Fee Awards

By Schonauer Law on Jan 18, 2016 at 11:38 AM in What to do?

A court has the power to make order a party in a family law matter to pay the other party’s fees and costs when appropriate.  California family code provides two means to award fees and costs relating to a dissolution both before judgment and after a final judgment (post judgment modifications motions.

            Needs Based Fee Award

The court may order the payment of fees and cost based on the parties’ "relative circumstances" (i.e., respective income, assets, needs, and abilities to pay) to ensure equal legal representation in court.  Such awards may be granted to provide the party the money needed to hire an attorney.

            As Punishment

The court may award a party sanctions for the conduct of the other party, or his or her attorney, when the court determines the conduct frustrated California’s policy to promote settlement of litigation and, where possible, reduce the cost of litigation by encouraging cooperation.