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Attorney Fees & Costs in Marital Dissolution Procedings, & Other Family Law Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on October 04, 2010 3:37 PM

Tharp v. Tharp, F057696, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order denying a wife's request for attorney's fees and costs incurred, and denying sanctions against the husband, in a marital dissolution proceeding.  In reversing, the court held that the public policy purpose behind 2030 and 2032 is 'leveling the playing field' and permitting the lower-earning spouse to pay counsel and experts to litigate the issues in the same manner as the spouse with higher earnings, and as such, attorney fees, financial experts, other experts, witness fees, and other costs are all awardable.  The court also held that the family court's failure to consider certain evidence and the procedural history of the case in denying sanctions against the husband was an abuse of discretion.  Lastly, on remand, the court instructed that the case be assigned to a different judicial officer as, fairness and the appearance of fairness will be achieved only if the entire case is reassigned to another judicial officer.

 

L.Z. v. Superior Court, A128302, concerned a challenge to the juvenile court's order denying a mother reunification services and setting a case for a termination hearing, in dependency proceedings involving a 17-year-old mother.  In reversing, the court held that there is no substantial evidence that the mother knew or should have known that her infant daughter was physically abused prior to the diagnosis of the baby's injuries.

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