the tax treatment of the Act. See Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, §11051, 131 Stat 2054). See chap 7.

Temporary support. A permanent spousal support order could not be made retroactive because no noticed motion or order to show cause was pending. Marriage of Mendoza & Cuellar (2017) 14 CA5th 939. See §§6.7, 6.37A, 7.1.

Procedure

A trial court erroneously used a supported spouse’s income and expense declaration to determine needs of supported spouse who did not appear at hearing, over objection of payer spouse and in violation of payer spouse’s right under Fam C §217 to live testimony and an opportunity for cross-examination. Marriage of Swain (2018) 21 CA5th 830. See §§2.57, 8.37.

About the Authors

Katie Burke, Esq. is an associate with The Wald Law Group, P.C. in San Francisco. She is a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). She earned her undergraduate degree from Fairfield University (Connecticut), her Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University, and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Christine N. Donovan, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a senior staff attorney with the Solano County Superior Court. She currently serves on the Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee. Ms. Donovan has been published in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal and in other Continuing Education of the Bar publications, and has served as faculty for several continuing education programs for the Administrative Office of the Courts. She received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2002. Ms. Donovan is a coauthor of California Child Custody Litigation and Practice (Cal CEB).

Hon. Barrett J. Foerster was an Imperial County Superior Court Judge (and formerly served as that court’s Presiding Family Law Judge). His judicial service began in November 2003, following service as a Probate Referee and Inheritance Tax Referee. While in private practice, he was a Judge pro tem in family court, became a Certified Family Law Specialist, and was the attorney of record in several published appellate decisions. In 2004, he was recognized for outstanding service as a Family Law Specialist and Superior Court Judge by the Board of Legal Specialization. In 2009, he was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the California Judges Association. He received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Governing Committee of the Center for Judicial Education and Research for his service on the Continuing Judicial Studies Education Committee of the Judicial Council (2009). He served on the Judicial Council’s Family Law Curriculum Committee. He wrote for scholarly journals and was a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB) and Jefferson’s California Evidence Benchbook (4th ed CJA-CEB) (and was an editorial board member for that book). He also served on the editorial board of The Bench (the official journal of the California Judges Association). Judge Foerster earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, and an LL.M. in Labor and Employment Law from the University of San Diego School of Law. Judge Foerster died in 2010.

Neil M. E. Forester, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a shareholder at Forester Purcell Inc. in Folsom. His experience in family law custody matters includes obtaining initial custody orders, modifying custody orders pre- and post-judgment, and working with international custody clients on cases under the Hague Convention. He received his J.D. (with Distinction) from Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 2004, where Mr. Forester currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching Family Law Trial Skills. He is a contributing author of California Child Custody Litigation and Practice (Cal CEB) and Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB), as well as a member of CEB’s Family Law Advisory Committee.

Raymond R. Goldstein, Esq. is the managing partner of the Center for Enforcement of Family Support, a private law firm in Culver City dedicated to the collection of past-due child and spousal support and related marital obligations. Mr. Goldstein served as the chair of the Family Law Section Executive Committee of the State Bar Association (FLEXCOM) during the 2014–2015 term, and presently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Goldstein is a frequent lecturer for state and local family law bar and associations, law schools, and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is active in legislative reform and has contributed to various print, radio, and television programming as an expert in judgment enforcement. He is the author of numerous California State Bar and CEB articles and publications, including Enforcing Civil Money Judgments (Cal CEB Action Guide), and served as an update author of numerous chapters in Debt Collection Practice in California (2d ed Cal CEB). He received his J.D. from the University of West Los Angeles in 1993.

Christopher C. Melcher, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a partner with the law firm Walzer & Melcher, LLP, with offices in Woodland Hills and Beverly Hills. Mr. Melcher’s practice is focused exclusively on family law. He is a current member (and Vice-Chair elect) of the Executive Committee of the State Bar’s Family Law Section (FLEXCOM) and a member of the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Melcher has lectured extensively on family law topics, presented numerous programs for the State Bar’s Family Law Section, and served as a continuing moderator for CEB’s annual Family Law Conference. He is a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). He earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, Northridge, and his J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Shanon K. Quinley, Esq. maintains a solo law practice in Pasadena, with an emphasis on family law. She is an active member of the Family Law Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the State Bar. Ms. Quinley is a member of CEB’s Family Law Advisory Committee and is a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.

