Opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce is the topic of this blog post.
All documents and supporting evidence for opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce must be filed and served least nine (9) Court days before the hearing unless the court has ordered otherwise. The opposition documents should be served by personal service, overnight mail or a courier service that provides overnight delivery pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1005.
Any party served with a request for attorney’s fees in a California divorce should carefully review the request and supporting documents to determine if the moving party has met the burden of proof required to obtain an award of attorney’s fees.
Grounds for opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce.
Common grounds for opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce include that,
(1) The moving party has failed to meet their burden of establishing a need for the other party to pay for their legal representation;
(2) The moving party has failed to meet their burden of establishing that the relevant financial circumstances of the parties justify a need-based attorney’s fees award;
(3) The amount of attorney’s fees requested is excessive, and
(4) The moving party has failed to submit sufficient information to determine the nature and value of the attorney services rendered.
Several California Courts of Appeal have stated in published decisions that the party requesting an award of attorney’s fees in a California divorce has the burden of establishing the need for the other party to pay for their legal representation.
Family Code section 2032 states in pertinent part that need-based attorney fees awards, even those sought under section 2031, be based (among other factors) on the parties’ relative financial circumstances.
Family Code section 2030 permits the trial court to order payment of attorney fees and costs as between the parties based upon their “ability to pay” and their “respective incomes and needs” in order to “ensure that each party has access to legal representation to preserve all of the party’s rights.” See Family Code, § 2030(a).
The trial court may award attorney fees under section 2030 “where the making of the award, and the amount of the award, are just and reasonable under relative circumstances of the respective parties.” See Family Code, § 2032 (a).
A recently published California Court of Appeal decision stated that Family Code sections 2030 and 2032 are intended to prevent a party from litigating the other side out of the case by taking advantage of the substantial difference in their incomes.
The same principles that apply to a motion for attorney’s fees in an civil action in California also apply to a request for attorney’s fees in a California divorce as Family Code § 210 states that, “Except to the extent that any other statute or rules adopted by the Judicial Council provide applicable rules, the rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions generally, including the provisions of Title 3a (commencing with Section 391) of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, apply to, and constitute the rules of practice and procedure in, proceedings under this code.”
The case law in California regarding civil actions states that a party may oppose a motion for attorney’s fees on the ground that the requested fees are excessive. A party seeking an award of fees is not necessarily entitled to compensation for the value of attorney services according to his or her own notion or to the full extent claimed.
The California Supreme Court has stated that an attorney fee request that appears unreasonably inflated is a special circumstance permitting the trial court to reduce the award or deny one altogether.
Sample opposition for opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce for sale.
Attorneys or parties that would like to view a portion of a sample 12 page opposition for opposing a request for attorney fees in a California divorce containing brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority, sample declaration and proof of service sold by the author can see below.
Over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation for sale.
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The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and retired litigation paralegal that worked in California and Federal litigation from January 1995 through September 2017 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale. He believes in Father’s Rights as he has seen first-hand the incredible bias against fathers in the family law courts in California. He is currently working on creating digital products that will assist fathers both in California and throughout the United States to represent themselves without an attorney in Court regarding custody and support issues.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.