how to fight paying ex wife's lawyer fees

by Lenora Daniel 6 min read

If you think you will qualify to have your attorney’s fees paid by your soon-to-be-ex spouse, you must make this request prior to the alimony hearing so that the opposing party knows you are seeking this relief. You can make this request in a pleading or motion. Your divorce attorney can advise you on the best way to make the request.

Firstly, if you are a dependent spouse who qualifies for alimony payments or other post-separation support, you can petition the court for an award of attorney's fees. An order awarding Spouse 1 attorney's fees means that Spouse 2 must assume legal responsibility for Spouse 1's reasonable legal costs.

Full Answer

What happens if I don't pay my ex's attorney's fees?

Dec 01, 2011 · A husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife’s divorce attorney fees eighteen (18) months following the divorce judgment. As expected husband paid the fees and then attempted to deduct the payment as alimony on his tax return for the year in which the payment was made. The order and statement of facts were each silent on the continuation of the ...

Can a judge order a person to pay for their ex’s lawyer?

Jun 28, 2014 · If you cannot pay because you don't have the money, you may ask for a payment plan or other accommodation, or may be able to work out an arrangement directly with your ex's attorney. However, failure to pay because you don't feel like it will likely result in an enforcement action, which can result, if you continue to refuse to pay, in your being incarcerated for up to 5 …

Who pays the Attorney’s fees in a divorce?

One solution is filing a motion to have the other spouse/parent pay his/her attorney’s fees and costs. But how? An award of attorney’s fees and costs may be granted based on (1) the relative circumstances of the parties; and/or (2) the conduct of the parties’ and/or their attorney that frustrates potential settlement, including any bad faith actions.

Can I pay my spouse’s legal fees?

May 01, 2012 · 2 attorney answers. Posted on May 2, 2012. If the matters raised by your ex are truly frivolous, there may be sanctions that can be brought against your ex. Also, if the court can be shown that the pressing of the case is just to cause economic hardship, the court may award attorney fees in the nature of spousal support.

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Does my husband have to pay for my divorce lawyer California?

Generally, one spouse can't force the other to pay for their divorce in California. Each spouse pays for their own lawyer and all associated costs. However, there are circumstances where a family court judge may order a spouse to pay the for the other spouse's attorney fees and costs.Mar 19, 2020

Can my spouse make me pay her divorce attorney fees in California?

No law in California or any other state requires one partner to pay the other's attorney fees. California judges will – in very rare cases – issue an order to one spouse to pay the other's attorney fees, but only – in most cases – if a family's finances are so one-sided that the divorce process would otherwise be ...Mar 27, 2017

Who pays attorney fees in child custody cases California?

Pursuant to Family Code 2030 et seq., California Family Courts are authorized to make an order requiring any party to litigation to pay a reasonable portion of the opposing party's attorney's fees, so that the latter can maintain or defend a proceeding.

Can you pay someone else's lawsuit?

The short answer to both is yes—picking up the tab on someone else's lawsuit is now perfectly legal (it wasn't always), and people who do it aren't required to reveal that they're doing it or why.May 28, 2016

Who pays attorney fees in divorce?

Traditionally, the parties each pay for their own attorney in a divorce suit. The spouses are not allowed to share an attorney, so each party must provide their own attorney for the legal process.May 1, 2018

How much does a divorce cost in California without a lawyer?

How much does a divorce cost in California without a lawyer? The basic cost of filing divorce forms in California is $435, but you may have to pay additional court filing fees for a more complicated case, or if your county charges additional fees. Getting divorced with It's Over Easy starts from as low as $9 per month.Apr 29, 2021

How much does a child custody lawyer cost in California?

Generally, child custody attorneys can charge flat fees anywhere between $3,000 to $20,000. These flat fees will likely be smaller depending on how much mediation is required and the number of court appearances necessary. If finances are an issue, one should consider searching for a pro bono lawyer.Jun 15, 2021

Can costs be awarded in Family Court?

Legal costs in family law proceedings may include Court fees, the costs of obtaining legal advice, and the costs involved in gathering legal evidence. There are some circumstances however, where the Court may make a Costs Order against one party to pay all or some of the other party's legal costs.

How much does it cost to file for child custody in California?

A fee of $25 is generally required for filing either a custody or visitation petition in court. There may be an additional fee for serving the other parent with the custody papers, which is usually done by a sheriff, third party, or process server.Dec 31, 2021

What can I do if someone owes me money and refuses to pay?

