Family Code Section 271 Sanctions Award Also Upheld on Appeal.
Marriage of Pitto and Behrendt, Case No. A126802/A127429 (1st Dist., Div. 3 June 29, 2012) (unpublished), involving a relatively short marriage, does reinforce certain lessons for us, basically two in number.
Number 1 is this. A substantial $354,542 fee award was sustained on appeal because it fell within a fees clause under a premarital settlement agreement, such that it was awardable under Civil Code section 1717--which did not have the more exacting “needs based” analysis of both sides under Family Code section 2030/2032. (In re Marriage of Sherman, 162 Cal.App.3d 1132, 1140 (1984).)
Number 2 is a Family Code section 271 sanctions award of $40,000 to husband. This one was affirmed based on the abuse of discretion standard of review, based on wife’s conduct during the course of the litigation. Hard standard to surmount, often.