Divorce Law New York (Attorney’s Fees)

It is clear that the trial court has general power to award attorney fees pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and also pursuant to the plenary equitable powers of the trial court; however, regardless of the source, criminal defense attorney phoenix az the power must be exercised while the trial court retains general jurisdiction over the cause. Where the court had evidence before it of the financial resources of both parties when ruling on the issue of attorney fees and where no hearing had been requested, the trial court’s failure to conduct a hearing on the propriety of the award of attorney fees was not error. The award of attorney fees is based on a showing of the inability of one spouse to pay and the ability of the other spouse to do so. The court may order either spouse to pay a reasonable amount for the costs and attorney fees necessarily incurred by the other spouse. The granting of attorney fees is improper where no evidence is heard as to the items of service which were performed, the basis of the amount requested, or the reasonableness of such fees.

Where petition for fees was submitted prior to entry of a judgment dispositive of the merits of the action, and where the clear import of the language of subsection (a) of this section was that the court may order attorney fees to be paid by either party to either attorney, the provision was given its clear meaning and the trial court properly entered judgment in favor of a firm against its own client. The general rule concerning awards of attorney fees in a divorce suit is that the party seeking such relief must show financial inability to pay and the ability of the other spouse to do so. The fees allowed in dissolution proceeding should be fair to all the parties involved: the attorney to be compensated, the client, and the person required to make the payment.

The amount awarded should be fair compensation for those services which were reasonable and necessary to the action. The propriety of an award of attorney fees depends on the particular facts of each case; in determining whether a party is unable to pay attorney fees the assets of that party must be weighed in light of the parties’ standard of living. To justify the allowance of attorney fees, the party seeking relief must show financial inability to pay and the ability of the other spouse to do so. The party seeking to recover attorney fees must show financial inability to pay and the ability of the other spouse to do so; the decision in regard to fees then rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. Attorney fees in a dissolution of marriage proceeding are the primary obligation of the party for whom the services are rendered. The allowance of attorney fees to an opposing party is justified where the party seeking relief demonstrates financial inability to pay and the ability of the other spouse to do so. Although the trial court is permitted wide discretion in awarding attorney fees, that discretion is not unbounded. The allowance of attorney fees for appeal rests within the sound discretion of the trial court, which allowance will not be disturbed on review in the absence of a clear showing of abuse; fees may be allowed only upon findings of inability to pay by the petitioning spouse, and that the other spouse is able to pay.

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