A California Court will order an award of attorney’s fees, to be paid by one spouse to the other, only if it is financially reasonable.
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California Divorce Attorney Fees
California divorce attorney fees can be requested if there is a disparity in income, as sanctions, and for the filing of a frivolous action.
Attorney Fees Based on Disparity in Income
My spouse makes more than me. Will my spouse have to pay attorney fees?
California divorce attorney fees can be awarded by a court under Family Code sections 2030 through 2032. These fees are what is commonly referred to as a “need based” fee award. In arriving at an award, the court looks at the incomes of both the husband and wife as well as the assets and money that each of them has control over and then decides how to “level the playing field” so that both parties have equal access to the judicial system and Court through legal representation. Family law attorneys utilize these code sections when they represent the spouse who has the lesser income or lesser access to money than the other spouse.
Attorney Fees Based on Sanctionable Conduct
My spouse is not cooperating. Can I get my spouse to pay for my attorney?
California divorce attorney fees can be awarded by a court under Family Code section 271. This code section awards fees when one spouse has violated the code section that mandates sanctions.
The court may base an award of attorney’s fees and costs on the extent to which the conduct of each party or attorney furthers or frustrates the policy of the law to promote settlement of litigation and, where possible, to reduce the cost of litigation by encouraging cooperation between the parties and attorneys. An award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to this section is in the nature of a sanction.
Attorney Fees Based on Attorney’s Conduct
California divorce attorney fees can be awarded by a court under the Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7. You can recover attorney fees from your spouse’s attorney when that attorney files a motion or other document with the Court that is completely frivolous and without merit.
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For more information on divorce in California, click on one of the following links:
Understanding Your Sacramento Divorce
California Divorce Information
Divorce Residency Requirements