If someone owes you money and they refuse to pay you at the agreed time, you may take the matter to the Small Claims Court. If someone has bought goods such as furniture from you and they have failed to pay for it, you can take the matter to the Small Claims Court.

How do you force someone to pay you back?

Part of a video titled How to Get Your Money Back from Someone Who Owes You - YouTube
0:08
1:40
So the first thing is to ask someone a know oriented. Question where you get the other side to sayMoreSo the first thing is to ask someone a know oriented. Question where you get the other side to say no to something that benefits.

What are the easiest things to sue for?

The law must support your contention that you were harmed by the illegal actions of another.
  • Bad Debt. A type of contract case. ...
  • Breach of Contract. ...
  • Breach of Warranty. ...
  • Failure to Return a Security Deposit. ...
  • Libel or Slander (Defamation). ...
  • Nuisance. ...
  • Personal Injury. ...
  • Product Liability.

What happens if you don't pay your ex's attorney?

Failure to comply with ANY court order can have serious consequences, which may ultimately include incarceration, even if the order was for payment of attorney's fees. If you cannot pay because you don't have the money, you may ask for a payment plan or other accommodation, or may be able to work out an arrangement directly with your ex's attorney. However, failure to pay because you don't feel like it will likely result in an enforcement action, which can result, if you continue to refuse to pay, in your being incarcerated for up to 5 months and 29 days.

How long can you be in jail for refusing to pay?

However, failure to pay because you don't feel like it will likely result in an enforcement action, which can result, if you continue to refuse to pay, in your being incarcerated for up to 5 months and 29 days.

What are the consequences of disobeying a court order?

The consequences could be a fine, jail, fine and jail or just a reprimand with another Order to pay. If a reprimand with another Order, you might want to consider the consequences of not obeying the Courts Order for a second time. You may also have to pay her attorney fees if she has to go to Court to enforce the original Order.

How long can you be held in contempt of court?

Contempt means that you can be held in the custody of the sheriff for up to 6 months.

What is an award of attorney fees and costs?

An award of attorney’s fees and costs may be granted based on (1) the relative circumstances of the parties; and/or (2) the conduct of the parties’ and/or their attorney that frustrates potential settlement, including any bad faith actions.

Can an attorney's fee be made if one spouse makes more than the other?

Therefore, if one spouse/parent makes a significant amount more than the other party, an attorney’s fee award may be properly made. However, it is important to note that this is only where the disparity in income in significant.

Do you have to demonstrate financial need for an award of attorney's fees?

The Code goes on to state that “In order to obtain an award under this section, the party requesting an award of attorney's fees and costs is not required to demonstrate any financial need for the award.”.

Can a court take a motion for attorney's fees?

The court does not take a motion for attorney’s fees lightly, and as such, a justifiable need for the other party to contribute to one’s fees and costs must be adequately demonstrated. However, financial need is not the only way to seek assistance from the other party with one’s fees.

2 attorney answers

If the matters raised by your ex are truly frivolous, there may be sanctions that can be brought against your ex. Also, if the court can be shown that the pressing of the case is just to cause economic hardship, the court may award attorney fees in the nature of spousal support.

Brian Scott Piper

To be clear, some people use costs of litigation as if they are a weapon. This is not an uncommon thing in this type of litigation. In Ohio, if the litigated processes being abused, you may be able to pursue an action to restrict access to the Courts if the opposing party is determined to be a vexatious litigator under the statute.

Do you pay what is ordered?

You must pay what is ordered, look at the judgment and orders.

Do you have to pay a court order?

If it was part of the original court order, or in any subsequent order to make sure you paid, then yes, you will have to pay. Talk with your attorney to see what the orders said.

Is attorney's fee a community obligation?

Attorney's fees for the divorce are a community obligation-just as joint bills you may have run up while you were married. If you were represented during the divorce, your attorney's fees are chargeable to the community as well, so the two charges would offset one another, normally.

Can my wife ask for attorney fees?

If you and your wife cannot reach a settlement, which will usually waive claims for attorney fees, and the case goes to a full trial, then she can ask for attorney fees. However, attorney fees are in most cases only awarded to the "less monied spouse", meaning that if your wife makes about the same or more than you do, then it is likely that her request for attorney fees will be denied.

Do I have to pay my attorney's fees?

What does the Order say? If she has a Court Order requiring you to pay her attorney's fees, then yes, you are required to pay her attorney's fees because it is in the Order. If an Order has been issued that does not include attorney's fees (or leave the issue open for later determination), then I don't see how she can obtain attorney's fees. If the case is still open, she could request the Court to order you to pay her attorney's fees. Since the issue surrounds past due child support, a Judge could ultimately award her attorney's fees, but the Court would take into consideration your current financial circumstances.

