If my former spouse's attorney never provided me with a new substitution of attorney stating she (attorney) was representing her again, do I have any lead as to how this can help me show the family court that I should not have to pay her attorney fees? Our case was last seen two years ago, my former spouse's attorney provided me with a document stating she no longer was representing my former spouse. Now they are taking me back to court and I was never provided with anything that states her attorney is representing her and they are once again trying to make me pay the attorney fees after the judge (two years ago) said I was not liable to pay them.
2 Answers from Attorneys
If there was a previous order for you to pay attorney fees, you still have to pay those fees even if that attorney is no longer on the case. The lack of a substitution of attorney form probably will not prevent the enforcement of past attorneys fees award or even making current or future attorneys fees awards.
If the judge previously stated they would not award more attorney fees, that could be relevant to a new request, assuming no material facts have changed since then.
Pendente fee orders in family court can be a nightmare. I know, I have litigated them on appeal. The trial judge is given wide discretion to fashion orders. In practice, they can be bizarre.
The first question that I would have - and which I think most family law attorneys would have - is what is the time period that the attorney is asking for the fees for? In other words, is this attorney trying to get the court to rehear something that was denied before? Or are these new fees that were allegedly incurred doing nothing after the substitution of attorney?
That is in an important focus, as it should determine the research in preparing your opposition to the request.