Husband Granted Attorney’s Fees From Wife, Despite Wife’s Objections

father's rights attorneysIn a recent case in Nassau Country, Justice Daniel Palmieri, sitting in a Matrimonial Supreme Court Part, awarded a husband legal fees of $84,000 pursuant to New York Domestic Relations Law Section 237.  A trial had taken place between the husband and wife.  The parties agreed the court would consider issues concerning attorney’s fees.  The husband had requested $120,000 in legal fees for the two different law firms that had represented him during the course of the matrimonial litigation.

Obstructionist Tactics

The wife’s attorneys presented an argument that the husband had engaged in “obstructionist tactics” by forcing the case to go to trial.  They claimed he had unreasonably refused to settle the case.  His actions, in refusing to settle the case, resulted in the litigation being prolonged and a trial being necessary causing significant attorney’s fees to accrue.  Justice Palmieri took the position the husband did not engage in obstructionist tactics.  He stated, in his decision, the husband simply did not want to settle. His decision stated “bad faith by a litigant could not be inferred because the Court had ruled against the litigant with regard to certain applications before it.”

Disparity Of The Income Of Husband And Wife

The Court took into consideration the disparity in income between the husband and wife.  Husband earned about $90,000 a year while the wife earned $365,000 per year.  Unfortunately for the husband, the Court refused to award him attorneys fees for the legal service provided by one of the two law firms that had represented him because no bills or affidavits documenting said attorneys fee’s had been submitted with regard to this application.  In the end, the court found the wife should pay $84,000 dollars in legal fees pursuant to the husband’s application.  The court ordered that $53,000 was to be paid to his attorney and the balance was to be paid directly to the husband.


Fathers who exert their rights can succeed in obtaining all types of relief from the Family Courts and Supreme Courts in the State of New for fathers seeking custody

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.