Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney

Can the Court Award Attorney's Fees During a Divorce?

During many marriages one spouse chooses to stay at home and care for children. For these spouses financial security is an important issue to resolve during divorce. Spousal and child support help deal with the costs of day to day life, but the potential cost of future legal proceedings can be imposing. Even if not intentional, having a financial advantage can intimidate the other party and force them to concede issues they would not otherwise.

During many marriages one spouse chooses to stay at home and care for children. For these spouses financial security is an important issue to resolve during divorce. Spousal and child support help deal The law has reacted to this inequality with California Family code 2030. This allows the courts to order one party to pay for attorney's fees and costs of the other based on financial need. The primary goal is to ensure both parties have adequate legal representation.

It is important to realize if the court may award attorney's fees in your case. The court will look at both parties relative income, both parties ability to pay and each parties need for legal representation. If the court finds sufficient financial disparity and that the matter is complex enough to require an attorney, then the court may order one party to pay the attorney's fees and costs of both parties.

California Family code 2030 is not limited to just divorce proceedings. It may be applied to legal separations, nullities, motions to modify and motions to enforce. In addition the courts can apply it to any civil action that is sufficiently related to the family law issues. It is important to realize how broadly this statute can be applied and determine if it may be applied to your case.

The costs of divorce and family law issues can add up quickly. Without statutes allowing courts to award attorney's fees many parties would be unable to bring suits to enforce their rights. If you are facing divorce and there is a substantial disparity of wealth between you and the other party an attorney may help you determine if you are entitled to have you fees paid for.

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant only to provide information and is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions concerning your particular case you should make an appointment to talk to an attorney or mediator about your options. I would love to hear what other estate planning or familily law issues you find important.

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

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