How To Seek Attorney Fees In Your Divorce Case
A number of situations can crop up when a judge could order one spouse to pay the lawyer’s fees of the other spouse. When it comes to separations or divorces, a domestic partner or a spouse can make the request to the court at the start of the case. Examples exist of a number of other family law cases where one side has asked for lawyer’s fees from the other even if parties concerned are neither in domestic partnership or are married. Such examples include visitation and custody cases where parents of the child are entwined in marriage. There can also be domestic violence cases.
The third kind of situation also exists where one spouse or a party can request the judge to order other spouse or party to pay sanction (penalty or fine) for doing a thing which can be regarded as unethical or illegal.
Before you request the judge to order your spouse or other side to pay all or part of the lawyer’s costs and fees, there is a necessity to request a court hearing. You must explain the reasons for asking such a request.
If you want to request a court hearing to get lawyer fees, you have to fill out two forms: Form FL-158 and Form FL-319. These two will gather a lot of information, any judge must know prior to making a decision. The forms must be filled out accurately and completely. In case you have already hired a lawyer, ask him or her to assist you. To fill up forms accurately, ask your lawyer. Here are the forms and steps that need to be completed:
- You should fill out the court forms. These includes Request for Order, Income and Expense Declaration, Request for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Attachment and Supporting Declaration for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Attachment. Ensure you use the correct case number.
- Have the forms reviewed. This is extremely important before you proceed further
- Make minimum two copies of the court forms. One copy for you, other copy for other party, the original for the court.
- Then file court forms with court clerk. Get court date.
- Serve other party with Request copy
- File proof of service
- Go to the court hearing
If the judge arrives at a decision, a court order will be made. In some courtrooms, the court staff or clerk will prepare order for the judge to give a signature. In case of other courtrooms, the person who requested the hearing is responsible for the preparation of court order so the judge signs it after review by the other party/attorney.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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