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Additional Forms

 

Additional forms you will need to process your judgment of dissolution: After you have your judgment assembled, you will still need more court forms before you can submit your proposed judgment to the court.   These additional court forms are not attached to your judgment, but are submitted to the court clerk at the time you submit your judgment. The additional forms you will need will depend on how you elect to process your judgment (i.e., “non-default with an agreement” or “default with an agreement”).

Processing judgment as “non-default case with an agreement”

The simplest way to process a divorce judgment is as a “non-default case with an agreement”.  With this method, your spouse makes an “appearance” in the action.  Your spouse can make an appearance by either filing his or her Response (FL-120) with the court or by signing another form called, “Appearance, Stipulations And Waivers” (FL-130).  The “Appearance, Stipulations And Waiver” form is discussed in little later in this section of the website.  The FL-130 is quick and easy to fill out.  Either way, your spouse will pay his or her “first paper” filing fee (unless your spouse has qualified for a fee waiver).  If you don’t mind your spouse paying the “first paper” filing fee which is currently $435, then you do not need to hassle with the default paperwork (i.e., FL-165) described in the next paragraph.  You can simply take your assembled divorce judgment, together with the additional court forms described in the following paragraphs (excluding FL-165), and file everything with the court.  You get to skip the FL-165 default procedure that is described next, in exchange for your spouse making an “appearance” in the action and paying his or her “first paper” filing fee.  If your spouse has filed his or her Response (FL-120) with the court or if he or she has signed the FL-130, you can skip to the next section of this website entitled, “Processing judgment as a default case with an agreement”.

Processing judgment as a default case “with an agreement”

When it comes to default cases, we need to make a distinction between a “true default” case and a “default with an agreement” case.

A “true default” is when your spouse is not cooperating with you and you can’t get them to agree to a settlement or even respond to the divorce Petition.  You had your spouse served with the Summons, Petition, and blank Response, and your spouse ignored it all.  Your spouse refused to negotiate with you and your spouse refused or failed to file a Response with the court within 30 days of the date they were served with the Summons, Petition, and a blank Response.  If you are dealing with a “true default”, skip ahead to the section on “True defaults”.

A “default with an agreement” is a situation where you have been able to reach an agreement with your spouse on all issues.  Your spouse is cooperating with the divorce process.  Your spouse has not made an “appearance” in the divorce action by filing a Response and you are going to process the judgment as a default for the sole purpose of saving the $435 “first paper” filing fee that your spouse would have to pay if he or she made an “appearance” in the action.  Of course, if your spouse qualifies for a fee waiver and has completed the fee waiver forms previously described, then there is no need to use the default process to avoid the “first paper” filing fee.

Many times, your spouse won’t qualify for a fee waiver and will not want to pay the $435 “first paper” filing fee that will be due the court if he or she makes an “appearance” in the action.  To avoid this fee, the divorce judgment can be processed as a “default with agreement”.  We are assuming you have already filed your Summons (FL-110) and your Petition (FL-100).  We are also assuming you have already had your spouse “served with process” either by having someone hand him or her the Summons, Petition, and blank Response or by using the “Notice And Acknowledgment Of Receipt” (FL-117) procedure described in the “Service of Process” section of this website.  You have already filed your “Proof of Service of Summons” (FL-115) with the court.

If you want to take your spouse’s default to save the $435 fee, you now have to wait 30 days from the date your spouse was “served with process” (i.e., wait 30 days from the date your spouse received the Summons and Petition or wait 30 days from the date he or she signed the FL-117).  After the 30 days has elapsed, you can apply to enter his or her default.  You fill out a form called, “Request To Enter Default” (FL-165).   Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find examples of both a completed FL-165 and a blank FL- 165 form that you can fill out and print. There are two completed versions of the FL-165 in the database.  One is “Default With Agreement Version” and the other is “True Default Version”.

After you have filled out the FL-165, prepare an envelope addressed to your spouse.  Put postage on the envelope.  The return address on the envelope should be the address for the clerk of the court (i.e., the address of the court where you filed your divorce petition).  Make two copies of the FL-165.  Then, staple the envelope to one of the copies of the completed FL-165.  If you wish, you can take the completed FL-165 to the court and file it at this time.  The court clerk will enter your spouse’s default and mail a copy of the “Request To Enter Default” to your spouse, using the envelope you have provided.  You can file the FL-165 at this time (assuming your spouse was “served with process” at least 30 days ago and never “appeared” in the action) or you can hold on to the “Request To Enter Default” and file it at the same time you file your Judgment of Dissolution.  If you hold the “Request To Enter Default” until you file the judgment, it will save you a trip to the court.

Filling out Declaration For Default or Uncontested Dissolution (FL-170)

Whether you are processing your judgment as a “non-default case with an agreement” or as a default case (“true default” or “default with an agreement”), you will need to complete a form called, “Declaration For Default Or Uncontested Dissolution” (FL-170).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find an example of both a completed FL-170 and a blank FL- 170 form that you can fill out and print.

We have included in our Database three different versions of the completed FL-170 depending on which method you are using to process your judgment (i.e., non-default with agreement version; default with an agreement version; or true default version).  If you are processing the judgment as a true default, check box 4(a).  If you are processing the judgment as a default with an agreement, check box 4(b).  If your spouse has made an “appearance” in the action and you have an agreement, check box 4(c).  Fill out the rest of the form, checking the appropriate boxes.  You will submit your completed FL-170 when you submit your judgment.

