David P. Badanes, Esq.  

In New York, a court can order the “monied” spouse (the one who makes more money) to pay the attorney fees of the nonmonied spouse (the one who makes less money).  This is called an award of attorney fees (or counsel fees).

The award can be made while the divorce is ongoing and it can also be made at the end of the case.  The purpose of awarding attorney fees is to put the parties “on equal footing”, this way the spouse who has more money (from income or other sources) cannot wear down the other party with a protracted divorce.

Although, the law states that there should be an award of attorney fees from the monied spouse to the nonmonied spouse, it does not specify how much money should be awarded.  There is no formula that guides the court in how much to order one spouse to pay.

If the differences in income are not substantial, then the award may be very small or there may no award at all.  Yet, in cases where the differences in income are substantial, a large award of counsel fees may be granted.

There are generally two ways to obtain attorney fees.  The first way is for an attorney to make a motion (an application) to the court for attorney fees.  The second way is for the attorney to come to an agreement with the other attorney for an agreement to pay attorney fees.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

The Badanes Law Office has obtained counsel fees for numerous clients and has also disputed the award of counsel fees.  If you are thinking of getting a divorce and you are concerned about paying or receiving an award of attorney fees, you need an experienced Matrimonial and Divorce Attorney to guide you through the process.  If you live in Long Island, Suffolk County or Nassau County, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have helped numerous individuals in obtaining a divorce.  Call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Garden City.

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