CRC Rule 5.427 - "Rules for Attorney Fee Requests in Family Law"

This is a Very Need to Know Rule Affecting Attorney Fee Applications

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CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT

Attorney's Fees and Costs

Rule 5.427. Attorney's fees and costs

(a) Application

This rule applies to attorney's fees and costs based on financial need, as described in Family Code sections 2030, 2032, 3121, 3557, and 7605.

(b) Request

(1) Except as provided in Family Code section 2031(b), to request attorney's fees and costs, a party must complete, file and serve the following documents:

(A) Request for Order (form FL-300) ;

(B) Request for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment (form FL-319) or a comparable declaration that addresses the factors covered in form FL-319;

(C) A current Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150);

(D) A personal declaration in support of the request for attorney's fees and costs, either using Supporting Declaration for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment (form FL-158) or a comparable declaration that addresses the factors covered in form FL-158; and

(E) Any other papers relevant to the relief requested.

(2) The party requesting attorney's fees and costs must provide the court with sufficient information about the attorney's hourly billing rate; the nature of the litigation; the attorney's experience in the particular type of work demanded; the fees and costs incurred or anticipated; and why the requested fees and costs are just, necessary, and reasonable.

(Subd (b) amended effective July 1, 2012.)

(c) Response to request

To respond to the request for attorney's fees and costs, a party must complete, file, and serve the following documents:

(1) Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (form FL-320);

(2) A current Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150);

(3) A personal declaration responding to the request for attorney's fees and costs, either using Supporting Declaration for Attorney's Fees and Costs Attachment (form FL-158) or a comparable declaration that addresses the factors covered in form FL-158; and

(4) Any other papers relevant to the relief requested.

(Subd (c) amended effective July 1, 2012.)

(d) Income and expense declaration

Both parties must complete, file, and serve a current Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150). A Financial Statement (Simplified) (form FL-155) is not appropriate for use in proceedings to determine or modify attorney's fees and costs.

(1) "Current" is defined as being completed within the past three months, provided that no facts have changed. The form must be sufficiently completed to allow determination of the issues.

(2) When attorney's fees are requested by either party, the section on the Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150) related to the amount in savings, credit union, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts must be fully completed, as well as the section related to the amount of attorney's fees incurred, currently owed, and the source of money used to pay such fees.

(e) Court findings and order

The court may make findings and orders regarding attorney's fees and costs by using Attorney's Fees and Costs Order Attachment (form FL-346). This form is an attachment to Findings and Order After Hearing (form FL-340), Judgment (form FL-180), and Judgment (Uniform Parentage-Custody and Support) (form FL-250).

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