Family Law Form Library

PDF Family Law Form Library

California Judicial Council Forms With Explanations

Which We Link to and Explain Throughout This Website!

In 2014 We Began Uploading Model Family Law Samples and Exemplars From the Arnold Law Office Divorce Form Library As Our Contribution to the "Internet of Everything Divorce" Commons!

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Current as of January, 2017


Commencing the Proceedings

This is the document which begins an action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment. It is not used for domestic partnerships. If you fail to check a box - including for instance a request for spousal support - you cannot obtain such relief later until and unless you amend the Petition. Whether or not you foresee hiring a lawyer, check the 'request for attorney fees' box.

Paragraph 6 contains a good checklist describing the grounds for annulment in California.

All of the grounds for dissolving domestic partnerships are contained in this mandatory form. The comments set forth above apply equally.

This mandatory form is required wherever there are minor children of both parties to the action.

The summons must be served in order for a California Court to have jurisdiction over the other party in a dissolution, legal separation, annulment, or domestic partnership. It contains important information about Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATRO's), which bind you even if you don't bother to read them. Read them.

Here is a sample proof of service to be used with any documents, court papers, or discovery that are to be filed and/or filed and served in family law proceedings. Be sure to have it signed by a third party.

This form is used in lieu of a proof of service where the other party is willing to receipt for the court filed documents without the necessity of formal service by a process server or third party. It is filled out and filed with the Court.

This is equivalent to the Petition for Dissolution/Legal Separation/Annulment. If you are served with a Petition for Legal Separation, you may convert the action into a divorce or annulment.

The Appearance, Stip and Waivers form has several uses, but is required whenever you submit a Marital Settlement Agreement to the court for filing.

Income and Expense and Property Schedules

This form accompanies the preliminary and final declarations of disclosure forms. It is not filed with the Court but it is served upon the other party.

This is an critical form for getting your matter set for trial, whether as default or contested matter. Until it has been filed by both parties (or you if you have entered a default), the clerk's office cannot set the case for further hearing.

This accompanies the preliminary and final declarations of disclosure. It is essential that you fill it out completely and accurately, and supply supporting documents. The exchange of these forms are proof you have satisfied your fiduciary duties. What is sets forth or omits can be the basis for set aside motions in future years.

While the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDD) must be exchanged in all cases before a judgment can issue (except by the other party against whom a Default has been entered), completing and exchanging the Final Declaration of Disclosure (FDD) is optional and may be waived. It is a bad idea to do so.

The Income and Expense form is required to be filed in all California family law cases whenever money is being requested by or from either party. Read it carefully, fill it out accurately, and answer all the questions and provide all attachments. Page 3 gives you three important options in terms of what information you provide regarding living expenses. You do not need to answer income questions relating to new mates or cohabitants. Judges rely upon this document when deciding money issues.

This document is part of your preliminary and final declaration of disclosure, and it is mandatory that it be filled out and exchanged even where a default has been entered against the other party.

Attorney Fee and Spousal Support Applications

This form is optional but you should use it in all spousal support applications to ensure you don't leave something out. It lists the Family Code section 4320 factors that court's must assess in awarding judgment spousal support in dissolution cases. Also use this is you are responding to a support application!

This form is optional but you should use it in all attorney fee applications to ensure you don't leave something out. It lists the Family Code section 4320 factors that court's must assess in awarding attorney fees in dissolution cases. Also use this is if you are the responding party!

While the FL-158 only applies to marriage cases the FL-319, discussed below, is required in all family law cases where attorney fees are requested!

Concluding the Proceedings

This form must be executed and filed in all cases that are settled or resolved by way of Marital Termination Agreements and Marital Settlement Agreements; if it is not, the court clerk will likely reject your papers.

This is the actual Judgment rendered in all cases involving Marital Dissolution, Dissolution of Domestic Partnerships, Legal Separation or Annulment (Nullity of Marriage). It must be submitted together with a Marital Termination Agreement or sets forth the Court's rulings where there has been a trial.

This Notice accompanies the Judgment, and is mailed by the Court clerk to the parties.

This notice advises employers of the employee identity and the amounts that must be withheld from a paycheck per the court's support order.

This form is being circulated in Riverside County effective April, 2011, revised January 2013, and apparently must be submitted to the trial court before you can expect to get a trial date to move your case to its conclusion.

This form is being circulated in Riverside County effective April, 2011, revised January 2013; if spousal support or domestic support is being requested, and apparently it must be submitted to the trial court before you can expect to get a trial date to move your case to its conclusion.

This form is being circulated in San Bernardino County effective April, 2011, revised January 2013, and apparently must be submitted to the trial court before you can expect to get a trial date to move your case to its conclusion.

