The cost of hiring an attorney in a family law situation case is very expensive. However, how much it will cost will vary depending upon the complexity of the case. Sometimes, the court will order one side to pay a portion of the attorney fees incurred by the other party. Attorney fees are awarded for various reasons in a family law case. The most common reason is for financial need. If one party earns more than the other, the court has the ability to order the higher-earning spouse to pay a portion of the other's attorney fees and costs. However, the family law court will almost never order one spouse to pay all of the other party's fees; only a portion. Attorney fees can also be awarded in a paternity action.
The family law court will sometimes order lawyer fees to be paid when one party refuses to comply with a court order. If one party has to file court papers because one party refuses to comply with the divorce or paternity judgment, the non-complying party will usually be ordered to pay all or part of the other party's attorney fees.
Finally, attorney fees can be awarded as a penalty when one party does not act in good faith. This type of attorney fee award is only ordered as a sanction. It requires outrageous by one party against the other. The family law court has discretion over the amount of attorney fees it can order, although it must be fair and reasonable.
The laws concerning the award of lawyer fees usually only allow that a portion of the attorney fee bill will be paid by the other side. If you have a divorce or to her family law situation, it is best to count on paying all of your own attorney fees and costs. If the court does make an attorney fee award, it will generally not cover all of the attorney fees incurred. Additionally, even if attorney fees are ordered, they still must be collected. Often times, attorney fees are difficult to collect.
If you have a question concerning an award of attorney fees, or any other family law issue, please contact our office for a free consultation.