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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: Frequently Asked Questions: Fees FAQ
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Fees Frequently Asked Questions

  1. As a Respondent, why do I need to pay a filing fee if the Petitioner has already paid?
  2. Am I required to pay my first paper fee if there is a judgment in my case and I've never responded until now?
  3. What if I cannot afford the filing fees?



1. As a Respondent, why do I need to pay a filing fee if the Petitioner has already paid?

Uniform filing fees in family law cases are authorized in Government Code section §70670 et seq. Generally, first paper fees must be paid by the Petitioner and Respondent. The fees that apply to Family Law matters can be found on the Fee Schedule.


2. Am I required to pay my first paper fee if there is a judgment in my case and I've never responded until now?

YES, you are required to pay a first paper fee when you respond for the first time or make your first appearance in court.


3. What if I cannot afford the filing fees?

If you cannot afford the court's filing fees or other court costs, you may request that the court waive all or some of your filing fees or costs by applying for fee waiver. you must complete and submit a Request to Waive Court Fees (Form FW-001) and, with the top portion completed, and Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) (Form FW-003). Each party must complete their own forms when seeking a fee waiver.

Generally, eligibility for the fee waiver is based upon your household income or whether you receive public assistance. If a you file a request for a fee waiver and the court finds that you do not qualify, you must pay the appropriate filing fees.

Additional detailed information on requesting a fee waiver can be found on the California Courts website under the "Self-Help" section at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-feewaiver.htm.

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