Paternity Actions

A petition to establish paternity must be used to establish parentage when children are born to unmarried parents. Even if you signed a voluntary declaration of paternity (VDOP) as the father, some form of paternity judgment is necessary to establish your parental rights - including your rights to custody and visitation - if the children's mother takes a different view. If you anticipate a custody dispute with the other parent and there is no judgment for paternity existing, this is where you start.

This answers the Petition to Establish Parental Relations, and either admits or denies paternity. It must be served and filed within 30 days of service of the summons and petition to avoid a default judgment being entered.

This form is used to obtain the issuance of a judgment where paternity is not contested.

A Judgment of paternity has life changing consequences. Ignoring parental obligations of support may have criminal consequences. This document is proof that you were advised of your rights before admitting parenthood.

This is a formal appearance in the action which admits paternity and may set child support.

This Judgment operates to conclusively establish your parental rights and obligations.

This judicial council form is used to respond to the Petition. It only covers custody and support.

If you wish to contest a default Judgment of Paternity, a regular Judgment, or a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity with the aim of setting these aside, this is the required form. However, there are specific time limits on how long you have to change your mind or challenge a paternity judgment which you should review first. These are described to some extent in the FL-274.

This is information that you are required to have before filing a Paternity Set Aside Motion. You are well advised to seek legal advice on how to do this properly and when to file. The other parent can use this form as well to challenge your parental rights.

This is the form of opposition to a paternity set aside motion, and it should be filed if you oppose the set aside.

This Order after Hearing sets forth the Court's ruling on the paternity set aside motion.

This request is used where there is no paternity judgment but a VDOP was signed by the alleged father and now one party or the other (or a third party who claims they were really the biological father) claims that the party who signed is not the bio parent. See the FL-281 form.

This is the information you need to have in order to properly challenge a VDOP.

If you oppose the challenge to the VDOP/VDP, be sure to file this responsive declaration.

This sets forth the Court's ruling on the motion.

RFO's, Motions and Temporary Orders (Custody, Support, Attorney Fees, Etc.)

This replaced the old "OSC" cover sheet, effective July 1, 2012. We now call "OSC applications" "requests for orders." This must accompany any request for temporary orders, or the modification of existing orders, in California family law cases except those accompanying a "Notice of Motion". The downside to using this form over the NOM (notice of motion) is that a Judge must sign it before a hearing date is fixed by the clerk, in contrast to setting a motion through the clerk's office by noticed motion on a date you choose.

This form was added January 1, 2012 and should be accompanied by Form FL-319, below.

This is an attachment to an OSC or NOM application where ex parte orders have been sought. These typically involve control of property or payment of debts, and they are issued pending a regular hearing to preserve the status quo until the opposing side has a chance to be heard. This is not used for domestic violence orders.

This is similar to the FL-310, but deals specifically with your proposals regarding custody and visitation.

If you have cause to believe the other parent might flee the jurisdiction with the children, or if they already have, be sure to include this in the paperwork you submit to the Court.

This is useful information for parents to read which gives some basic explanations about child custody concepts and procedures in California.

This mandatory form must be used if you wish to bifurcate marital status (get divorced or terminate the domestic partnership before the rest of the case is finished), or if you want the Court to decide some issues in the case before it decides others.

This form has useful information about what to do with retirement plans.

This form was introduced in January, 2012, and should accompany Requests for Orders (RFO's) that ask for attorney fees and litigation costs. You also need FL-158, above.

This is what you file if you oppose almost any type of family law orders, and in particular requests relating to custody, support, and control of property. It it similar to the FL-310 (which is to be combined with the FL-300 or FL-301).

File this document with the Court after it is completely filled out and signed by a third party - you cannot serve process in your own case.

File this proof of service by mail in those situations where it is allowed - someone else must sign as the party who dropped the pleadings in the mail.

Sometimes referred to as the "F & O", this is what the Court requires be filled out after most non-domestic violence hearings. It should be submitted to the other side for approval, but if they won't approve and return it within 10 days submit it directly to the court clerk with that explanation. This is your formal order, and an important document to complete and get on file rather than depending on "minute orders" as the record of the proceeding.

This optional form was revised effective July 1, 2012, and accompanies Findings and Orders After Hearing(s) and sets forth how the Court calculated child support and describes all orders that were issued.

As with the FL-342, this form was revised in July, 2012 and should be used when non-child support orders are issued.

This 2007 form is simply very rarely used, but could be useful if property restraints were issued or if a party is ordered to pay specific debts on a temporary basis. I don't recommend bothering with it.

Use this form if you are seeking to terminate marital status before the dissolution is completed.

This form of stipulation is used to fix or modify child support.

This form is used if you seek to aside aside a support order for the reasons set forth in Family Code section 3691.

Forms Dealing With Pension Plans

This is required to join a pension plan into the proceedings so that the California courts have jurisdiction to divide them.

Use this motion form when applying for an order of joinder.

