What to do about re-opening a spousal support issue?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2013

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What to do about re-opening a spousal support issue?

My ex-wife are divorced (with kids) and our case was finalized 6 years ago. Neither of us live in the same county that we had completed the case in but I need to re-open the spousal support issue (not child support). Do I now file in my county or in the county where she lives? Or perhaps the original county. I don’t know who has jurisdiction. We share custody and the kids live with her during school. I have them every other weekend and breaks, summer, etc.

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Family Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to file in the  court in the county where the divorce was filed because that court has the record of your case. 

If you want to modify spousal support, file an Order to Show Cause (court form) and a supporting declaration.  When you file an Order to Show Cause, the court will schedule a hearing on the spousal support issue.  Your supporting declaration states the facts supporting your argument for modifying spousal support.  Changed circumstances such as a change in income are grounds for a modification of spousal support.  File your Order to Show Cause, supporting declaration and a proof of service with the court and serve a copy of these documents by mail on your ex.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you  are at least eighteen years of age and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to ______________ (name and address of your ex) on _________ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

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