Can a judge order you to pay her attorney fees?

She can't make you pay her attorney fees unless the court ordered you to pay them. If the court did order you to pay them, the only way to get out of that would be to file a motion with the court and see whether the judge will let you off the hook. I think that would be a long shot though.

Do you have to pay attorney fees in a divorce?

The Court looks at a number of factors when deciding whether not one party to a divorce has to pay the other party's attorneys fees. Section 61.16(1), of the Florida Statute, authorizes the circuit court to order a party to pay a reasonable amount of attorney's fees and costs to the other party in a dissolution action. The standard for awarding attorney's fees in dissolution cases is the financial need of the requesting party and the financial ability of the other party to pay. So it would depend on the specific facts and circumstances in your case. I advise that you speak with an attorney about your case to determine whether your ex wife would be entitled to her attorneys' fees.

How to dispute a bill from an attorney?

If you’ve received a bill from your attorney that you feel is unjust, then you can dispute the bill without having to take your lawyer to court. Before disputing your bill, review your initial fee agreement, which should include details on how often you’ll be billed and what the rates will be. Then, review your bill in light of the fee agreement, your own records, and your understanding of what your attorney has done. Try to pinpoint areas where you feel you were overcharged or discrepancies in times or services. Instead of formally disputing your bill right away, call your lawyer and ask them to review and explain the bill. If you still disagree with your bill, write your lawyer a formal letter explaining which fees you're disputing and why. If this doesn't work, check with your state or local bar association to see if they offer free arbitration services. To learn how to prepare for an arbitration hearing, keep reading!

How to dispute a bill?

If there is more than one item you want to dispute, you may want to format them in a bullet-point list. Identify the charge you dispute specifically and provide a brief description of why you dispute it.

What to do if you are allowed to have an attorney represent you during an arbitration?

Look for an attorney who is experienced in handling attorney's fees disputes. Make copies of any documents related to the fee dispute to take with you to the hearing.

What should be included in a fee agreement?

Your fee agreement should include details on how often you'll be billed, how costs will be computed, and the rates at which the attorney will bill for work completed.

What should be included in a letter to dispute a bill?

On the subject line of your letter, include the date of the bill you're disputing and the case name, if any, that relates to the services for which you were billed.

What to do if your bill doesn't go into detail?

Ask for a detailed accounting. If your bill doesn't go into detail regarding the charges, you should ask the attorney to provide you with one so you can better understand the charges.

Why is mediation better than arbitration?

The mediation process gives you a little more control over the final outcome than arbitration, because the mediator doesn't have the power to dictate a resolution to the case.

What does it mean when a spouse awards attorney fees?

An order awarding Spouse 1 attorney’s fees means that Spouse 2 must assume legal responsibility for Spouse 1’s reasonable legal costs. An award of attorney’s fees can also be available if one spouse has behaved in bad faith and caused the litigation to drag out unnecessarily. Finally, if an award of attorney’s fees would not be applicable ...

How to get an attorney's fee for alimony?

However, there are remedies for this! Firstly, if you are a dependent spouse who qualifies for alimony payments or other post-separation support, you can petition the court for an award of attorney’s fees. An order awarding Spouse 1 attorney’s fees means that Spouse 2 must assume legal responsibility for Spouse 1’s reasonable legal costs. An award of attorney’s fees can also be available if one spouse has behaved in bad faith and caused the litigation to drag out unnecessarily. Finally, if an award of attorney’s fees would not be applicable to you but you still face difficulty paying your legal fees, you can also petition the court asking for an advance of your portion of division of property from the divorce.

What is bad faith in divorce?

BAD FAITH/FAULT: A judge will also sometimes award attorney’s fees based not on the financial status of the party but on the basis of fault. Sometimes one side in a divorce case will engage in bad faith behavior that causes a case to drag out unnecessarily, causing the innocent spouse’s attorney’s fees to increase unfairly.

When a divorce is not completely one-sided, what happens?

When a divorcing couple’s financial situation is not completely one-sided, courts will sometimes order the spouse with a larger income to pay a percentage of the other party’s attorney’s fees in proportion to each spouse’s income.

Can an innocent spouse get attorney fees?

As described above, there is also an exception that can result in attorney’s fees for the innocent spouse when the bad faith of the other spouse has unreasonably dragged out the divorce proceeding.

Can I get my spouse to pay my divorce attorney?

