Needs Based Award Was Less Than 30% Of Wife's Fee Request Under Section 2030.
In Marriage of Schleich, Case Nos. H039870/H041234 (6th Dist. Feb. 8, 2017) (published), ex-husband suffered two adverse awards which were favorable to his ex-wife: (1) a needs-based fee award under Family Code section 2030 to the tune of $412,485 (ex-wife had requested over $1.543 million); and (2) a sanctions award under Family Code sections 1101(g) and 2107(c) for fiduciary duty breaches relating to separate and community assets to the tune of $318,510, prompting an appeal by ex-husband.
The needs-based award was affirmed, because husband had the ability to pay and the lower court awarded less than 30% of ex-wife's requested fees.
However, after determining that separate property and pre-separation community income fiduciary breaches could not give rise to sanctions under Family Code section 1101 and reversing 4 of 16 listed fiduciary duty violations, the Sixth District determined that section 1101(g), a mandatory fee statute, could not support a fee award as far as the 4 reversed breaches were concerned. However, section 2107(c) was an independent basis for sanctions, but the appellate court remanded for a re-examination of fees under this statutory provision given the reversal on the four alleged violations.