Can the other party be forced to pay my lawyers’ fees in Florida family court proceedings?
In Florida divorce and equitable distribution cases, Florida family court judges have the power to order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorneys’ fees. The basis for such cost-shifting is a substantial difference in the income or property that each party has available for their use in employing a Florida divorce lawyer. However, in some cases, the request for attorneys’ fees cannot be made until the case is near completion. In this situation, the spouse must pay their attorney’s fees as work is being performed and hope that an award reimbursing those fees will be made at a later date by the judge. In other divorce cases, if there is a lump sum of money or other liquid assets in a marital account, a request can be made to advance some of those assets to the spouse needing assistance with their payment of legal fees. In situations where both spouses have similar incomes or earning capacities or if both spouses receive ample amounts of liquid assets as part of the divorce, the husband and wife are more likely to pay their own fees for their Florida divorce lawyer.
Attorneys fees may also be awarded in Florida paternity cases (child support and time-sharing or child custody cases) if one parent has the need for help in paying their attorney’s fees and the other parent has the ability to pay said fees.
Another reason for having one party pay the other’s party’s lawyers’ fees is bad faith or contemptuous conduct by the party from whom fees are sought. If one party does something he or she should not do (such as not paying child support or interfering with other party’s access to the child), the party who engaged in misconduct is likely to have to pay the attorneys’ fees of the other party.
Contact our Dade County family law attorneys to learn how we can help you with your divorce, equitable distribution, child support, time-sharing (child custody) or related issue. Or, telephone us at 305-222-7351.
Our office accepts Florida family law cases including dissolution of marriage (divorce), equitable distribution, spousal support, alimony, paternity, child support, time-sharing (child custody), juvenile law cases, and related matters in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County. Our law firm accepts Florida family law cases from other counties on a case-by-case basis.
Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.
When scheduling a consultation, please inform the secretary if there are any pending hearings, deadlines for filing an appeal, or other reason why you may need an immediate appointment. We will do our very best to accommodate your schedule in setting an appointment.