Here is a list of California statutes that authorize the court to award attorney fees in a family law case. The statutes apply to different circumstances.
- Family Code section 271: fees and costs when other side has frustrated policy in favor of settlement or caused delays.
- Family Code section 274(a): defending a claim for marital benefits such as support made by a spouse convicted of attempting to murder or soliciting the murder of the other spouse.
- Family Code section 1101(g) & (h): proceeding by one spouse for remedies for breach of the fiduciary duty by the other spouse
- Family Code section 2030: fees and costs to provide parties with equal litigating power.
- Family Code section 2107(c): failure to comply with disclosure declaration requirements.
- Family Code section 3027.1(a): fees for a knowingly false child abuse or neglect accusation during a child custody proceeding.
- Family Code section 3028(d): parent’s action for reimbursement for “financial compensation for periods when a parent fails to assume the caretaker. responsibility or when a parent has been thwarted by the other parent when attempting to exercise custody or visitation rights contemplated by a custody or visitation order, including, but not limited to, an order for joint physical custody, or by a written or oral agreement between the parents.”
- Family Code section 3111(d) & (f): “an unwarranted disclosure of a written confidential [custody] report.”
- Family Code sections 3121, 7605, 7640: fees in exclusive custody actions and in Uniform Parentage Act actions to establish parentage and custody/visitation.
- Family Code section 3150 and following sections: fees for court appointed counsel for minors.
- Family Code sections 3450(b) and 3452(a): fees in actions to enforce a sister state or foreign country custody determination under the UCCJEA, or a Hague Convention order for return of the child.
- Family Code § 3557(a)(1) & (2): actions enforcing an existing child or spousal support order or a Family Code section 4720 and following section penalty for nonpayment of court-ordered child support.
- Family Code section 3652: Prevailing party award in support modification, termination or set-aside proceedings, but is subordinate to Family Code section 2030 determination.
- Family Code section 4063(c): action to enforce reimbursement for unpaid share of health care expenses.
- Family Code section 5700.101 and the following sections: proceedings to establish, enforce, or modify sister state support orders.
- Family Code section 6344(a): prevailing party in Domestic Violence Prevention Act proceeding.
- Civil Code section 1717: prevailing party in an action on a contract that provides for attorney fees to either party.
Code of Civil Procedure and Related Rules of Court
- Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5(a): “attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.”
- Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7(c): violation of certifications deemed made in pleadings, etc., filed with court.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 575.2(a): violation of local court rules.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5: private attorney general statute.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 1218(a): contempt for violating court order.
- California Rules of Court, rule 5.14(a), (b), (c): sanctions for violations of rules of court in family law cases.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.010(a) & (b): abuse of discovery.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.410: failure to comply with deposition notice.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.420(h): motion for protective order regarding deposition.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.430: failure of noticing party to attend deposition.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.440: failure of deponent to attend deposition.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450: failure of party, officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party to attend deposition or produce items required by deposition notice.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2028.040: motion to sustain an objection form of question in deposition by written questions.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.290: motion to compel responses to interrogatories.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2032.410: failure to submit to physical or mental examination
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2032.420: failure to produce another for physical or mental examination.
- Code of Civil Procedure 2033.280 (c): failure to respond to requests for admissions.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.630: motion to augment or amend expert witness declaration
- Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.730: motion to submit tardy expert witness information.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b): relief from default, default judgment, or dismissal.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(d): improper motion for reconsideration.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 907; California Rules of Court, rules 8.276(a), 8.492(a)(1): appeal that was frivolous or taken solely for delay.
- Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.2: motion to quash subpoena in good faith.
Penal Code section 987.2: fees for court appointed counsel (private or not) in contempt action that threatens loss of liberty