Seeking Counsel Fees
We certainly acknowledge legal fees aren’t the cheapest. Obtaining counsel is even more of a reach if you are the less-monied spouse or even a homemaker. The purpose of awarding counsel fees (or Attorney’s fees) is to insure that the needy party is able to adequately defend themselves during the legal proceeding or action. It allows for both parties to have equal economic footing in the action.
Counsel fee awards are made in the court’s discretion. The Courts take into consideration the financial circumstances of the parties and can award counsel fees (Attorney’s fees) to a party as they see fit.
In order to seek counsel fees, an application (a Motion) must be made at any time prior to the final Judgment of Divorce. Both parties to the action, along with their respective counsel, would then submit an Affidavit and/or Affirmation to the Court laying out the financial agreement between the party and the firm (includes the retainer amount, any amounts paid or to be paid, any additional expenses, etc.). This helps the Court make their determination of counsel fees.
Should the court award counsel fees to one of the parties, respective party shall receive said payment towards the end of the entire divorce proceedings. The fees are to be paid by one party to the other.
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