Requests to Set Aside a Child Support Order under Family Code Section 3691

Steps to File a Request to Set Aside a Support Order under Family Code Section 3691

To ask the judge to set aside (cancel) the default judgment or other order against you, you will have to ask for a court hearing.

Note: Click for instructions to Respond to a Request to Set Aside a Support Order.

To ask for a court hearing, complete paperwork and file specific forms with the court.  Make sure you fill out those forms completely and accurately. If you have any questions, your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps with child support cases, and often with spousal/partner support cases as well. It is possible they cannot help you with a request for order to set aside a support order, but they can probably give you information to help you understand your options.

Follow these steps:

  1. Fill out your court forms.
    Fill out:
    • Request for Hearing and Application to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-360). Fill out this form carefully. In it, you explain why you are making your request.

  2. Have your forms reviewed.
    If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with paperwork related to requests to set aside, ask them to review your paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly.

  3. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms.
    Copy the form listed under step 1 (including attachments). One copy will be for you; the other copy will be for the other party. The original is for the court. If the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) is involved in your case, make one more copy for them.

  4. File your forms with the court clerk and get your court date.
    File the original and copies of all the court forms listed in Step 1 at the clerk’s office in the court handling your case. The clerk will keep the original (for the court) and return the copies to you, stamped “Filed."
    • You will have to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
    • The clerk will also give you a court date and write it on page 1 of your Request (Form FL-360). That will be the court date when the judge will hear your request.

  5. Serve the other party with a copy of your Request.
    Have someone 18 or older (NOT you) serve the other party with a copy of your Request (Form FL-360) and a blank Responsive Declaration to Application to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-365). If the LCSA is involved in your case, have a copy served on them too.
    • You can have the other party served by mail or in person.
    • If you have your Request served in person, it must be done at least 16 court days before your court hearing.
    • If you have your Request served by mail, you must do it at least 16 court days before the hearing plus 5 calendar days for mailing.

    Get more information about “service.”

  6. File your proof of service.
    Have your server (the person or persons who mailed or hand-delivered your papers to the other party) fill out a proof of service (you can use Proof of Personal Service (Form FL-330) or Proof of Service by Mail (Form FL-335)) and give it to you so you can file it with the court. It is very important that your server fills out the proof of service correctly. If possible, have your family law facilitator or self-help center review it to make sure it was filled out properly.

    Remember that if the LCSA is involved, you will need a Proof of Service showing they were served too.

  7. Go to your court hearing.
    Go to your court hearing and take a copy of all your papers and your Proof of Service.

    Read Going to Court to find out how to prepare for your court hearing.

After the court hearing

If the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, he or she will let you know if your request for order was granted or denied. If it was denied, it means the judgment or order you were trying to cancel continues to be the court order. You may still have other legal recourse such as an appeal or a request for reconsideration, so talk to a lawyer for more information.

If the judge agrees with you and cancels the order or judgment, you will be able to file a Response or other proper legal document to allow you to participate in the case and have your day in court.

If the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, the judge will sign a court order. In some courtrooms, the clerk or court staff will prepare this order for the judge’s signature. In other courtrooms, the person who asked for the hearing has to prepare the court order for the judge to sign. If either side has a lawyer, the lawyer will usually be asked to prepare the order.

If you have to prepare this order, you will need to fill out the Order After Hearing on Motion to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-367).

Remember, the family law facilitator or self-help center may be able to help you with these forms.

Steps to Respond to a Request to Set Aside (Cancel) a Support Order under Family Code Section 3691

  • Carefully read the papers you received to make sure you understand what court orders the other party is asking for.
  • Note the date, time, and location of the court hearing. They are listed on the first page of the Request for Hearing and Application to Set Aside Support Order. It is very important you go to this court hearing!
  • You must respond to the papers you received if you want the court to know your position. If you do not respond, the court may grant the other party’s request to cancel the existing judgment or order and you will have to start over with getting the court orders you want.
  • If you have a lawyer, take all your papers to your lawyer to handle the case for you. If you do not have a lawyer, talk to a lawyer if you want legal advice, someone to go to court with you, or other legal help. Click for help finding a lawyer. Or talk to your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center.

To respond to a request for order to set aside an order, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out your court forms.
    Fill out:
    • Responsive Declaration to Request for Order to Application to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-365).

  2. Have your forms reviewed.
    If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with paperwork related to requests to set aside, ask them to review your paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly.

  3. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms.
    Copy all of the forms listed under step 1 (including the attachments). One copy will be for you; the other copy will be for the other party. The original is for the court. If the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) is involved in your case, make an extra copy. They will need one, too.

  4. File your forms with the court clerk.
    File the original and copies of all the court forms listed in Step 1 at the clerk’s office in the court handling your case. The clerk will keep the original (for the court) and return the copies to you, stamped “Filed.”  You will likely not have to pay a filing fee to file the Responsive Declaration. But if you do and you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.

  5. Serve the other party with a copy of your Request.
    Have someone 18 or older (NOT YOU) serve a copy of the Responsive Declaration to Application to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-365) and any other papers you attached, on the other party. You must have the papers served at least 9 days before the hearing.  If the Local Child Support Agency is involved in your case, they must also be served a copy.

    You can have the papers served by mail or in person.

    You can have your appers served on the other side before the clerk stamps them— just make sure you do not serve the original.


    Get more information about “service.”

  6. File your proof of service.
    Have your server (the person or persons who mailed or hand-delivered your papers to the other party) fill out a proof of service (you can use Proof of Personal Service (Form FL-330) or Proof of Service by Mail (Form FL-335)) and give it to you so you can file it with the court. It is very important that your server fills out the proof of service correctly.

    If possible, have your family law facilitator or self-help center review it to make sure it was filled out properly. (If you had the other party served with an unstamped copy of the Responsive Declaration, you can file the original of the Responsive Declaration and attachments together with the Proof of Service.)

    If the Local Child Support Agency is involved in your case, you will need a Proof of Service showing they were served too.

  7. Go to your court hearing.
    Go to your court hearing and take a copy of all your papers and your Proof of Service.

    Read Going to Court to find out how to prepare for your court hearing.

After the court hearing

If the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, he or she will let you know if the other party’s request was granted or denied. If it was denied, it means the judgment or order he or she was trying to cancel continues to be the court order. The other party may still have other legal recourse such as an appeal or a request for reconsideration, so talk to a lawyer for more information if you are served other documents.

If the judge agrees with the other party and cancels the order or judgment, the other party will be allowed to file a Response or other proper document to allow him or her to participate in the case and have his or her day in court. If that happens, move forward with your case as if the other party had answered the petition or request that you filed in the case.

If the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, the judge will sign a court order. In some courtrooms, the clerk or court staff will prepare this order for the judge’s signature. In other courtrooms, the person who asked for the hearing has to prepare the court order for the judge to sign. If either side has a lawyer, the lawyer will usually be asked to prepare the order.

If you have to prepare this order, you will need to fill out the Order After Hearing on Motion to Set Aside Support Order (Form FL-367).

Remember, the family law facilitator or self-help center may be able to help you with these forms.

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