Basic summary on how the Court determines whether or not to award attorney's fees to a party in a family law matter.
When can the Court award attorney's fees to a party?
A court may award a party his or her attorney fees and certain reasonable and necessary expenses in a domestic relations case involving issues of alimony, child support, child custody or visitation, and for modifications.
How does the Court determine who, if anyone, should pay attorney's fees to the other party?
An award of attorney fees and expenses is not an automatic entitlement, but is determined on a case by case basis based on its own set of facts. Any award of attorney fees and expenses is within the discretion of the court. A court must consider several factors when determining whether to award attorney fees and expenses and if awarded, the amount. Those factors include, in part, the financial resources and financial needs of the parties and whether there was substantial justification for prosecuting or defending the proceeding. If an award of attorney's fees is provided, the payment is between the parties. Meaning that the party awarded attorney fees must be reimbursed for the fees (or part of the fees) they incurred from the opposing party.
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