Tampa, Florida

Recovery of Attorney's Fees

Recovery of Attorney's Fees in Tampa

Tampa Divorce Attorney

The payment of attorney's fees and court costs is a first party contract relationship between the attorney and the client. That is to say, the client is both initially and ultimately responsible for the payment of his or her own attorney's fees and court costs to the attorney. The firm represents clients on the basis of an initial retainer/cost deposit placed with the firm by the client at the commencement of the representation.

Even though the ultimate responsibility for the payment of fees and costs lies with the client, Florida Statute 61.16 provides a mechanism for trial judges to order one party to contribute to, or pay all of, the attorney's fees and costs of the other client, as equity and justice may require. This concept of "fee shifting" is used by the courts to assure that both parties have equal access to quality representation in pursuing their claims. The most often used term by trial judges, when awarding fees from one party to the other, is that the award is intended to "level the playing field" between the parties. If the fee shifting was not allowed, the litigant with control of the family finances would be able to secure competent counsel, while the spouse without access to funds might be left poorly represented or, even worse, unrepresented.

Courts award attorney's fees between litigants based on their financial postures and routinely award court costs on the same basis. Therefore, in a situation where the parties had roughly equal financial abilities, there would ordinarily be no award of attorney's fees by the court. On the other hand, where the parties' incomes are dramatically different, it is not unusual that the court orders the party with the greater income to pay most or all of the other party's reasonable attorney's fees and court costs. This is particularly true where the ratio of income is two to one or greater.

Attorney's fees and court costs may be sought on a temporary basis at a temporary hearing as well as being the proper subject for presentation at a final hearing.

It is not possible to ever accurately project what the ultimate cost of litigation will be. The firm's Retainer Agreement contemplates that the original retainer will be replenished as necessary, as the litigation goes along. The extraordinary cost of litigation including the attorney's fees and professional forensic witness fees are a major motivation in parties settling cases at the earliest convenient time. This leads parties routinely to seriously approach mediation as soon as financial disclosure can be completed and our clients are routinely counseled to evaluate the cost/benefit ratio of litigation versus compromising.

Contact a Tampa divorce lawyer at Givens Givens Sparks today if you have questions about attorney's fees.

Case Results

  • Family Law Case - Child Custody

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which a child was nearly removed from her mother’s custody and given to the child’s alleged father, although the father had not yet established paternity. Candela filed a written response on behalf of her client (the mother) alleging fraud by the father and had the pick-up order set aside before custody was transferred to the father. The practical result was to allow the mother and child stay in their home state (not Florida) pending the resolution of the case. The Court agreed and granted Candela’s client custody.

  • Family Law Case - Child Custody

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client filed a Petition to Establish Paternity, and the mother was served. After being served, the mother fled the state with the child. Candela filed an Emergency Motion for the immediate return of the child, and at that hearing, which was granted on an emergency basis, the mother was forced to turn the child over to the father, giving the father sole custody of the child pending the ultimate resolution of the case.

  • Family Law Case - Relocation

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client (the father) accused his child’s mother of relocating the child out of state without the consent of the child’s father. Candela was able to obtain a court order to return the child to the state of Florida and to remain in her client’s care while establishing permanent custody and timesharing plans. After Candela’s successful litigation of the case, the Court ruled that the mother’s Petition for Relocation was denied, and that the child shall live primarily with Candela’s client in Florida, with summer and school break schedules allotted to the mother.

  • Family Law Case - Timesharing Violation

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client was accused of violating a timesharing schedule agreed upon by both parental parties at the time the couple was divorced. The client’s child’s mother claimed that Candela’s client did not return the child for holiday timesharing at both Christmas and Easter. Candela had sent formal correspondence to the child’s mother regarding the dispute over the interpretation of the timesharing schedule, and when she did not agree, the father kept the child. The Court agreed with Candela’s interpretation of the timesharing schedule and found that her client was not in contempt for either holiday.

  • Family Law Case - Unilateral Medical-Related Decisions

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which she filed a Motion for Contempt on behalf of her client against the mother of his child for making unilateral medical-related decisions for the minor child without his knowledge. The Court agreed that the mother was in violation of the final judgment of their dissolution of marriage and held her in indirect civil contempt. The Court also ordered that the treatment in question cease immediately and that the mother be solely responsible for any and all costs related to that treatment. Furthermore, the Court ordered that the mother was not to make any unilateral decisions in the future and was to notify the father of any future appointments so that he could be present either over the phone or in person.

Client Testimonials

  • "I feel exceptionally fortunate having been referred to you."

  • "Rob has proven his extraordinary talent, perseverance, vast knowledge of the law, along with his professional demeanor and his ability to communicate and listen well."

  • "Your expertise, knowledge and professionalism put me at ease while you handled my out of state matters."

  • "I will be forever grateful for your assistance, understanding & concern on my divorce."

  • "Know anyone with the same amount of class, ethics and thoughtfulness and ability to execute as you?"

  • "The times we have with our granddaughter are a constant reminder of Rob’s highly effective work."

  • "Going through a divorce is a very traumatic event, but you all make your clients feel cared for and the trust factor is definitely felt."

  • "I would recommend them 200% to anyone who has to go through a divorce."

  • "I truly appreciate your brilliant legal minds and your professional protection of my desires and interests as pertaining to my home."

  • "If I ever have a friend who's going through a divorce, you will be the only name for me to recommend."

  • "Mr. Givens assured me that he was placing my needs in very good hands. He was correct because we are in a much better place because of your efforts."

  • "Stann is an intellectually gifted, highly motivated, knowledgeable attorney. He was truly a 'master negotiator.'"

  • "Rob, Thank you for your assistance and guidance throughout my divorce process. I will certainly recommend you to others seeking legal support."

  • "I appreciate you both always taking the time to answer all of my questions"

  • "Your joint efforts and hard work have finally brought a son and father together."

  • "Your guidance and wisdom has truly guided me through this difficult process that I can now put behind me."

  • "His research, preparation and professionalism is noteworthy in every aspect."

  • "Rob, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the time, effort and hard work you put into my case! Without your assistance, Madison would not be here with us in South Florida."

  • "Your guidance and wisdom has truly guided me through this difficult process that I can now put behind me. "

  • "His research, preparation and professionalism is noteworthy in every aspect. You have a brilliant attorney on your team."

  • Paula, thank you so much! You have been a true pleasure to work with through this difficult process. I really appreciate it.

  • "Rob, Thanks again for all of your help through this process. You and Paula have both been great."

  • "Ellen, this comes with sincere gratitude for a job well done. You have restored my faith in your profession. Thank you for always acting in my best interest."

  • "Ellen, I could not have been more fortunate in my legal representation!"

  • "I am very happy that I selected your firm and would not hesitate to give my highest recommendation."

  • "Rob, I wanted to say thank you for all your efforts in getting this agreement settled."

  • You have been wonderfully amazing. Thank you for everything. So grateful.

Get In Touch

At Givens Givens Sparks, your family is our family. As such, we promise to fight for each client and voraciously protect their best interests. Facing a family law issue? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

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