Family Code section 3652 - "Attorney Fees to Prevailing Party in Support Modification"


CAL Family Code Section 3652:

Attorney Fees When Modifying Prior Family Court Orders

When a party seeks to modify prior court orders and judgments, Family Code section 3652 authorizes family court bench officers to award attorney fees to the party who prevails in those modification proceedings.

This statute is somewhat unusual since ordinarily attorney fees are awarded based primarily upon need and the ability to pay, where there is a disparity in income or wealth between the two parties. However, its purpose is a bit different than when a party is seeking initial orders - here the question may become whether the modification request was reasonable in light of the rule that most orders cannot be changed unless and until there has been a material change in the circumstances that justified the first order. Often people think something important has changed, but from a burden of proof standpoint they are mistaken. In those situations the responding party has perhaps unnecessarily been forced to expend money to defend themselves and it may be fair that they be reimbursed for those costs.

Want more articles about attorney fee issues in divorce and support proceedings?


Family Code section 3652

Except as against a governmental agency, an order modifying, terminating, or setting aside a support order may include an award of attorney's fees and court costs to the prevailing party.

Testimonials & Endorsements

  • “When I first called this law office and set up my initial consultation with Michael Peterson for my pending divorce, I was impressed with how professional and straight-to-the-point he was. He asked ...”

    - Seth C.
  • “Michael Peterson has been helping me successfully get through a particularly high conflict divorce and custody battle for the past 5 years. I highly recommend his services especially through ...”

    - Nicole G.
  • “Michael Peterson handled this case professionally from mediation to the final orders. Over the 15 month process he helped me view things from a non-emotional stand point which made everything less ...”

    - Demetria R.
  • “Found Mr Arnold to be very level headed and very brave to take on my divorce. He acted very professionally all the way through. Worked very well for us. We used the collaborative process."”

    - Lee M.
  • “When my divorce went to trial, it became imperative for me to hire an attorney. I live in Georgia, so I had to do over the phone consultations. When I spoke with Mr. Arnold, it just "felt right" and I ...”

    - Michelle H.

Contact Us

Call (760) 320-7915 or Fill Out This Form

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • Martindale Gold 2021
  • Martindale 2021
  • California Certified (CBLS)
  • Client Distinction - Thurman
  • Coachella Valley's Top lawyers
  • AAML
  • Super Lawyers - Michael
  • AV Preeminent - 2015
  • Avvo Rating - Superb Top Divorce Attorney
  • Super Lawyers - Thurman
  • Yelp