Attorney fees and costs are frequently requested and often awarded in family law matters, including domestic violence restraining orders, parentage actions, and post-judgment litigation. Unlike in criminal matters, there is no automatic right to counsel in family law, even though the stakes in a family law matter can be just as impactful to the litigants.
Notwithstanding, all family law participants are entitled to equal access to justice, which is a relative concept. For this reason, it is imperative that you get your financial ducks in a row if you are requesting or defending an attorney fees motion, as the California Rules of Court are very precise as to what facts and evidence are required to be produced. Ironically, these requirements increase the legal cost to both parties, as there are many forms and the like which are involved. At Antonyan Miranda, we understand what your case needs now and in the future, and will attempt to set a trajectory to get you from point A to B, in the most cost-effective manner possible. This includes, for example, a return on investment analysis of the cost of requesting attorney fees, versus the probable reality and quantity of the ultimate fee order.
Antonyan Miranda suggests that you review Family Code Sections 2030-2034, to get an idea of what must be pleaded and proven to secure an attorney fees award. One party being a high or low earner is not the only criteria for the Court, and in fact the Court must do a nuanced analysis of the relevant Family Code Section 4320 factors, as well as Family Code Section 270.