Is there a statute of limitation on claiming attorney fees? If you win a custody case can you claim attorney fees from your ex?

Asked about 1 year ago - Bristol, VA

Late last year my ex took me to court for custody which I won. I was a student & could not afford a lawyer & ended up using my student loans to pay for an attorney. My loans ran out & could no longer afford to pay the lawyer & I still owed money. I spoke to the lawyer & asked if I could resume payment after I graduated & pay off my debt & lawyer agreed. Unfortunately I didn't think to get it in writing & 3 months after I stopped paying due to the fact I had no money, I received a warrant in debt. I have now graduated & now looking for a job but no luck so far. I am due in court for the warrant early next month & still am unemployed. Is there a way I can get my ex to pay this bill since I won the case or is it too late? I am struggling & face interest & other fees. HELP Please!

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Nancy Loukus Ballast

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . You can claim attorney fees when you're indigent and the other side has the ability to pay, but you have to ask for it when you're pursuing the action. In other words, if you'd asked for fees when your custody case was being heard, you'd have had a chance to have your ex pay for it. But you didn't ask for it, or make your attorney aware of your ability to pay (or lack thereof). So instead you agreed to pay your attorney. Now your attorney has an agreement (fee agreement) that you performed - partly. The other part of your question - what's the statute of limitations on attorney fees - may be governed by state law, so I'd go looking for state law on the subject.

    Is this “helpful” or a “best” answer? Please mark it if it was, and I hope it was! Thank you! Nancy L. Ballast... more

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