One of the most common questions asked by a client facing a family law proceeding is “how am I going to afford this?” This is especially true when the other spouse has been the primary earner or has managed the family’s finances during the marriage. Indeed, depending on the nature of the case, attorney’s fees can be significant. That is why California legislature recognized the need to level the playing field. The law requires the Court to consider the parties’ relative circumstances and to “‘level the playing field” by making an order of attorney’s fees payable from one spouse to another. In a divorce, the courts often order one spouse to pay attorney’s fees to the other spouse to make sure that she or he can retain an attorney and obtain quality representation. Similar provisions exist in the law for paternity and domestic violence cases.
Family law is emotional by its nature and it affects the most intimate areas of a person’s life. That is why it is the policy of the State of California to promote settlement of family law proceedings and to decrease the adversarial nature of the family law disputes. The parties, as well as attorneys are expected to conduct themselves with courtesy and civility at all times. The law provides sanctions against parties who take unreasonable settlement positions or who treat the other party with hostility or are being uncooperative.
At Lopez Law Group we assess every case early to determine if a request for attorney’s fees from the other side is appropriate. We will that you have an equal access to quality representation, and that you are not prejudiced by your spouse’s superior ability to pay attorney’s fees. Often, when faced with a prospect of paying attorney’s fees or sanctions, the other side is more willing to come to the settlement table.