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My ex is appealing our divorce. Can I make him pay for my attorney fees in the appeal?

Bend, OR |
Filed under: Divorce Divorce appeals

My ex did not fare well in our divorce trial. He lost legal and physical custody and some financial assets. Our trial was 3.5 days long and our judge actually spent an extra 5 days to think about our case before making his judgement. My ex states in emails that his appeal is based on the fact that I moved 2 towns over (within 60 miles), but his appeal asks for financial assets as well as joint legal custody and 50-50 parenting time. I have already spent a lot of money on this court case and I do not want to spend anymore money. I won this case.

Attorney Answers 3


First, these are questions you should ask your divorce attorney. Secondly, IF you/your attorney files a Response to his Appeal, you should ask for attorney fees. Whether you get them, will depend upon the Court of Appeals' ruling. His chances of succeeding in the joint legal custudy & 50-50 parenting time issues are nil.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

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You can certainly ask that the Court order him to pay your attorney fees incurred in the appeal. You'll only be awarded attorney fees if you win.

It seems quite likely, from your description here, that you'll win at least part of it. Under Oregon law, a court can only award joint custody of children if both parents agree to it. If you did not so agree, then there's no way he can win an appeal on the issue of joint custody.

You should consider, though - any attorney licensed to practice in Oregon would know that. Certainly no one would go to the very considerable effort and cost of appealing a decision, knowing that they were going to lose. Which suggests that either this understanding isn't quite right, or your ex-husband is not being entirely honest with you. Has he actually filed an appeal - have you seen the notice of appeal or appellate brief - or has he just sent you an email stating that he'll do so?

If he's actually filed, then you will need to file a response, and that will likely mean paying an attorney (either the one who represented you so well in the trial, or someone else) to reply to the appeal. You can lose automatically if you fail to reply. Any attorney fee award you might get would merely entitle you to a judgment against him for fees you had to pay.

But if he's not yet actually appealed, then it's possible he's just blowing smoke. You don't need to spend any more money until and unless an appeal is actually filed.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:

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My ex and his attorney are just playing games. I got a notice that he had filed the appeal and that he had paid 500 dollars to the court for the appeal. I even got a receipt from the court. My ex is never honest. Nor his attorney. What saddens me is that my ex-husband is entirely unreasonable. I offered joint custody and a 50-50 plan all through our divorce/custody battle and we even had a custody evaluator who recommended legal custody for me. Even after this suggestion he chose to go to trial knowing his odds of winning were low! After a 3.5 day trial the judge actually gave me not only legal custody but full physical custody with only parenting time for him and I got half his house! The problem here is an unreasonable ex and an attorney who uses that to his advantage for financial gain. I am sure he knows there was no way he was going to win custody with an evaluator recommending against it and I know he knows he can't win an appeal, but it pays his bills. Even through all this I am still offering compromise by offering extra time for the father so he gets all his court ordered days and he will not compromise. My hope is that this will all stop when he realizes the cost of the transcripts. However, he is not reasonable

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


It sounds like he really has appealed, then. You should consult with an attorney about this. There are strict response deadlines. No one can say anything over the internet that will magically solve this problem for you, I'm afraid. (That is regrettably true of a great majority of the questions asked on this site.)


You may have prevailed at the last hearing, but winning a court case is not official until the court enters a final order. By him appealing the decision, which is every person's right under our legal system, the case is not over.

Apparently, your attorney did well by you in getting the court to rule in your favor. You should consult with your attorney regarding legal fees being paid by your husband on appeal.

I am licensed to practice law in VA, not your state. As such, I may be unaware of certain state laws; therefore, my response may be wrong or irrelevant. Please use my response for informational purposes only and contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Good luck.

Be sure to mark the "Best Answer" or Helpful" to your questions. Attorneys on AVVO donate their time and your feedback is appreciated.

Anneshia Miller Grant
Garrett Law Group, PLC
(757) 422-0195 - 24 Hour Service

Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.

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