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
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.