This is used together with FL-370, and provides an expedited process to gain jurisdiction over pension plans and their administrators.

The Summons is issued by the court clerk when the FL-370 and Fl-372 are filed. It must be properly served upon the pension plan administrator in order for the joinder to be effective.

Earnings Assignment Orders, Support Arrears and Contempt Proceedings

This form is submitted to the court, and when signed by a Judge constitutes an order to the party to appear at a hearing to "give any legal reason why this court should not find them guilty of contempt."

This is the charging declaration which alleges the facts establishing a contempt. Because contempts are criminal in the sense that people can be jailed and/or fined, you have a very high burden of proof to win a contempt and it is essential that you make no mistakes in preparing this paperwork. A non-lawyer is extremely unlikely to be able to use this remedy successfully.

This is an attachment to the FL-410 in cases involving violations of domestic violence restraining orders or custody and visitation orders.

This is form is required to accompany mandatory Form FL-490.

Use this form if you need additional pages to outline unpaid court ordered support.

This form enables you to obtain an Earnings Assignment Order without a court appearance or filing any form of request for orders or motion. The sooner you submit it the clerk of the court, the better since it is not uncommon for a party who is ordered to pay support to ignore the obligation for a time, which then builds up support arrears which you may later have to reduce to judgment in order to collect.

Use this form to garnish wages in order to collect spousal support or domestic partner support.

This is used to register California Support Orders and Income Withholding Orders.

Use of this form is MANDATORY - you will have your motion to determine support arrears denied if you fail to use it!

This will answer common questions and instruct you how to obtain an order for support arrears.

Domestic Violence Forms

This mandatory Judicial Council form is used to initiate a request for domestic violence restraining orders. It is important that you be specific, complete and truthful. It is the document that judges look at first when ruling on DV applications. If possible, type it out, but this is not required as long as your handwriting is legible.

If you oppose DV orders, it is a good idea to complete and file this form although you are not required to do so by statute. Be sure to serve it on the other party in advance of the hearing, but at a minimum bring extra copies with you to court so you can hand them to the other side before the hearing begins.

This form is to help law enforcement obtain information necessary to enforce your DV restraining orders.

Civil Court Forms Used in Family Law

This is the Substitution of Attorney form that is still used in family law proceedings as well as other civil proceedings.

This the Judgment Form that is recorded in any California County Recorder's office to place a lien on property once a money judgment has been obtained and issued by the Court. If properly issued and recorded, a title company cannot safely transfer title to real estate to a new buyer without first obtaining from you a Satisfaction of Judgment form which declares you have been paid in full.

This document must be issued by the Court Clerk, and then served upon a third party that has custody of money or other property of the Judgment Debtor (i.e., support payee). The rules for levying a Writ of Execution are extremely strict and complex, however, and we urge you to wade through attorney Michael Peterson's Blog article entitled "How to Collect on Family Court Orders for Support or Money".

Here is a sample proof of service to be used with any documents, court papers, or discovery that are to be filed and/or filed and served in family law proceedings. Be sure to have it signed by a third party.

California Discovery Forms

These are the basic questions that should be asked in divorce, and it is also a good way to obtain the other party's property and income disclosure forms.

These are the civil Interrogatories forms which are useful in family law cases only if you combine them with Requests for Admission.

These are civil Requests for Admission that may be used productively is marital dissolution cases, particularly if you send them together with the Civil Interrogatories. Check boxes 1 and 17 on the form interrogatories.

This form is used to Request an updated FL-150 Income and Expense no more than once each year.

This form may be sent to an obligor's employer if the party fails to respond to the FL-396.

Selected Forms From the Law Offices of Arnold, Peterson & Criste

This form of sample Stipulation for Bifurcation is used when parties wish to terminate marital status in Judgment Form (judgment is separate), and tracks Family Code section 2337.

Use this template where you are seeking to receive pendente lite support prior to the entry of Judgment!

Use these points and authorities for cases of moderate complexity or value!

Use these points and authorities for complex, high asset cases!

Here are RFA requests that may give you some ideas. Remember to use RFA's with the Civil Form Interrogatories!

This template will help you to understand the rules concerning fiduciary duties in CA divorce!

Based upon this format, you can figure out how to draft stipulations!

This is one way that you can prepare and file objections to the outrageous things the other party said in their declarations!


Here is a sample charging lien to be used in drafting FLARPLS

This can be used to to ensure you've made a proper disclosure of a client when considering a FLARPL.

This is required to give notice of a parties' right to rescind a FLARPL and fulfill your truth in lending obligations!

This is a promissory note form that you could use.

Here is a sample trust deed - use all these forms at your own risk and read our Disclaimer!

This form is for feedback so that we may improve our services!


These forms do not constitute legal advice - use them at your own risk.

They are for illustration purposes only.

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