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MY SPOUSE DISOBEYED A COURT ORDER & NOW I HAVE TO PAY MY ATTORNEY FEES?





The Domestic Relations Law provides that if there is a failure to obey any lawful order regarding the payment of support, maintenance or distributive award, the court shall, upon a finding that the failure was willful, order the spouse who has disobeyed the court order to pay the other spouse’s counsel fees. Your attorney would request such counsel fees in an Order to Show Cause submitted to the court explaining the failure of your spouse to obey the court order. Your attorney must provide the court with your retainer agreement and all of your billing statements to show the amount of money put in and the amount of work that has been done on your case.


It is important to note that the court has discretion to determine the amount of counsel fees you would be awarded. It does not always mean that your full amount of counsel fees will be paid by your spouse. However, if you provide proof to the court of your spouses’ failures and you provide the court with your retainer agreement and billing statements, there is a good chance the court will grant your request for some amount of counsel fees.

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