Notice of Entry of Judgment (FL-190)

Whether you are processing your judgment as a non-default with an agreement case, a default with an agreement case, a true default or a contested case, you will need to fill out a form known as, “Notice of Entry of Judgment” (FL-190). Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-190 and a blank FL- 190 form that you can fill out and print.  You do not need to do much with this form.  Fill out the caption.  Then, insert your name and address, as well as the name and address for your spouse, in the appropriate spaces at the bottom of the form.   Make two additional copies of the completed FL-190 form.  You will submit the FL-190 when you submit your judgment.

Stipulation And Waiver Of Final Declaration Of Disclosure (FL144)

Whether you are processing your judgment as a “non-default with agreement” or a “default with agreement”, you will need to fill out the FL-144.   As previously discussed, both parties are required by the court to complete their Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure documents consisting of the following four forms: Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140); Schedule of Assets & Debts (FL-142); Income & Expense Declaration (FL-150); and Declaration Regarding Service Of Declaration Of Disclosure And Income And Expense Declaration (FL-141).  The Preliminary Declaration of Disclosures are completed and exchanged at the beginning of the divorce process.  You should have already done your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure forms.  There is also a “Final Declaration of Disclosure” that is supposed to be completed and exchanged at the end of the divorce process, just before the judgment of dissolution is submitted to the court.

The Final Declaration of Disclosure consists of the exact same four forms that make up the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.  Since many contested divorce cases take over a year to complete, the idea is that the information set forth in your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure may have become out-dated, so the court wants you and your spouse to fill out a Final Declaration of Disclosure before you finalize a settlement.  You cannot waive exchanging your Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure, but you can waive exchanging your Final Declarations of Disclosure.

If you are processing an uncontested divorce where you and your spouse were able to reach a settlement agreement, typically, all of the divorce paperwork is going to be completed quickly, in a matter of a few weeks or months.  The information in the Final Declaration of Disclosure would likely be the same as the information in the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.  If the information in the Final Declaration will be the same as in the Preliminary Declaration, why bother with a Final Declaration of Disclosure?  You can waive the exchange of Final Declarations of Disclosure by filling out the FL-144 form. Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-144 and a blank FL- 144 form that you can fill out and print.   After you have filled out the FL-144, set it aside for now. You will file this form with the court when you submit your judgment.

Appearance, Stipulations, And Waivers (FL-130)

If you are processing your divorce judgment as a “default with an agreement” or as a “true default”, you can skip this form.  If you are processing your judgment as a “non-default with an agreement”, then you must fill out the “Appearance, Stipulations, And Waivers” (FL-130) form.  If your spouse has already made an “appearance” in the case by filing a Response (FL-120) with the court, you will need to file this form.   If your spouse has not filed a Response, but wishes to make an “appearance” in the case, then you will also need to file this form.   Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-130 and a blank FL-130 that you can fill out and print. Fill out the FL-130 form by checking the appropriate boxes.  This form is quick and easy to complete.

The following are instructions for completing the FL-130:

Box #1.  If your spouse has already filed a Response, check box 1(b).  If your spouse has not already filed a Response, check box 1(a).  By checking box 1(a), your spouse is making an appearance in the action.  If you check box 1(a) your spouse will need to pay his or her “first paper” filing fee when the FL-130 is filed with the court clerk (unless your spouse has previously filled out the fee waiver forms and qualified for a fee waiver).

Box #2.  Check boxes “a” through “e”.

After you have filled out the FL-130, print it.  You and your spouse will each date and sign it.  Then, set the form aside.  The FL-130 will be filed with the court clerk when you file your divorce judgment.

Income Withholding For Support (FL-195)

This is a wage assignment form.  If you have minor children and child support is part of your settlement agreement, some courts will not process a judgment of dissolution unless you include the Income Withholding For Support (FL-195) form with your paperwork.  The form is complicated because it is really a federal government form designed to work in all 50 states.  You know it is federal form when the form is 4 pages long, but comes with seven pages of instructions on how to fill out the form.  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-195 and a blank FL- 195 form that you can fill out and print.  We have also included in our Court Forms Database a copy of the instructions on how to fill out the form.  The instructions are FL-196.

You will submit the completed FL-195 to the court with your judgment.  It will be signed by a judge and you will receive a copy, along with the judgment, after the judgment is processed by the court.  When the FL-195 is sent back to you by the court, you can mail a copy to your spouse’s employer and the employer will then deduct the support from your spouse’s earnings.

Just because you fill out the FL-195 form and file it with your judgment of dissolution does not mean you have to serve the form on your spouse’s employer.  When the FL-195 form comes back from the court, you can elect to just hold the form and not send a copy to your spouse’s employer.  If your spouse pays the child and/or spousal support each month in a timely manner, there may be no need to send this income withholding order to your spouse’s employer.

If you send the withholding order to your spouse’s employer, the employer will deduct the child support and spousal support that is due from your ex-spouse’s wages.  The money will not be sent by the employer directly to you, but will instead be sent by the employer to the California State Disbursement Unit in Sacramento.  You will need to contact the State Disbursement Unit and set up an account with them.  When the State Disbursement Unit receives funds from your ex-spouse’s employer, the State Disbursement Unit will transfer the funds to your account.

If you Google “California State Disbursement Unit”, it will take you to their website.  You can follow the on-line instructions on how to apply for their services and set up your account.  If you decide you do not want your support to go through the State Disbursement Unit because you trust your ex-spouse to pay support on time directly to you, just hold onto the “Income Withholding For Support” form when it comes back from the court.  If, in the future, a problem develops with your ex-spouse paying support on time, you can always mail the “Income Withholding For Support” form to the employer when a problem arises.

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