Serve your request to change long-term spousal support

After you file your Request for Order and get a court date, you must let the other side know. You do this by having a copy of the court papers delivered to them. This is called service or having someone served.

Before you start

To change a long-term spousal or domestic partner support order, you must inform the other side of your request using personal service.

This means another adult, not you, hands a copy of your Request to the other side (your former spouse or domestic partner). This person is your server

Your server must sign a form saying they delivered the papers. You file this form with the court. 

How to serve a Request for Order

  • Choose a server

    You can't serve papers yourself. Ask another adult – a server – to deliver the papers.   

    Your server must be: 

    • 18 or over, and 

    • Not part of your case 

    Your server can be: 

    • Someone you know 

    • The county sheriff (in most, not all, counties) 

    • A professional process server you hire 

    The sheriff charges to serve papers unless you have a fee waiver. 

  • Figure out deadline to serve

    Unless the court orders a different time to serve, your server must deliver the papers at least 16 court days before your hearing. 

    A court day is a day the court is open (Monday through Friday, except court holidays).

    Take out a calendar and find your court date (it’s listed on the first page of your Request).   

    1. Count backwards on the calendar 16 court days (Monday to Friday, not including any court holidays). Start counting with the hearing date (it’s day zero).   

    1. Stop when you get to the 16th court day. That’s your deadline.  

    Your server needs to hand-deliver the papers on or before this date. 

  • Have your server deliver the papers to the other side

    Illustration of giving papers to a server who then gives them to the other party

    Your server must find the person and hand the papers to them by the deadline.  

    Your server hands them: 

    • Copy of your Request for Orders and any attachments 

    • A blank Responsive Declaration to Request for Orders (form FL-320

    • A copy of your Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150) along with a blank one 

    • A copy of your Spousal or Domestic Partner Support Declaration Attachment (form FL-157) along with a blank one

    • Any other papers you filed (except any fee waivers) 

    Tell your server to write down the date they handed them the papers. Your server needs this date to fill out the Proof of Service form. 

    If the other person won’t take the papers, your server may leave them by the person and tell them what they are. For example, your server can leave them on the ground next to them and say, "These are important legal papers for you."


    You must have the papers handed to your spouse. 
  • Have your server complete the Proof of Service form

    You can use Proof of Personal Service (form FL-330).  

    It helps if you fill in the top part of the form with the case and court information.    

    Your server can then fill in the information about how, when, and where they served the papers. Your server must sign the form

  • Copy and file the Proof of Service form

    members fo the public waiting in line to talk to the clerk
    • Make a copy of your Proof of Service form.  

    • File the original and the copy with the court where you filed the papers at least 5 court days before your hearing date. The court will stamp and return the copy. 

    • Keep the copy of the Proof of Service form for your records.  

Request for Order

What's next

Once your server delivers the Request, learn about what to expect at your hearing so you know how to prepare.

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