Respond to a request for spousal support

If you were served with Request for Orders (form FL-300) asking for spousal or domestic partner support, this means that you have a court date where a judge will make a decision about support (sometimes called alimony). 


If you don’t respond, the court may make a decision based on the estimate of your income by your spouse or partner. You respond by filling out and filing forms with the court. You also have the forms mailed to your spouse or partner. Finally, you go to the court date. 

Before you start

Temporary spousal support is support paid while a divorce is ongoing. 

A Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center may be able to explain support or even help you calculate the amount of temporary support that the court would likely order. 

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If your divorce is final, then your ex-spouse is not asking for temporary support. Spousal support after your divorce is final (you have a judgment) is called long-term or permanent spousal support. Your spouse is asking to change a long-term support order that's part of your judgment. There are different rules. Learn about long-term spousal support.

How to respond to a request for temporary spousal support

  • Fill out form

    Use the Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (form FL-320). This form lets you tell the judge and your spouse if you agree or disagree with the request and why. 

    For Spousal or Domestic Partner Support, fill out items 4 and 10. 

    In item 10 “Facts to Support” explain your position by giving facts. If you need more space, check the box that says “Attachment 10.” You can use Attached Declaration (form MC-031) to write the facts that support your response.

    Write down the facts, not just opinions, that support what you’re telling the court. If there is a document that supports what you say (like a receipt, bill, or letter from your employer), attach that to your response.  

    A few examples: 

    • You write that your income is less than what your spouse says because your boss reduced your overtime hours. You can then attach a letter from your boss saying that they reduced overtime for everyone because business slowed. 

    • You write that you can’t afford that amount of support because you have high medical expenses. You can explain what the medical costs are and then bring the bills or receipts (along with copies) to the hearing. 

    Be sure to black out any private information like a Social Security number or account numbers. 


    If the your spouse or domestic partner asked for more than one thing in their Request for Order (form FL-300),

     like child custody or something else, use just one form to respond to all of their requests.  Learn more about how to use the form on Information Sheet: Responsive Declaration to Request for Orders (form FL-320-INFO). 

  • Fill out the Income and Expense Declaration

    Use the Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150). 

    This form asks questions about your job, what you earn, and how you spend your money. 

    You need to attach proof of your income from the past two months to the form. 

    You don’t need to attach a copy of your last year’s taxes, but you do need to bring a copy to your hearing. 

  • Attach documents to support your case

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    Sometimes it's important to have documents that support your case. If you have any, you can attach copies or file these with your request so the judge can consider them at the hearing.

    • Examples of documents that support your case may include things like receipts, bills, or a letter from your employer
    • Black out any private information like a Social Security number or account numbers
    • If there is a witness (someone who saw or personally knows something), you can ask them to write and sign a statement that says what they know. Learn more about witness statements.

    If you don't have these ready now, you can file them later.

  • Make copies of your forms

    After you’ve filled out, signed, and dated both forms, make 2 copies of the forms and any attachments.

  • File your forms

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    To file your forms with the court, give the original and the 2 copies to the court clerk. The clerk will keep the original and will stamp the copies and return them to you. 

    Yes. Send the original and 2 copies to the attention of the clerk. You need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. If you don’t, you will have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copies.
    Some courts allow online filing (called efiling). You can find out if your court has online filing by visiting your court’s website.

Respond to a temporary spousal support request

What's next

Once you’ve filed the forms, the next step is to serve the forms to your spouse. You can serve these by mail.

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