Step 2: File Your Papers at Court

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After you have filled in all the information you need on your court forms, sign each one. Then, make at least three (3) photocopies of the full set of forms:

  • one copy for yourself;
  • one copy for your former spouse or partner; and
  • one extra copy just in case one copy gets lost.
  • The court will keep the original forms.

Take the original and all 3 copies to the clerk’s office at the courthouse.
(This can be done at the same time as the papers for the other court case are being filed.)

  • For help finding the courthouse where you live, click here. Opens new window

You will have to pay a filing fee. You can call the clerk's office before you go to find out  the fee, and how you can pay.

  • For information on filing fees in California, click here Opens new window
  • If you cannot afford the filing fees, there are forms, called "Fee Waiver" forms, you may file to ask if the judge will allow you to pay less or nothing at all, click here.

The clerk will stamp the forms to show that they have been filed. The court clerk will keep the original of each of your court forms, and give you back the three sets of copies you made.

Then, Get Two More Forms:

After your forms have been filed and they have an “endorsedOpens new window stamp on them, get blank copies of 2 more forms:

  • Responsive Declaration to the Request for Order (Form FL-320) Opens new window
  • Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) Opens new window

NOTE: Do not fill out these forms. Leave them blank. 

One copy of each of the forms you just filed at court, plus the 2 blank forms, need to be given to your former spouse or partner.  This is called service of process Opens new window and is a very important step in the process.

Go on to Step 3: Serving Your Papers. For more information on how to do this
click here


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