Written by attorney Robert Walter Dapelo

Standard for Award of interim Counsel Fees in New York State

An award of counsel fees pursuant to Domestic Relations Law ?237(a) is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial court, and the issue "is controlled by the equities and circumstances of each particular case" (Morrissey v. Morrissey, 259 AD2d 472, 473; see Timpone v. Timpone, 28 AD3d 646; Walker v. Walker, 255 AD2d 375, 376). In determining whether to award fees, the court should "review the financial circumstances of both parties together with all the other circumstances of the case, which may include the relative merit of the parties' positions" (DeCabrera v. Cabrera-Rosete, 70 NY2d 879, 881; see Ciampa v. Ciampa, 47 AD3d 745, 748). The court may also consider whether either party has engaged in conduct or taken positions resulting in a delay of the proceedings or unnecessary litigation emphasis added.

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