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Attorneys’ Fees in Child Custody Cases

Dallas Family Law Attorneys Helping People Obtain Favorable Outcomes in Child Custody Cases

Typically, parties who want to hire an attorney to help them pursue claims or assert defenses in Texas child custody cases must pay their own legal fees. Sometimes, though, once a case is underway, one party may be able to ask the court to compel the other party to pay their attorney’s fees. While the courts prioritize ensuring that all parties have access to legal representation and are able to fully assert their rights, the courts will only grant attorneys’ fees in child custody cases in certain circumstances. If you are involved in a dispute over parental rights and have trouble covering the cost of your legal counsel, you should speak to an attorney. The trusted Dallas child custody lawyers of McClure Law Group can offer you advice regarding your options and craft persuasive arguments in your favor to help you pursue the best legal outcome possible under the circumstances.

Attorneys’ Fees in Child Custody Cases

The Texas courts have the right to engage in fee shifting, or ordering one party to pay the other’s attorneys’ fees in child custody cases. Specifically, the Texas Family Code (the Code), expressly authorizes the courts to award attorneys' fees and costs to a party in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, including custody cases, if it is determined to be just and equitable. The courts may consider various factors when deciding whether to award attorneys' fees in child custody cases, such as the financial resources of each party, the disparity in financial resources between the parties, the merits of the respective claims or defenses presented, and any other relevant circumstances of the case.

The courts can also issue orders providing that the party responsible for paying the opposing party’s attorney’s fees, along with any post-judgment interest, pay them directly to the attorney. The attorney can enforce a judgment for fees and interest via any means for enforcing a judgment for debt available under Texas law.

Moreover, the Code addresses the issue of attorneys' fees in cases involving enforcement or modification of custody orders. In other words, if a parent files a frivolous modification lawsuit against their co-parent, the court has the authority to assess attorneys' fees as costs against the offending party if it determines that the suit was filed frivolously or with the intent to harass.

Similarly, if a parent fails to pay child support and the parent owed support is forced to file a motion for enforcement, the moving parent be entitled to attorney's fees and costs. In such cases, if the court finds that the obligor has failed to make child support payments, it can order them to pay the moving parent’s reasonable attorney's fees and all court costs, in addition to the support arrearages. The court may waive this requirement, however, if the obligor proves good cause for non-compliance or if they owe $20,000 or more in child support arrearages and are involuntarily unemployed or disabled.

Finally, parties denied possession and access to their child in violation of a court order can seek attorney's fees by filing an enforcement lawsuit as well. If the court finds that the parent failed to comply with possession and access terms, it will order them to pay the opposing party’s reasonable attorney's fees and all court costs.

Meet With a Skilled Dallas Child Custody Attorney

Legal fees in child custody cases can be onerous for people with limited financial means, but people should not be prohibited from taking the legal measures necessary to safeguard their rights due to their inability to pay for legal representation. If you have questions about attorneys’ fees in child custody cases, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group take pride in helping people protect their rights, and if we represent you, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek the outcome you deserve. Our main office is located in Dallas. We are also able to meet clients by appointment at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We frequently assist people with child custody disputes in Dallas, Garland, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Richardson, Frisco, and McKinney. We also represent parties in family law matters in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to set up a meeting.

Client Reviews
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"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
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"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
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"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
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"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
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"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
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"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan