Lower Court Did Weigh Financial Abilities of Both Parties.
Husband lost his appeal of a lower court order requiring husband and wife to split the costs of minor child’s counsel in a custody dispute. On appeal in Marriage of Carter, Case No. C068599 (3d Dist. Aug. 16, 2012) (unpublished), husband challenged the award because a judge had previously ordered wife to advance the fees. (Wife was a neurosurgeon and husband was an educator).
Husband was unsuccessful on appeal. The prior order had been made with a reservation of jurisdiction to reallocate fees at subsequent times, something that did occur to husband’s chagrin even though he did get an opportunity to argue against the reallocation. The lower court did review income/expense information from both sides, determining husband had the financial ability to split the fees. (Fam. Code, § 3153; Cal.Rules of Court, rule 5.241(b).) Also, the husband can always apply for a modification/redetermination if the right circumstances exist in the future. (See rule 5.241(b)(3).)