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Counsel Fee Awards: Courts’ Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field

Writings on Legal Matters

Counsel Fee Awards: Courts’ Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field

Counsel Fee Awards: Courts' Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field By Joshua B. Hecht of Sunshine, Isaacson & Hecht, LLPDivorce has many costs, not the least of which are the counsel fees incurred by the parties, a cost which often weighs heavily on the litigant’s mind. As such, clients often ask whether their spouse could be directed to contribute to their legal fees or, conversely, if it’s the spouse with the greater financial resources, whether they can be directed to pay their spouses legal fees. The answer is not always so cut and dry.

In New York, there is a rebuttable presumption that the wealthier or more monied spouse should pay the less monied spouse’s legal counsel fees to level the playing field and ensure that both spouses are on equal footing in terms of representation. (more…)

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