Yes. It is possible for one party in a divorce to have the Court order the other party to pay their attorney fees.
The Court wants both sides to be represented fairly in a divorce. It is quite common that during a divorce one party has control of the money and the other side does not. The person with the money usually hires an attorney while the other side cannot afford one. The Court’s do not like this situation and have created a method to balance the equities.
Family Code §2030 is the statute most frequently utilized by a party seeking an award of attorney fees from their ex-spouse. This section governs attorney fees and costs incurred during the dissolution process and “in any proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment.”
This law requires an analysis of the respective needs of the parties, as well as the ability to pay on the part of the person from whom fees have been requested.
As long as the person requesting the fee award under this section can show the requisite need, a disparity in income as between the parties that works to his or her detriment, and ability of the other party to pay, a fee award under §2030 is available. If a court makes findings that demonstrate a disparity in access to funds to retain counsel and an ability to pay, the court must make an order awarding attorney fees and costs.
This means that you should not hesitate in talking to a divorce or family law attorney simply because you feel you cannot afford one; Particularly, when your ex-spouse has an attorney and you do not. It is entirely possible that our Orange County and Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys at Core Law Group can get the Court to Order your ex-spouse to pay your attorney fees.
To learn more about this topic or family law in general visit the Core Law Group Blog at www.corelagroup.com/blog or contact either our Los Angeles or Orange County Offices toll free at 888-652-5529 or 949-505-2479.