Esther Rosenfeld, Esq. is the owner and principal of Rosenfeld Family Law, P.C. in San Jose, and practices family law exclusively in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. She handles a full spectrum of family law issues, offering traditional litigation as well as mediation and co-mediation services. She is a member of the San Mateo and Santa Clara County Bar Associations, a past president of the San Mateo County Bar Association’s Family Law Section, and a member of the San Mateo County Family Court’s Family Law Advisory Committee. She serves on the Santa Clara County Judge pro tem panel and is a volunteer mediator in the family court. She is also a member of the State Bar’s Family Law Section and formerly served on its Family Law Executive Committee (FLEXCOM). She has been featured on radio station KALW’s “Your Legal Rights” program speaking about California family law issues, and on the Internet-based radio program “Business Leaders Spotlight” speaking about divorce. She is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, was voted a “Northern California SuperLawyer” and one of the “Top Women Attorneys of Northern California” by California SuperLawyers magazine, and “Top Lawyers in California” by American Lawyer Media. Ms. Rosenfeld is a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). She earned her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.

Jennifer F. Wald, Esq. is a member of the Lakin Spears, LLP Family Law Group and is a Certified Family Law Specialist. Her practice is devoted exclusively to family law with an emphasis on complex financial issues. She practices in both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Before joining Lakin Spears in October 1992, Ms. Wald practiced at Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe in San Francisco. She was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2010, and has been named a “Northern California SuperLawyer” every year since 2005. Ms. Wald is a contributing author of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). She also is the coauthor of the article “Equitable Apportionment of a Separate Property Business,” published by the State Bar’s Family Law News. Ms. Wald also speaks at family law seminars. She earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.

Terry S. Wheeler, Esq. practices law in Oakland as an associate of the Law Office of Sylvia Woods, with an emphasis in family law. She is a contributing author of Dissolution Strategies: From Intake to Judgment (Cal CEB) and of Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB). She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco and her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law.

About the 2018 Update Authors

Christine N. Donovan, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a senior staff attorney with the Solano County Superior Court. She currently serves on the Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee. Ms. Donovan is update author for chapters 6 and 12. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Neil M. E. Forester, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a shareholder at Forester Purcell Inc. in Folsom. Mr. Forester is update coauthor for chapter 11. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Raymond R. Goldstein, Esq. is the managing partner of the Center for Enforcement of Family Support, a private law firm in Culver City dedicated to the collection of past-due child and spousal support and related marital obligations. Mr. Goldstein is update author for chapters 9–10. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Christopher C. Melcher, Esq. is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a partner with the law firm Walzer & Melcher, LLP, with offices in Woodland Hills and Beverly Hills. Mr. Melcher is update author for chapters 7–8. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Shanon K. Quinley, Esq. maintains a solo law practice in Pasadena, with an emphasis on family law. Ms. Quinley is update author for chapter 2. For full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Esther Rosenfeld, Esq. is the owner and principal of Rosenfeld Family Law, P.C. in San Jose, and practices family law exclusively in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Ms. Rosenfeld is update author for chapter 4. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

Kristen L. Sellers, Esq. is an associate attorney at Forester Purcell Stowell PC, a boutique family law firm based in Folsom/Sacramento and assisting clients throughout Northern California. Prior to becoming a private practitioner, Ms. Sellers served in various roles for the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, the Alameda County Superior Court, and the Family Violence Law Center in Oakland. She is a member of the Placer and Sacramento County Bar Associations, in addition to the State Bar Association’s Family Law Section. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, and her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. Ms. Sellers is update coauthor for chapter 11.

Jennifer F. Wald, Esq. is a member of the Lakin Spears, LLP Family Law Group and is a Certified Family Law Specialist. Ms. Wald is update author for chapter 3. For a full bio, see the About the Authors section.

OnLAW System Requirements:
Desktop: Windows XP, 7 or 8, Mac OS 10.8
Mobile: iOS6, iOS7, Android 4.2
Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari browsers

Note: OnLAW may work with some devices running older versions of these Operating Systems or Windows RT; however, functionality is not guaranteed.

Please see FAQs for more details.
Products specifications
PRACTICE AREA Family Law
PRACTICE AREA Family Law
PRODUCT GROUP Publication
Products specifications
PRACTICE AREA Family Law
PRACTICE AREA Family Law
PRODUCT GROUP Publication