California Family Code Section 2030
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California Laws > Family Code > California Family Code Section 2030
2030. (a) (1) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, nullity
of marriage, or legal separation of the parties, and in any
proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment, the court shall
ensure that each party has access to legal representation, including
access early in the proceedings, to preserve each party's rights by
ordering, if necessary based on the income and needs assessments, one
party, except a governmental entity, to pay to the other party, or
to the other party's attorney, whatever amount is reasonably
necessary for attorney's fees and for the cost of maintaining or
defending the proceeding during the pendency of the proceeding.
(2) When a request for attorney's fees and costs is made, the
court shall make findings on whether an award of attorney's fees and
costs under this section is appropriate, whether there is a disparity
in access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one party is able
to pay for legal representation of both parties. If the findings
demonstrate disparity in access and ability to pay, the court shall
make an order awarding attorney's fees and costs. A party who lacks
the financial ability to hire an attorney may request, as an in pro
per litigant, that the court order the other party, if that other
party has the financial ability, to pay a reasonable amount to allow
the unrepresented party to retain an attorney in a timely manner
before proceedings in the matter go forward.
(b) Attorney's fees and costs within this section may be awarded
for legal services rendered or costs incurred before or after the
commencement of the proceeding.
(c) The court shall augment or modify the original award for
attorney's fees and costs as may be reasonably necessary for the
prosecution or defense of the proceeding, or any proceeding related
thereto, including after any appeal has been concluded.
(d) Any order requiring a party who is not the spouse of another
party to the proceeding to pay attorney's fees or costs shall be
limited to an amount reasonably necessary to maintain or defend the
action on the issues relating to that party.
(e) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a
statewide rule of court to implement this section and develop a form
for the information that shall be submitted to the court to obtain an
award of attorney's fees under this section.
Last modified: February 22, 2013