Attorney Fees Possibly Recouped from Spouse if Disparity in Income

Attorney fees may be ordered from one spouse to the other, based on a disparity in income between the two litigating spouses. The court may find it necessary to allow a party to have the same access to legal representation as the wealthier spouse, upon a request for order by one spouse.

As required under Family Code 2030(a)(2), “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.”

Arguments can often times be made by both sides as to why it would be appropriate or inappropriate to award attorney's fees to the requesting party. Ultimately, the court can decide whether the award will be granted and the amount.