We can Help Petition the Court to Award Attorneys Fees in your Divorce or Custody Matter

Divorce can be expensive. The Law Office of Bradley S.Sandler offers cost effective counsel with affordable fees, payments plans and limited Scope representation. Quite often, clients do not have the financial wherewithal to afford the continued costs of family litigation. Sometimes it s the strategy of the other party of their attorneys to inflate the costs to effect settlement or take advantage of financial disparity in the proceedings. Either way, we can help.

Family Code 2030 and Need-based Attorneys Fees

California makes it very clear that parties to a divorce or custody dispute proceeding shall have equal access to Justice. California Family Code 2030 has delineated a list of factors to be considered by the Court when ordering the payment by one party of another party’s attorneys fees. The factors found in Family Code section 2030 are as follows:

  • In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, or legal separation of the parties, and in any proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment, the court shall ensure that each party has access to legal representation, including access early in the proceedings, to preserve each party’s rights by ordering, if necessary based on the income and needs assessments, one party, except a governmental entity, to pay to the other party, or to the other party’s attorney, whatever amount is reasonably necessary for attorney’s fees and for the cost of maintaining or defending the proceeding during the pendency of the proceeding.
  • When a request for attorney’s fees and costs is made, the court shall make findings on whether an award of attorney’s fees and costs under this section is appropriate, whether there is a disparity in access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one party is able to pay for legal representation of both parties.  If the findings demonstrate disparity in access and ability to pay, the court shall make an order awarding attorney’s fees and costs.  A party who lacks the financial ability to hire an attorney may request, as an in pro per litigant, that the court order the other party, if that other party has the financial ability, to pay a reasonable amount to allow the unrepresented party to retain an attorney in a timely manner before proceedings in the matter go forward.
  • Attorney’s fees and costs within this section may be awarded for legal services rendered or costs incurred before or after the commencement of the proceeding.
  • The court shall augment or modify the original award for attorney’s fees and costs as may be reasonably necessary for the prosecution or defense of the proceeding, or any proceeding related thereto, including after any appeal has been concluded.
  • Any order requiring a party who is not the spouse of another party to the proceeding to pay attorney’s fees or costs shall be limited to an amount reasonably necessary to maintain or defend the action on the issues relating to that party.

The Other Party and their Lawyer are Delaying, Harassing and Interfering with Settlement Negotiations

To deter a lawyer and his client from misbehaving in a divorce, Family Code 271 imposes stiff penalties on litigants whose strategy is to frustrate the flow and completion of the divorce process. Courts are mindful that divorce litigants and their attorneys can misbehave during litigation. As a result, you have rights. Family Code section 271 allows parties in a divorce, after giving advanced notice to the other side, to ask the court for Attorneys fees and costs as a Sanction to deter bad behavior. Family Code 271 provides that:

  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the court may base an award of attorney’s fees and costs on the extent to which the conduct of each party or attorney furthers or frustrates the policy of the law to promote settlement of litigation and, where possible, to reduce the cost of litigation by encouraging cooperation between the parties and attorneys.  An award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to this section is in the nature of a sanction.  In making an award pursuant to this section, the court shall take into consideration all evidence concerning the parties’ incomes, assets, and liabilities.  The court shall not impose a sanction pursuant to this section that imposes an unreasonable financial burden on the party against whom the sanction is imposed.  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.
  • An award of attorney’s fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section shall be imposed only after notice to the party against whom the sanction is proposed to be imposed and the opportunity for that party to be heard.
  • An award of attorney’s fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section is payable only from the property or income of the party against whom the sanction is imposed, except that the award may be against the sanctioned party’s share of the community property.

You Do Not Have to Tolerate Litigation Abuse or Bullying

The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler A Professional Corporation is a Los Angeles Family attorney in Beverly Hills and is available to stand up for you and fight back. Call 310-246-3900 or send an email to bradley@sandlerlawfirm.com to request a meeting and get started.