Know what factors you'll have to include in an agreement
You can't base the new amount on a support calculator program. Long-term spousal support is based on the Family Code 4320 factors.
In your agreement, you must
- Show what your situation is for each of the factors
- Explain how it's different from when the court made the last order
Decide how much, how long and how it will be paid
How much one person will pay the other each month
Spousal support is usually a set amount each month. But, if someone’s income changes, there are other options, like having support increase one month if your spouse gets a bonus. You can also agree that it will change over time.
How long support will be paid
You can agree on a date that support will end.
How the payments will be made
You can agree for payments to be made either
Directly between the two of you
Directly from the person’s paycheck (called an earnings assignment or wage garnishment)
Once you agree on all these issues, you need to write-up the agreement.
Write-up your agreement
You can use court forms. If you don't, you will need to write your own Declaration that has the same information.
Spousal, Domestic Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment (form FL-343)
Use Form FL-343 to write out the details of your agreement.
Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment (form FL-157)
Use Form FL-157 to show the judge that you considered all the Family Code 4320 factors before agreeing to the change.
Spousal or Domestic Partner Support Factors Under Family Code Section 4320—Attachment (form FL-349)
Use Form FL-349 to explain your final agreement about the Family Code 4320 factors. Attach this to form FL-343
You will need a cover sheet for your agreement attachments. You will both need to sign and date the coversheet, and leave space for the judge to sign. You can use a
or your court’s Self-Help Center may have a coversheet you can use.
Sign and make copies of the agreement
Both you and your spouse need to sign the agreement. Then you need to make two copies.
Take your agreement to get judge’s signature and pay fee
Unlike other forms, agreements don’t get filed right away. A judge has to sign the agreement before it can be filed. You will generally need to pay a filing fee.
Ask a clerk or the Family Law Facilitator
Where to bring the agreement to get a judge’s signature
How you get the signed agreement back
What your fee will be
It may take several days to get the signed copy back. You may be able to pick it up in person or have the court mail it to you.
There is usually a fee to file an agreement. The fee is generally $20. If one of you hasn't paid their first filing fee ($435-$450) that person may also need to pay this fee. If you can't afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
Get back signed agreement and mail a copy to your spouse
When you get back the signed agreement, it should have the judge's signature and a stamp that says "filed." It is now a court order.
Have someone over 18, not part of your case, mail a copy of the signed agreement to your former spouse or domestic partner. Complete a Proof of Service by Mail (form FL-335). You server must sign it. File it with the court.Have someone over 18, not part of your case, mail a copy of the signed Form FL-435 or FL-195 along with a Request for Hearing Regarding Earnings Assignment (form FL-450) to your former spouse's employer. Complete a Proof of Service by Mail (form FL-335). You server must sign it. File it with the court.
When the judge signs your agreement and it is filed, it becomes the new judgment or order for long-term spousal or domestic partner support. This means you and your spouse or domestic partner must follow the order.