2016 Maryland Code
Title 7 - Divorce
§ 7-107. Award of reasonable and necessary expenses
(a) "Reasonable and necessary expense" defined. -- In this section, "reasonable and necessary expense" includes:
(1) suit money;
(2) counsel fees; and
(b) Award authorized. -- At any point in a proceeding under this title, the court may order either party to pay to the other party an amount for the reasonable and necessary expense of prosecuting or defending the proceeding.
(c) Considerations by court. -- Before ordering the payment, the court shall consider:
(1) the financial resources and financial needs of both parties; and
(2) whether there was substantial justification for prosecuting or defending the proceeding.
(d) Lack of substantial justification and good cause. -- Upon a finding by the court that there was an absence of substantial justification of a party for prosecuting or defending the proceeding, and absent a finding by the court of good cause to the contrary, the court shall award to the other party the reasonable and necessary expense of prosecuting or defending the proceeding.
(e) Reimbursement. -- The court may award reimbursement for any reasonable and necessary expense that has previously been paid.
(f) Counsel fees. -- As to any amount awarded for counsel fees, the court may:
(1) order that the amount awarded be paid directly to the lawyer; and
(2) enter judgment in favor of the lawyer.
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