Articles Posted in Attorney’s Fees

Generally, parties engaged in family law disputes are required to pay for their own attorneys. In some family law matters, however, they may be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees from the opposing party. The grounds for ordering one party to pay another’s legal fees were the topic of an opinion issued by a California court earlier this month in a custody case. If you need help with a custody dispute, it is advisable to consult a capable San Diego child custody lawyer to evaluate what measures you can take to protect your parental rights.

The Factual Background

Reportedly, the mother gave birth to a son in November 2018. She then instituted a child support claim against the father. The father’s paternity was established via genetic testing, after which the court entered a stipulated judgment. The father subsequently sought sole custody of the child and a protective order against the mother, arguing she engaged in harassment and cyberstalking.

Are you going through a divorce? Trust the divorce lawyers at The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC to be there with you every step of the way. From child custody, child support, spousal support to division of assets and debts, we can help. Call today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced San Diego divorce attorney.

What should I expect at my consultation?

If you are thinking of hiring a lawyer to represent you in your divorce case, it is important to first schedule a consultation with the attorney. An in-person consultation is the best way to get to know your potential attorney, as well as the office and environment, understand how the process works, and make an informed decision.

The San Diego divorce lawyers at The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC practice in all aspects of family law, including divorce, legal separation and paternity cases. We offer a free consultation at our office in Rancho Bernardo. During the consultation, we will provide you with legal advice and analysis to try to help you obtain your goals and protect your rights.

We represent clients in family law court in all of the court houses in San Diego County including downtown, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon. If you choose to retain our attorney services, we are a full-service family law firm, and can offer you full-scope representation.

To learn more about how we can help you, call today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney.

Don’t go through your divorce, legal separation or paternity case alone. Call the San Diego divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Doppelt and Forney, APLC. We are here to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

It is not uncommon for people in family court to represent themselves, but there are risks that come with self-representation.

People who divorce without the expertise of an attorney may put themselves at greater risk for mistakes, delays and added stress. The biggest risk would, of course, be losing your case.

Sometimes, divorce cases are extremely contentious. Sometimes, a party will make extremely incendiary and potentially damaging allegations, even though the courts would later declare that “not one iota of proof” supported those claims. Even when facing unfounded claims, it is important to take them seriously, retain counsel, and contest them aggressively. If the courts conclude, as they did in the recent case of one California father, that your ex-spouse purposely prolonged the case and delayed resolution, you may be entitled to an order demanding that your ex-spouse pay some of your attorney’s fees.

Continue reading

In most divorce cases, one party will seek some amount of monthly spousal support. However, it is not automatically granted to the requesting spouse. In fact, eligibility for spousal support is dictated in large part by statutory provisions. Under Section 4320 of the California Family Code, courts are required to review a list of specified factors in order to determine whether (and to what extent) spouses are entitled to financial maintenance in divorce. Since the judge’s decision as to support will likely affect the parties’ financial status going forward, it is extremely important that you consult with an experienced San Diego family law attorney who will work to protect your interests and legal rights.

A recent case illustrates the significance of understanding how the Family Code applies to a party’s request for spousal support in divorce. Here, the couple began living together (in the wife’s home) prior to their marriage. While they both contributed to living expenses, the wife owned the house separately. The husband had given the wife a wedding ring valued at $40,000, and the couple got married in January 2006. She is a physician, and he worked, until 2007, as a human resources manager at Home Depot. He was laid off from his job in 2008. Once the parties were married, the wife signed a deed granting title to the house to the husband, for the alleged purpose of refinancing the home at a better interest rate. He later re-conveyed the house to himself and the wife as “joint tenants.”

Continue reading

The length of a divorce proceeding certainly varies from case to case. Some of the more common factors that tend to affect the duration of a divorce matter include the relative contentiousness of the spouses, whether there are children involved, the amount of assets and debts to be characterized and divided, and the involvement of highly experienced family law counsel. The last item, consulting with an attorney, is especially helpful to protect one’s financial and legal rights, while at the same time moving the process along as efficiently as possible under the circumstances. Since each state has its own marriage and divorce laws, it is important to reach out to an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area.

