Fourth District, Div. Two, Upholds $5,000 Award in Attorney’s Fees to Wife, Where Husband Failed to Cite Evidence Supporting a Denial of the Request for Fees.
Mr. Parga sought to terminate his spousal support obligations to his former wife. The court denied the husband’s request and awarded the wife $5,000 in attorney’s fees. An appeal followed. Parga v. Parga, Case No. D055296 (4th Dist., Div. 1 July 22, 2010) (unpublished).
Not an abuse of discretion, says the Court, in a 3-0 opinion authored by Justice Nares. Ms. Parga was a stay-at-home mother for 13 years of the marriage, had limited marketable skills, was 65, and her husband had been the primary breadwinner. The trial court relied on section 2032, found $5,000 was an amount reasonably necessary for Ms. Parga to defend the action, and took into account the parties’ respective incomes. “[T]he primary factor in determining whether to award fees, and the amount of any such award, is the relative circumstances of the parties.” (relying on In re Marriage of O’Connor, 59 Cal.App.4th 877, 882-883 (1997).
Below: Young housewife. 1840s. Oil on canvas. Artist: Tyranov. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.