One question we frequently hear from our clients is “can I get attorney fees?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, it depends. The main reason for the uncertainty surrounding the ability to obtain attorney fees is due to the fact that our legal system follows what is known as the American Rule. The American Rule is a deviation away from the old common law rule (known as the English Rule), which required the losing party of a particular matter to pay the winning party’s attorney fees. However, under the American Rule, the presumption is that both parties pay their ...
Tag: attorney fees
February 6, 2020CD
A common question litigants have in family law cases is whether there is a way they can be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees? The answer is somewhat complicated and it depends. In most litigation in the United States, we follow the “American Rule”, which is each side pays its own attorney’s fees. However, in divorce and paternity cases in trial courts and on appeal there are ways a party may recover some or all of his or her attorney’s fees. This blog covers what you need to know about attorney fee awards in divorce and paternity cases. Perhaps the most common ...
December 18, 2019CD
The short answer is, it depends. In Indiana, there are two primary ways to obtain appellate attorney fees in a divorce matter. The first is found in Indiana Code section 31-15-10-1.1 The second is found under Indiana Rule of Appellate Procedure 66(E). Your basis for seeking attorney’s fees will determine which statute/rule to proceed under. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of the two mechanisms for obtaining appellate attorney’s fees in a divorce case, and when to use one over the other. Indiana Code 31-15-10-1 provides that a trial court may order a party to pay a reasonable amount ...
December 6, 2019CD
A common statement or question from litigants relates to obtaining attorney’s fees for the expenses for their attorney in general civil litigation and divorce and paternity cases. Most of America’s laws are based on English common law. Under common law, the prevailing (or winning) party was entitled to receive an award of fees from the loser. In our society, this would be a difficult rule to apply as some cases have multiple parties and/or legal issues and a party may “win” some and “lose” some legal issues. For this and many other reasons, America rejected this legal concept and each side ...
July 12, 2018CD
Legal matters, particularly lawsuits, address complex matters that tear at the social fabric of our diverse society, ranging from criminal cases, such as murder, to a hostile divorce proceeding between spouses disputing custody. As wide spread misconception is that the other side, who litigants often believe will “lose,” should or will be ordered to pay legal fees. In the United States, and in Indiana,1 started with English law or common law. Under the English Rule, the party that loses or does not prevail pays the legal fees for both litigants. However, the US and Indiana quickly adopted the “American Rule” in ...
September 16, 2015Adam Hayes
When the inquiry is made about requesting the court to award attorney fees in domestic relations cases, such as a dissolution, modification of custody, paternity matter, modification of child support, or contempt issue, or protective order the standard answer is, “We can ask”. The American standard is that each party pays their own attorney fees, unless there is a contract or statute that allows for an award of attorney fees. In domestic relations matters there are statutes that allow the award of attorney fees, but that is just the first hurdle. Truly the determination of an attorney fee award is solidly ...
July 1, 2015Adam Hayes