One of the most frequently asked questions in divorce cases is, “Can I get my spouse to pay my attorney’s fees?” The majority of family law attorneys charge by the hour, which means you can be billed for time your attorney spends on phone calls, meetings, emails, legal research, and court appearances in their crafting the best individualized approach and arguments for your case. The costs can add up, but the old adage that “you get what you pay for” rings especially true in divorce cases. Although some individuals think they might be better off representing themselves in a divorce proceeding to save money, the fact of the matter is they will be at a significant legal disadvantage if the other spouse can afford an experienced and aggressive family law attorney.

Can you get equitable distribution with divorce?

Equitable distribution can be brought with an action for divorce or as its own separate action. One exception to this rule allows for reasonable attorney’s fees for a spouse who owns separate property and is suing the other to regain possession of their property. As described above, there is also an exception that can result in attorney’s fees ...

How to request fees during divorce?

To request fees during a divorce, one spouse must file a Request for Order with the court. The Court will schedule a court hearing for you and your spouse to ‘argue’ your respective positions and then the judge will make a decision.

How to request a sanction from spouse?

As with “need based” fees, either party may request “sanction” fees from the other spouse by filing a “Request for Order” with the court.

What does a judge look for in a divorce case?

When deciding whether or not to order fees, the judge will look to each of your “need” and “ability to pay.” In other words, do you (or your spouse) have the ability to pay for your representation and that of your spouse? The judge will also look to see whether there is a ‘disparity in access to funds’ to retain an attorney. Even if both spouse’s are ‘well off’, the court can award fees if one spouse has significantly more income, assets and/or liquidity. Since California is a ‘no fault’ divorce state, fees are not awarded for ‘bad’ behavior outside the context of the divorce action. So, for example, if the reason you are obtaining a divorce is because your spouse habitually cheated on you, the court will not consider that as a basis for awarding you fees. However, there are limited circumstances when a spouse will be forced to pay fees for ‘bad’ behavior within the divorce action itself (see below, ‘fees as sanctions’).

What issues need to be resolved in a divorce?

The issues that need to be resolved in your divorce are property & debt, child custody, child support and spousal support. Additionally, attorney fees need to be considered and resolved in a way that makes sense for you and your spouse. The Family Code allows the court to award fees in the amount that are “reasonably necessary” to properly litigate ...

What is need based fee?

The Family Code allows the court to award fees in the amount that are “reasonably necessary” to properly litigate and/or negotiate a divorce. “Need based” fees can be requested at any point during your divorce.

What are some examples of fees as sanctions?

Some examples of when fees as “sanctions” may be appropriate income (but are not limited to): 1. Withholding important information about your child’s health or welfare from the other spouse; 2.

Can a divorce judge award fees for bad behavior?

Since California is a ‘no fault’ divorce state, fees are not awarded for ‘bad’ behavior outside the context ...

How to contact a Washington State family law attorney?

If you need help dealing with your divorce or a child custody matter, schedule an appointment to speak with our Washington State family law attorneys today by calling 509-572-3700. By: Zachary C. Ashby.

What is it called when a spouse files a motion after a motion?

When a person files frivolous motions or requests hearings with no legal basis, they are often termed a “vexatious litigant .”.

Why are vexatious litigants placed on public lists?

In some states, like California, vexatious litigants are placed onto a public list so that judges and attorneys know who has been filing cases for no reason. In other states, like Washington, a judge may declare a person to be a vexatious litigant after that person files multiple frivolous cases or motions inside of a particular court. ...

Can a judge order a person to pay the other side's attorney's fees?

If the judge believes that a person is filing multiple motions or requests for the sole purpose of running up his or her ex’s legal bills, the judge can order that person to pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees. In extreme cases, the person filing the motion can be held in contempt and forced to pay fines, or even spend time in jail.

Can an attorney file a motion against an ex spouse?

If, however, a spouse’s attorney agrees that the other person is filing motions inappropriately, there are several steps which can be taken. The attorney can file a motion of his or her own, asking the judge to strike, or get rid of, whatever pleading the ex-spouse filed.

Can a motion be held in contempt?

In extreme cases, the person filing the motion can be held in contempt and forced to pay fines, or even spend time in jail. Judges will assume that most parties (and their attorneys) are acting in good faith, and have an actual legal basis for their motions or requests.

Can a judge remove a motion for contempt?

If the judge agrees that the motion has no merit, then the judge can remove it. An attorney can also file a motion for contempt, or a motion for sanctions. If a person has been warned by the judge to stop filing frivolous pleadings, then disobeying this command could lead to serious legal consequences. For instance, a person who has ...

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