Absent statute or agreement, attorney's fees are not recoverable. Consumers League of Nevada v. Southwest Gas Corp., 94 Nev. 153, 576 P.2d 737 (1978). That said, there are several statutes that may provide your spouse with grounds for attorney's fees in a divorce action. For example, NRS 125.180 provides for an award of fees when one party is in default of money owed under a decree of divorce. Quite simply, if you fail to pay what the court orders you will probably end up owing much more in the end.
Korbel v. Korbel, 101 Nev. 140, 141-42, 696 P.2d 993, 994 (1985)
NRS 18.010 Award of attorney’s fees.
1. The compensation of an attorney and counselor for his or her services is governed by agreement, express or implied, which is not restrained by law.
2. In addition to the cases where an allowance is authorized by specific statute, the court may make an allowance of attorney’s fees to a prevailing party:
(a) When the prevailing party has not recovered more than $20,000; or
(b) Without regard to the recovery sought, when the court finds that the claim, counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint or defense of the opposing party was brought or maintained without reasonable ground or to harass the prevailing party. The court shall liberally construe the provisions of this paragraph in favor of awarding attorney’s fees in all appropriate situations. It is the intent of the Legislature that the court award attorney’s fees pursuant to this paragraph and impose sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure in all appropriate situations to punish for and deter frivolous or vexatious claims and defenses because such claims and defenses overburden limited judicial resources, hinder the timely resolution of meritorious claims and increase the costs of engaging in business and providing professional services to the public.
3. In awarding attorney’s fees, the court may pronounce its decision on the fees at the conclusion of the trial or special proceeding without written motion and with or without presentation of additional evidence.
4. Subsections 2 and 3 do not apply to any action arising out of a written instrument or agreement which entitles the prevailing party to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees.
NRS 18.015 Lien for attorney’s fees: Amount; perfection; enforcement.
1. An attorney at law shall have a lien upon any claim, demand or cause of action, including any claim for unliquidated damages, which has been placed in the attorney’s hands by a client for suit or collection, or upon which a suit or other action has been instituted. The lien is for the amount of any fee which has been agreed upon by the attorney and client. In the absence of an agreement, the lien is for a reasonable fee for the services which the attorney has rendered for the client on account of the suit, claim, demand or action.
2. An attorney perfects the lien by serving notice in writing, in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, upon his or her client and upon the party against whom the client has a cause of action, claiming the lien and stating the interest which the attorney has in any cause of action.
3. The lien attaches to any verdict, judgment or decree entered and to any money or property which is recovered on account of the suit or other action, from the time of service of the notices required by this section.
4. On motion filed by an attorney having a lien under this section, the attorney’s client or any party who has been served with notice of the lien, the court shall, after 5 days’ notice to all interested parties, adjudicate the rights of the attorney, client or other parties and enforce the lien.
5. Collection of attorney’s fees by a lien under this section may be utilized with, after or independently of any other method of collection.
(Added to NRS by 1977, 773 NRS 18.110 Verified memorandum of costs: Filing and service; witness’ and clerk’s fee; retaxing and settling costs.
1. The party in whose favor judgment is rendered, and who claims costs, must file with the clerk, and serve a copy upon the adverse party, within 5 days after the entry of judgment, or such further time as the court or judge may grant, a memorandum of the items of the costs in the action or proceeding, which memorandum must be verified by the oath of the part
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