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Proposed 2012 REVISIONS to JUDICIAL COUNCIL FORMS; ATTORNEY FEE REQUESTS

Palm Springs Divorce and Family Law Attorney Mark D. Gershenson was kind enough to provide me the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee Report to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Council of California submitted on October 28, 2011, to become effective on January 1, 2012. I want to share it with you.

Specifically these recommend the adoption of the following new Rules of Court and Judicial Council Forms that will be applied to and used in California family law proceedings:

  • Rule 5.93 relating to attorney fee and cost applications, which identifies the steps for a litigant or court to take in requesting, responding to a request for, and awarding fees and costs based upon financial need;
  • Approve optional form FL-157, Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment, for litigants to use, as an attachment to the Request for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment (form FL-319), Declaration for Default or Uncontested Judgment (form FL-170), Application for Order (form FL-310) and Order to Show Cause (form FL-300) or Notice of Motion (form FL-301) to request that the court award, modify a request, or deny a request for spousal or domestic partner support and to provide supporting facts that address the issues identified in Family Code section 4320, which are also required in a request for attorney's fees and costs;
  • Approve optional form FL-158, Supporting Declaration for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment, for litigants to use, as an attachment to Request for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment (form FL-319) or Responsive Declaration to Order to Show Cause or Notice of Motion (form FL-320), to provide the court with additional background information either in support of or in opposition to a request for needs-based attorney's fees and costs, such as any history of child support, spousal or partner support, or family support orders;
  • Approve optional form FL-319, Request for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment, for litigants to use, as an attachment to the Application for Order (form FL-310) and Order to Show Cause (form FL-300) or Notice of Motion (form FL-301), to request that the court award needs-based attorney's fees and costs;
  • Approve optional form FL -346 Attorney's Fees and Costs Order Attachment, for the court to use, as an attachment to Findings and Order After Hearing (form FL-340), Judgment (form FL-180), or Judgment (Uniform Parentage-Custody and Support) (form FL-250), to identify court findings and orders with respect to needs-based attorney's fees and costs; and
  • Revise mandatory form FL-340, Findings and Order After Hearing , to improve organization and numbering, add clarifying language in item 1, add a reference to "parenting time" in item 2, add "Other" check boxes in items 2-6, add a check box for the court to attach new form FL-346 (see item 5 of this recommendation) in item 6, and add a check box for the court to order a continuance in item 9.

For your convenience I have uploaded the October 28, 2011, Report to the Judicial Council here. This includes the proposed forms.

T.W. Arnold


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