In protracted divorce cases, in which the parties spend a great deal of time litigating the issues, courts may require one party to assist the other in paying attorney fees. Under Section 2030 of the California Family Code, the court will look at whether an award of attorney’s fees and costs is appropriate, whether the parties have a disparate access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one party has the ability to pay for the legal representation of both spouses.

Continue reading

It may come as no surprise that family law cases, and especially divorce proceedings, sometimes bring out the least favorable qualities in the parties involved. Part of this is due to the nature of divorce, which happens when the couple is separating and choosing to live apart. In an ideal situation, spouses work together to resolve these issues efficiently and amicably so that they both can move forward in their lives. In cases in which one or both parties acts in a manner that frustrates the litigation of legal issues to be resolved, family courts have the authority to impose sanctions as a “tool” to reduce these unnecessary delays. One of the best ways to ensure that your case moves along as efficiently and amicably as possible is to consult with an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area.

Under Section 271 of the California Code, “courts 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 . . .” In a recent California divorce case, the court reviewed the husband’s appeal, in which he claimed (among other things) that the trial court should not have sanctioned him $7,500 because the wife failed to give proper notice of sanctions, and there was insufficient evidence of the purported misconduct that allegedly gave rise to the award.

Continue reading

In most divorce cases, the separating spouses want the proceedings to be over as soon as practically possible. They often attempt to cooperate with each other (and each other’s counsel) to resolve the major issues in an efficient manner. Conducting the proceeding in this way serves to benefit the parties by reducing costs and limiting any attendant emotional turmoil. Unfortunately, however, some cases drag on, often due to the “vexatious” approach of one of the parties. An experienced family law attorney would be able to address and hopefully minimize or completely deter such conduct. If you are considering a separation or divorce, it is important that you contact a local San Diego family lawyer as early in the proceedings as possible.

The California Family Code offers some recourse to parties who are up against a vexatious litigant. For instance, section 271 authorizes a court “to base an award of attorney 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.” In a recent divorce case, the court of appeals reviewed a trial court’s order requiring an ex-wife to pay her ex-husband and his second wife a combined amount of costs and fees under section 2030 and section 271 of the Family Code, without distinguishing between the two provisions.
Continue reading

The California Code provides parties with an opportunity to recoup certain fees and costs associated with various family law proceedings. For instance, under Section 2030 of the Code, courts have the authority to order one party to pay the attorney fees of the other, under certain circumstances. Essentially, the purpose of the law is to ensure that each spouse in a divorce, separation, or other related proceeding has equal access to legal representation. While the goal of the law is clear, parties often argue over the right to recover attorney fees in divorce cases. If you are considering separation or divorce, or a related issue, you may be entitled to an award of attorney fees. The best course of action is to contact an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area.

In a recent case involving a divorce that was finalized in 2011, the wife later brought an action under Section 2030 for attorney fees associated with the proceedings to modify the husband’s child support obligations. The wife alleged that she underwent two significant surgical procedures and was laid off from her job. The husband’s income was $160,000 that year. Based on the disparity of their incomes, the wife sought $1,500 in attorney fees at that point in the proceeding. Although the court suggested that the husband pay the fees, he refused and forced the wife to make a formal request.

At the subsequent hearing, the wife’s attorney sought the Section 2030 fees as well as a Section 271 award of sanctions against the husband for his failure to cooperate earlier in the proceeding. The trial court granted the wife’s request for attorney fees under Section 2030 but denied the additional sanctions. The husband appealed, setting forth several arguments for the reversal of the fee award. The court of appeals reviewed the language of Section 2030 and pointed out that the purpose of such an award is to ensure a fair hearing with both sides equally represented. Courts have approved attorney fee awards that are deemed just and reasonable in view of the relative positions of the parties.
Continue reading

Contact Information