Sunday, January 3, 2010

Indiana Case Law: Attorney fees

Once more digging into Vandenburgh v. Vandenburgh, this time on how Indiana's courts award attorney fees.

The trial court awarded Mother $2,500 in attorney fees because Father had been in contempt and because the court had to compel discovery. A determination regarding attorney fees in proceedings to modify a child support award is within the sound discretion of the trial court and will be reversed only on a showing of a clear abuse of that discretion. Whited v. Whited, 859 N.E.2d 657, 665 (Ind. 2007). In determining whether to award attorney fees, the trial court must consider the parties’ resources, their economic condition, their ability to engage in gainful employment, and other factors that bear on the award’s reasonableness. Id. Misconduct by one party that causes the opposing party to incur additional costs may also be considered. McGuire v. McGuire, 880 N.E.2d 297, 303 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008).
I added the emphasis to the original. As a practical matter of evidence, this is where financial declarations may be of help.

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