The Truth - the Winning Argument for Your Case

25 Mar. 2016

Who Pays for Divorce Attorney Fees in California?

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

In California, there are two different ways to seek attorney fees in a divorce case. The first method is authorized by Family Code sections 2030 - 2032, which is often referred to as a “need-based” fee award. The second method is set forth in Family Code section 271, which permits fee awards against a person that has unreasonably increased the costs of litigation by failing to resolve issues.

To help you better understand the two methods, our Orange County divorce lawyers have explained each in greater detail. These explanations can be found below:

Family Code Section 2030

Under Family Code section 2030, a couple wishing to proceed with a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or nullity of marriage is granted access to a variety of tools such as those listed below:

  • Access to legal advocacy, including access early in the proceedings in order to safeguard each spouses’ rights by ordering
  • If needed, one party will pay to the other spouse or the other spouse’s attorney

This Code examines both spouses’ incomes and the assets that each controls to determine how the divorcing couple can achieve parity, or equality, so that both spouses are able to retain their own attorneys and have equal access to representation. In essence, this Code section seeks to create an even playing field so that both spouses can retain quality representation.

Obtaining attorneys fees via Family Code section 2030 can become highly complicated. In addition, various forms and evidence will be required by both parties. For this reason, it is best that divorcing persons contact experienced legal representation right away if dealing with a needs-based attorney fee situation. A seasoned Family Lawyer can streamline the process and ensure each party is granted equal access to necessary resources.

Family Code Section 271

Family Code section 271 is not a needs-based fee award as in section 230. Instead, this code seeks to award fees as against a spouse that did not abide by mandates laid out in the code section. In short, this code seeks to punish a spouse who has exhibited poor behavior. If the spouse has frustrated California’s policy to promote settlement of litigation, or needlessly increases litigation expenses, that spouse may be held responsible for the other spouse’s fees, or some portion of them. While this code seeks to inflict punishment on a guilty party, it is not intended to monetarily cripple either spouse.

Our Orange County Family Law Attorneys are Available to Help You: (949) 536-7500

If you are contemplating divorce or would like to discuss any other Family Law related matter, contact our team at The Buncher Law Corporation right away. We are devoted to helping our clients regain control of their lives and futures by providing unique and effective legal solutions every step of the way. When you entrust our Orange County Family Law attorneys with your case, we will allow you to focus your efforts on emotional recovery while we deal with the complex legal aspects of your case. We know divorce can be a difficult point in a person’s life, and that is why we are here.

To discuss your case, contact The Buncher Law Corporation today, or fill out a consultation form online.

Categories: Divorce
Blog Home

Helpful Family Law Resources

Family law can be complex, but there are plenty of resources available to assist you. Browse through the various resources our team provides to help simplify your legal process in every way possible.

We Have the Answers You Need