Should you seek attorney’s fees from a spouse or co-parent an experienced family law firm is necessary to ensure the award from the court.
Attorney’s Fees may be granted under the following code sections:
Family Code Section 270 provides that an award of attorney’s fees may be provided if one party frustrates litigation and to reduce litigation by forcing cooperation amongst the parties. This code section was enacted because it is not unusual for parties in a family law matter to engage in uncessary litigation for purposes of retaliation. When a party is forced to pay attorney’s fees they think twice about filing unecessary ex parte motions or furthering a case to trial. Rather, they are more willing to settle. However, before you run into court asking for attorney’s fees make sure the party is able to pay such fees. They need to have savings, much higher income, or some funds to liquidate in order to make the payment. The court’s will not award a party, with the inability, to pay the attorney’s fees.
An award for attorney’s fees may also be made when one party is the higher earner. This is provided so that both parties have an equal opportunity to obtain counsel. The income must be a bit higher, almost 50% more than the other parties income. Again, this must be proven through bank statements, income and expense declaration, and other financial documents to prove the money is available. Otherwise, the court would not award an attorney’s fees request. Should one party not have the funds to retain an attorney in a divorce proceeding, the party may also present the court with a motion to seek attorney’s fees before the start of a case to retain an attorney. This is also to provide both parties with level playing field during a divorce proceeding so both parties have acess to counsel.
To seek attorney’s fees is a bit complicated and requires an attorney to help you with the paperwork. It would be wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney or divorce lawyer to receive a consultation on how best to receive an award for attorney’s fees. The Atighechi Law Group is exerienced in such matters. Please give us a call today.