Is it Possible for my Spouse to Pay My Attorney’s Fees?

There are several methods to use to request that a portion of your attorney’s fees be paid by the other party.

Attorney Fees Generally

A family law court has authority to make attorney fee awards throughout the case. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, and in any proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment, the court shall ensure that each party has access to legal representation, including access early in the proceedings, to preserve each party’s rights by ordering, if necessary based on the income and needs assessments, one party to pay to the other party, or to the other party’s attorney, whatever amount is reasonably necessary for attorney’s fees and for the cost of maintaining or defending the proceeding during the pendency of the proceeding. Fam C § 2030(a)(1).

Court’s Ability to Award Attorney’s Fees

Trial courts enjoy broad discretion in...

My Spouse Wants to Retire. Can I Force Them to Continue Working in Order to Receive the Same Amount of Support?

This very same question was asked in Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373. “If Husband had indeed retired from active employment, could the trial court properly attribute to him a monthly income based on his ability to earn rather than his actual earnings, thus requiring him to work well past the "generally accepted retirement age of 65"?” In re Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373; In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d 595. The answer was no. The Reynold court held no one may be compelled to work after the usual retirement age of 65.

The courts have held that a supporting spouse cannot deliberately shirk support obligations by refusing to work. Philbin v. Philbin (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 115. The courts have also held that a supporting spouse cannot retire prematurely in order to avoid paying spousal support. In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d...

Tess was invited to speak on ESPN 1700AM Jesse’s Secret Stash Radio show!

Certified Family Law Specialist, Tess Reutzel appeared live on Jesse's Secret Stash ESPN 1700AM to discuss the 4 Biggest Family Law Mistakes. Tess shares a little about what she does as a family law attorney and offers insight and new perspectives on some tricky family law matters. Thanks to Jesse and ESPN for having us!

Click here to watch the full video!


Divorce Mediation in San Diego – The Benefits

I have seen a recent rise in the number of calls I receive by people interested in divorce mediation in San Diego. It seems that people have realized that divorces can be costly and emotionally-draining, and divorcing couples are beginning to recognize the benefits of divorce mediation.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

o First, divorce mediation tends to be a lower-cost option. Generally, each party is paying for their own attorney. That means that the family is paying the hourly rate for two attorneys to facilitate finalizing their case. With mediation, the parties are paying for only one mediator, so theoretically, it is half the cost.

o Next, divorce mediation allows the parties to work as a team to accomplish their divorce. The non-litigious atmosphere usually leads to a more amicable end to the relationship. The parties can approach their divorce as a mutual, healthy...

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