Understanding the costs associated with initiating a spousal support petition in California can help someone with the proper planning and preparation to be able to file and work towards having a spousal support order made. While the costs for someone in Riverside County filing for spousal support can vary dramatically based on many factors, here we will lay out a few constants and variables so you have a basic idea of what it might take financially to get a spousal support order in the Riverside County family law court system.
Where to file a Spousal Support Case in Riverside County
First to note is that residents in Riverside County will likely experience exactly the same costs as other party’s filing for spousal support in California. In California, the County Superior Courts are the governmental institutions that are responsible for making and maintaining spousal support orders, specifically in either Riverside, Indio, Hemet or Blythe. You can learn here where to file family law cases in Riverside County to find the family law court for your case.
Breakdown of Costs to File Spousal Support Cases in Riverside County
There are several different types of fees that may be required to open your spousal support case in Riverside County. An important note is that if you have a valid Fee Waiver on file with the court, you may not have to pay any fees. A fee waiver can be filed on any case when a person qualifies as either low income, receiving governmental assistance or in financial need. The fee waivers are reviewed independent of all other filings.
Filing Fee – Anywhere in the California court system you are likely to pay filing fees for initiating a case. This is no different for a spousal support case in Riverside County. These fees are known as first appearance fees. Currently in Riverside County, the family law filing fee is $450.00. This is the fee to file your petition and open your case with the court. It is important to note that a spousal support action is not a case of its own. Rather it is a single issue that is heard and determined in a family law case filing. Common family law case filings where spousal support can be requested are divorce and legal separations. The filing fee covers you filing those documents into the court system. In most family law cases, this first appearance fee is only paid once when initiating the case. Again, fee waivers do apply, so if you think you may qualify, you can prepare and file a fee waiver and potentially not have to pay the $450.00 to open your family law case in Riverside County.
Hearing Fee – Simply opening a case as described above does not set a hearing for spousal support. In situations where a person thinks a case may be contested, or the other party is not willing to enter into an agreement regarding spousal support, a hearing can be requested. This is another series of documents prepared and filed at the court. These documents will schedule a hearing about 5-8 weeks later (current hearing backlog in Riverside County) in which the court will make orders regarding the spousal support requested. The filing fee for a spousal support hearing in Riverside County is currently $90.00, but again, if a fee waiver is on file this fee will be waived. If the other party has not provided accurate financial information, or the facts of both parties are conflicting, the court may request more information and continue your hearing for a later date.
Much of the outcome of a spousal support hearing in Riverside County can rely on the documents and the accuracy of the information in those documents. It is important to complete all the requirements of the court and provide all required supporting information. Doing so provides the court the information needed to make the correct spousal support order. If you need help initiating a spousal support order in Riverside County, we can help. Just document Preparation has been helping initiating family law cases since 1996.