Article 2. Discovery Before Commencing Modification Or Termination Proceeding of California Family Law Code >> Division 9. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 6. >> Article 2.
The purpose of this article is to permit inexpensive
discovery of facts before the commencement of a proceeding for
modification or termination of an order for child, family, or spousal
Methods of discovery other than that described in this
article may only be used if a motion for modification or termination
of the support order is pending.
In the absence of a pending motion for modification or
termination of a support order, a request for discovery pursuant to
this article may be undertaken not more frequently than once every 12
(a) At any time following a judgment of dissolution of
marriage or legal separation of the parties, or a determination of
paternity, that provides for payment of support, either the party
ordered to pay support or the party to whom support was ordered to be
paid or that party's assignee, without leave of court, may serve a
request on the other party for the production of a completed current
income and expense declaration in the form adopted by the Judicial
(b) If there is no response within 35 days of service of the
request or if the responsive income and expense declaration is
incomplete as to any wage information, including the attachment of
pay stubs and income tax returns, the requesting party may serve a
request on the employer of the other party for information limited to
the income and benefits provided to the party in the form adopted by
the Judicial Council. The employer may require the requesting party
to pay the reasonable costs of copying this information for the
requesting party. The date specified in the request served on the
employer for the production of income and benefit information shall
not be less than 15 days from the date this request is issued.
(c) The requesting party shall serve or cause to be served on the
employee described in this section or on his or her attorney a copy
of the request served on the employer prior to the date specified in
the request served on the employer for the production of income and
benefit information. This copy shall be accompanied by a notice that,
in a typeface that is intended to call attention to its terms,
indicates all of the following:
(1) That information limited to the income and benefits provided
to the employee by his or her employer is being sought from the
employer named in the request for production.
(2) That the information may be protected by right of privacy.
(3) That, if the employee objects to the production of this
information by the employer to the requesting party, the employee
shall notify the court, in writing, of this objection prior to the
date specified in the request served on the employer for the
production of income and benefit information.
(4) That, if the requesting party does not agree, in writing, to
cancel or narrow the scope of the request for the production of this
information by the employer, the employee should consult an attorney
regarding the employee's right to privacy and how to protect this
(d) The employee described in this section may, prior to the date
specified in the request served on the employer for the production of
income and benefit information, bring a motion pursuant to Section
1987.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure to quash or modify this request
in the same manner as a subpoena duces tecum. Notice of this motion
shall be given to the employer prior to the date specified in the
request served on the employer for the production of income and
benefit information. No employer shall be required to produce
information limited to the income and benefits of the employee,
except upon order of the court or upon agreement of the parties,
employers, and employee affected.
(e) Service of a request for production of an income and expense
declaration or for income and benefit information pursuant to this
section or a copy thereof shall be by certified mail, postage
prepaid, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the
party to be served, or by personal service.
(f) The form adopted by the Judicial Council for purposes of the
request on an employer described in subdivision (b) shall state that
compliance with the request is voluntary, except upon order of the
court or upon agreement of the parties, employers, and employee
(a) A copy of the prior year's federal and state personal
income tax returns shall be attached to the income and expense
declaration of each party.
(b) A party shall not disclose the contents or provide copies of
the other party's tax returns to anyone except the court, the party's
attorney, the party's accountant, or other financial consultant
assisting with matters relating to the proceeding, or any other
person permitted by the court.
(c) The tax returns shall be controlled by the court as provided
in Section 3552.
This article may be enforced in the manner specified in
Sections 1991, 1991.1, 1991.2, 1992, and 1993 of the Code of Civil
Procedure and in the Civil Discovery Act (Title 4 (commencing with
Section 2016.010) of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure), and any
other statutes applicable to the enforcement of procedures for
Upon the subsequent filing of a motion for modification or
termination of the support order by the requesting party, if the
court finds that the income and expense declaration submitted by the
responding party pursuant to this article was incomplete, inaccurate,
or missing the prior year's federal and state personal income tax
returns, or that the declaration was not submitted in good faith, the
court may order sanctions against the responding party in the form
of payment of all costs of the motion, including the filing fee and
the costs of the depositions and subpoenas necessary to be utilized
in order to obtain complete and accurate information. This section is
applicable regardless of whether a party has utilized subdivision
(b) of Section 3664.
The Judicial Council shall adopt forms which shall be used in
the procedure provided by this article.