Determining Who Actually “Prevailed” Can Be Considered In Needs-Based Calculus.
Wife was disappointed when a family law judge refused to award “needs-based” attorney’s fees under Family Code sections 2032 and 4320, apparently based in large part on the perspective that she did not “prevail” during the litigation.
Our local Santa Ana appellate court found it was not improper to consider this factor in Marriage of Juergens, Case Nos. G043884 et al. (4th Dist., Div. 3 Apr. 10, 2012) (unpublished). “Neither Family Code section section 2032 nor Family Code section 4320 precludes the court from giving consideration to this factor” (slip opn., p. 39), wrote Justice Moore on behalf of a 3-0 panel in affirming the denial of fees to wife for the time frame under consideration.