No default rule specifies which party pays attorney’s fees in a Florida divorce. Rather, the divorce court will look at several factors and make an equitable decision on payment of those fees, along with all other financial issues that will be resolved in your case, including allocation of assets, child support, and alimony.
Parties in Florida’s Treasure Coast and Martin County that are contemplating a divorce should contact the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A. Our attorneys strive to keep divorce proceedings amicable, with a resolution of fee disputes that are fair and reasonable from both parties’ perspectives. Reach out to a divorce lawyer in Stuart, FL, to schedule a confidential consultation.
What factors does a Florida divorce court consider in deciding which party pays attorney’s fees?
As with other financial matters, a divorce court will examine each party’s financial resources, including assets that each party owns individually rather than as marital property and income that each party receives and can expect to receive. The court will also consider:
- The history of the divorce proceedings and each party’s demeanor in the process, including positions that a party has taken or that party’s arguments that might have extended the proceedings.
- The substantive merits of each party’s argument for payment of fees by the other party, and objective evidence in support of those arguments.
- A party’s demonstrated need for an award of fees from the other party.
In all cases, the fees requested by a party must be reasonable and reflect legal services that are legitimate in view of the circumstances of the divorce and that are not directed at frivolous motions or extreme positions.
What other costs and expenses might be included in an attorney fee award?
An attorney’s fee award might include more than just the reasonable fees incurred by one party. The award can also encompass:
- Filing fees and court costs
- Fees paid to mediators or arbitrators
- Expert witness fees
- Administrative costs, such as court reporter fees associated with depositions and photocopying charges
- Appraisal fees for real estate and other assets
Is it common for one party to be ordered to pay all of the other party’s fees?
In most legal proceedings in the United States, including divorce cases, each party is charged with paying their own legal bills. It is not uncommon, however, for a party to seek an attorney fee award in a divorce case, particularly where one party is deemed to have substantially greater earning power and to own more assets than the other party.
Our firm has offices in Stuart, Tallahassee, and West Palm Beach. Call our offices at any time for knowledgeable and experienced representation in divorce proceedings.