If someone is taking me to court (paternity/custody issue), can I request that they pay my attorney's fees? I am in the process of securing counsel but have an initial case management meeting tomorrow. I wasn't sure if I need to request the fees then. Also, I don't believe this man is the father and have no desire to request DNA testing. If he claims he is the father, does he have to request the testing??
You can always REQUEST that attorney fees be paid by the opposing party. Whether the judge will grant them is an entirely different issue altogether. It is totally within the discretion of the judge. If he claims that he is the father in a paternity case, the court will order testing and he will be responsible for the upfront costs most likely.
There are provisions in both the dissolution of marriage statutes and the paternity statutes under which you can request attorneys fees. Attorneys fees may be granted when one party earns considerably more than the other. They may also be granted if one party files an action or legal documents that are frivolous, groundless or without a legal basis. As to the issue of DNA testing, he will have to request the testing as he is attempting to prove that he is the father of your child. I would suggest you fully cooperate with the process.
You should request an award of fees, particularly if you can prove that he has a much higher income or his calim is groundless.
You should cooperate in DNA teting to establish that he is not the father; otherwise, he may contiue to make the claim.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.
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