Recovery of Attorney's Fees in a Florida Divorce
Understanding the Concept of "Fee Shifting"
While all attorney-client relationships are based on a first party contract, which means that the client is both initially and ultimately responsible for paying their own attorney's fees for the services that they have been provided, Florida Statute § 61.16 states that the court has the power to order one party to "pay a reasonable amount for attorney's fees, suit money, and the cost to the other party" during a divorce.
This concept of fee shifting would be utilized if one party was at a financial disadvantage, leaving them without the ability to retain an equitable degree of legal representation. Since the family court system in Florida places a significant amount of emphasis on an even playing field, they may take measures to ensure that one party is not left with inadequate legal counsel—or worse, no form of representation at all.
When could I seek a recovery of attorney's fees?
If you are currently undergoing a divorce, then you may not have the financial ability to retain competent legal counsel. Since this would leave you at a serious disadvantage, you would have legitimate grounds to seek a recovery of attorney's fees from the court.
Although you may be initially responsible for paying a retainer fee, there is a good chance that the court would accept your request if you could sufficiently prove that you do not have the means to pay for the cost of extensive litigation. In some cases, a divorce could be dragged out for the better part of a year—making it nearly impossible for you to accurately project just how much it would cost to secure the help of a lawyer. That being said, you should not hesitate to explore your financial options today with the dedicated legal team at Charles E. Willmott, P.A.
Contact a Lawyer at Charles E. Willmott, P.A.
At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., I strive to ensure that each of my clients has access to the experienced representation that they deserve. For this reason, I encourage you to find out if you are eligible to request a recovery of attorney's fees in your divorce.
When you turn to an attorney at my firm, you can trust that I am intimately familiar with the laws and regulations that govern the various aspects of family law and divorce in Florida; not only can I assist you in requesting a "fee shift" from the court, but I will be by your side throughout every step of the divorce process thereafter.
To learn more about how the Board Certified Divorce Attorneys at my firm can help you through this difficult time, call my office today.