When one spouse does not have access to money as the other, and can’t afford an attorney, what can you do?
The California Family Codes 2030 and 2032 are part of the family code that helps explain what a court considers in regards to access to legal representation.
We are providing a summary here for your convenience, but please check with an attorney to verify accuracy.
The courts want to provide both sides in a divorce to access to an attorney. Therefore, if you do not have the funds to pay for an attorney, the court will look at the financial standings of both parties. Early in the case, the court will determine if it is necessary to order that one party pay for reasonable attorney fees and costs of the divorce during the pendency of the proceeding.
The court will determine if awards of attorney fees and court costs are appropriate depending on the ability of each party to pay. A party that does not have the money to hire an attorney can represent themselves and request the court to make the other party pay for a lawyer to represent the party that cannot afford it.
The award in such case much must be just and reasonable. The court takes into consideration the relative financial circumstances of each party. For example, if one party has always stayed home to take care of the children, and the other spouse has always earned the income for both of them, then the party that stayed home may be entitled to having the earning spouse paying for the attorney fees and costs for him/her.
Practicality and sufficient financial resources are taken into consideration. The court may order payment of attorney’s fees and costs from any form of property, be it principal or income, community or separate.
Call the Law Offices of Aaron O. Anguiano to use his many years of experience in the divorce process and family law as an attorney in the Modesto, CA area.