A court can order your spouse to pay all or part of any attorney fees and court costs you have incurred. If you are doing the divorce yourself, you will probably do not have any attorney fees and will not need to ask for an attorney fee award. However, if you have incurred some fees consulting with an attorney, then you may want the judgment of dissolution to award you attorney fees.
You don’t get an award of fees just because you ask for fees. You have to fill out various forms to demonstrate, from a financial standpoint, that you have a need for an award of fees and that your spouse has the ability to pay the fee award. An award of fees must be reasonable in amount.
If you want the true default judgment to award you attorney fees, then you will need to complete the following additional forms: “Request for Attorney Fees and Costs” (FL-319). Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-319 and a blank FL-319 form that you can fill out and print. When you are done with the FL-319, attach it to your FL-170. You will also need to fill out the “Supporting Declaration for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Attachment” (FL-158). Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will see both an example of a completed FL-158 and a blank FL-158 form that you can fill out and print. Attach the completed FL-158 to your FL-170. If you have not already done so in connection with your request for an award of spousal support, you will also need to complete the “Spousal Or Partner Support Declaration Attachment” (FL-157). Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both a completed FL-157 and a blank FL-157 that you can fill out and print. Attach your FL-157 to your FL-170. You will also need to file your Income And Expense Declaration (FL-150) with the court.