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500 Village square crossing, #103 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Grant J. Gisondo, P.A. – Family Law Attorney

Who Pays the Attorney Fees in Child Custody Cases

Grant J. Gisondo, P.A. > Child Custody  > Who Pays the Attorney Fees in Child Custody Cases

Who Pays the Attorney Fees in Child Custody Cases

Who-Pays-the-Attorney-Fees-in-Child-Custody-Cases-min

Child custody in Florida is mainly concerned with the concept of parental timesharing, which includes the equal care and nurturing of children (a minor child is from birth to l8 years of age unless the child is unable to support and care for themselves due to physical and mental reasons). Included in the care and nurturing are terms of overnights, sharing responsibility for educational, spiritual, medical, and discipline concerns, and for following the parenting plan created for their minor child. The term custody is used when one or both parents cannot parent appropriately, including being in jail, having a drug or alcohol addiction, being sick mentally or physically, or having been convicted of child abuse or domestic violence. When this happens, one parent may be awarded sole custody, or the state or third party, such as a grandparent, can be awarded custody.

If parents are not involved in a divorce but still need a determination of child custody or parental timesharing, such as domestic partners or singles, the court will become involved, and there will be attorney fees and court costs. Who will pay these costs? There are no hard and fast rules but rather guidelines the court will follow.

  • In most cases, the attorney fees and court costs will be borne by each party. However, if one party is financially better off than the other, the party with better finances will be ordered to help the other party. The court is concerned with the welfare of the minor children and wants to ensure each party has similar legal representation.
  • If the party receiving help from the other party has shown an unwillingness to cooperate, has, in a sense, caused the problem, or used their attorney in an extravagant manner creating higher than needed legal fees, the court may reduce the amount of help to be received.
  • If a party has refused to follow the child custody or parental timesharing order, that party may be held in contempt of court, fined, and ordered to pay the attorney and court costs of the other party.
  • The court will not order a party to pay beyond their means. The care and well-being of a minor child need financial input, and the court will be reasonable. A thorough investigation of a party’s financial status will be presented to the court.
  • Should a party be unsatisfied with the court’s decision, Florida law allows the case to be appealed.

Should you need an attorney to help you with child custody or parental timesharing concerns, Board Certified Attorney Grant Gisondo has over a decade of successful practice in Marital and Family Law. He works with clients in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, and Orange Counties in Florida, in New York, and Washington, DC. To better serve you, he offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where you can ask general questions, find out about his fees, and get to know him as an interested and caring person. Please call his office at 561-530-4568 to make an appointment. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. To learn more about Attorney Gisondo, visit his website at http://gisondolaw.com.

Grant J. Gisondo, P.A.