divorce, sometimes one spouse makes substantially more money than the other spouse.
Thus, when the couple gets divorced one party might have enough resources
to hire a divorce attorney, while the other party does not. In these situations,
a court can order a party to pay their spouse’s attorney’s
fees. This article explains how California courts to award attorney’s
fees pending divorce proceedings.
Pendente Lite Awards
At any time during the litigation, a court can order a party to pay their
spouse an amount reasonably necessary to cover their attorney’s
fees and the costs for maintaining or defending the divorce. This type
of order is considered to be “pendent lite” – which
means “awaiting litigation” in Latin.
A party requesting pendent lite attorney’s fees must show that there
is a disparity in income and that the other party can pay. The court will
consider the respective wealth and income of each party to ensure that
they have access to legal representation in the litigation to preserve
their rights. The award can be crafted to pay for fees and costs that
were incurred before and after making a request.
Factors Determining the Amount Attorney’s Fees
Under Rule 5.427(b)(2) of the California Rules of Court, a request for
attorney’s fees must be accompanied by information about:
- “The attorney’s hourly billing rate;
- The nature of the litigation;
- The attorney’s experience in the particular type of work demanded;
- The fees and costs incurred or anticipated; and
- Why the requested fees and costs are just, necessary, and reasonable.”
Going Through a Divorce? The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff Can Help
The thought of spending money on a divorce can be emotionally overwhelming.
However, financial concerns should not prevent you from hiring a competent
Westlake Village divorce attorney to preserve your rights during litigation.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, we have more than 3 decades of
family law matters, including divorce cases. We are dedicated to helping you during each
stage of the litigation process, so you can rest easy knowing that you
and your family’s rights and interests are protected.
To set up a complimentary case evaluation with Attorney Graff, call us
at (805) 633-4999 or
contact us online today!