Did you know there was a way to obtain post judgment financial information on your spouse without having to go to court? I didn’t until recently and neither do a lot of attorneys.
This article will discuss how to request your spouses financial information when there has already been a judgment in your case. Why would you need to do this, you ask? Well, if you have an order for spousal support or child support, there may be a time when you want to request a modification of the amount of money you are paying.
Generally, there needs to be a change of circumstances to request a hearing to modify either child support or spousal support. A change in your spouses income would qualify for this. But how do you know if your spouse is making more money? That is where this tool is easy and does not require you to file your motion first or any formal discovery.
Here is what the family code section says on this.
“At any time following a judgment of marital (or domestic partnership) dissolution or legal separation, or a determination of paternity that provides for payment of support, either the payer or payee may serve a request on the other party for the production of a completed current income and expense declaration form, without leave of court. Fam C §3664(a). This statutory right to obtain financial information from the other party provides for the inexpensive discovery of facts before a party seeks the modification or termination of an order for child, family, or spousal support. See Fam C §§3660–3668. There is no requirement that an order to show cause or motion for modification of support be pending. Fam C §3662. This discovery technique may not be used more than once every 12 months. Fam C §3663.”
For those of us that don’t ready legalese, here is what it says in plain English. After a judgment in your divorce you can request your spouses income information without going to court no more than once per year. (Couldn’t they have just said that?)
So, if that is the case, how do you go about doing this? As the requesting party you should serve a Request For Production of an Income and Expense Declaration After Judgment Form (FL-396).
The party served has 35 days to complete the income and expense report and return it along with the prior years federal and state tax return and 2 months of pay stubs.
If the responding party fails to return them or is incomplete regarding any wage information, you can then serve a request for income and benefit information directly on their employer using the Request for income and benefit information from employer (Form FL-397)
Here is a link to the FL-396 Request for production of income and expense after judgment
Here is a link to the FL-397 – Request for Income and Benefit Information from Employer
If you would prefer to have our company prepare and serve these documents for you, please feel free to contact our office.