2010 New York Code
DOM - Domestic Relations
Article 13 - (230 - 255) PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF MATRIMONIAL ACTION
237 - Counsel fees and expenses.

§  237.  Counsel  fees and expenses. * (a) In any action or proceeding
  brought (1) to annul a marriage or to declare  the  nullity  of  a  void
  marriage,  or  (2)  for  a  separation,  or (3) for a divorce, or (4) to
  declare the validity or  nullity  of  a  judgment  of  divorce  rendered
  against  a  spouse who was the defendant in any action outside the State
  of New York and did not appear therein where  such  spouse  asserts  the
  nullity  of  such  foreign judgment, or (5) to enjoin the prosecution in
  any other jurisdiction of an action for a divorce, the court may  direct
  either  spouse or, where an action for annulment is maintained after the
  death of a spouse, may direct the  person  or  persons  maintaining  the
  action, to pay such sum or sums of money directly to the attorney of the
  other  spouse  to enable that spouse to carry on or defend the action or
  proceeding as, in  the  court's  discretion,  justice  requires,  having
  regard  to  the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties.
  Such direction must be made in the final  judgment  in  such  action  or
  proceeding,  or  by  one  or  more orders from time to time before final
  judgment, or by both such  order  or  orders  and  the  final  judgment;
  provided,  however, such direction shall be made prior to final judgment
  where it is shown that such order is required to enable the  petitioning
  party  to  properly  proceed.  Any  applications  for  counsel  fees and
  expenses may be maintained by the attorney for either spouse in his  own
  name in the same proceeding.
    * NB Effective until October 12, 2010
    * (a)  In  any action or proceeding brought (1) to annul a marriage or
  to declare the nullity of a void marriage, or (2) for a  separation,  or
  (3)  for  a  divorce,  or  (4)  to  declare the validity or nullity of a
  judgment of divorce rendered against a spouse who was the  defendant  in
  any  action  outside  the  State  of New York and did not appear therein
  where such spouse asserts the nullity of such foreign judgment,  (5)  to
  obtain  maintenance  or  distribution  of  property  following a foreign
  judgment of divorce, or (6) to  enjoin  the  prosecution  in  any  other
  jurisdiction  of  an  action  for a divorce, the court may direct either
  spouse or, where an action for annulment is maintained after  the  death
  of a spouse, may direct the person or persons maintaining the action, to
  pay  counsel  fees  and  fees  and  expenses  of experts directly to the
  attorney of the other spouse to enable the other party to  carry  on  or
  defend  the  action or proceeding as, in the court's discretion, justice
  requires, having regard to the circumstances of  the  case  and  of  the
  respective  parties.  There shall be rebuttable presumption that counsel
  fees shall be awarded to the  less  monied  spouse.  In  exercising  the
  court's discretion, the court shall seek to assure that each party shall
  be  adequately  represented  and  that where fees and expenses are to be
  awarded, they shall be awarded on a timely basis, pendente lite,  so  as
  to   enable   adequate  representation  from  the  commencement  of  the
  proceeding.  Applications for the award of fees and expenses may be made
  at any time or times prior to final judgment. Both parties to the action
  or proceeding and their respective attorneys, shall  file  an  affidavit
  with  the  court detailing the financial agreement between the party and
  the attorney. Such affidavit shall include the amount of  any  retainer,
  the  amounts  paid and still owing thereunder, the hourly amount charged
  by the attorney, the amounts paid, or to be paid, any experts,  and  any
  additional  costs,  disbursements or expenses. Any applications for fees
  and expenses may be maintained by the attorney for either spouse in  his
  own  name  in  the  same proceeding. Payment of any retainer fees to the
  attorney for the petitioning party shall not preclude any awards of fees
  and expenses to an applicant which would otherwise be allowed under this
  section.
    * NB Effective October 12, 2010

* (b) Upon any application to annul or modify an order or judgment for
  alimony or for custody, visitation, or maintenance of a child,  made  as
  in section two hundred thirty-six or section two hundred forty provided,
  or  upon  any  application  by  writ of habeas corpus or by petition and
  order  to  show cause concerning custody, visitation or maintenance of a
  child, the court may direct a spouse or parent to pay such sum  or  sums
  of  money  for  the  prosecution  or  the  defense of the application or
  proceeding by the other spouse or parent as, in the court's  discretion,
  justice  requires, having regard to the circumstances of the case and of
  the  respective  parties.  With  respect  to  any  such  application  or
  proceeding, such direction may be made in the order or judgment by which
  the  particular  application  or proceeding is finally determined, or by
  one or more orders from time to time before the final order or judgment,
  or by both such order or orders and the final  order  or  judgment.  Any
  applications  for  counsel  fees  and  expenses may be maintained by the
  attorney for either spouse in counsel's own name in the same proceeding.
  Representation by an attorney pursuant to paragraph (b)  of  subdivision
  nine  of  section  one hundred eleven-b of the social services law shall
  not preclude an award of  counsel  fees  to  an  applicant  which  would
  otherwise be allowed under this section.
    * NB Effective until October 12, 2010
    * (b)  Upon  any  application  to enforce, annul or modify an order or
  judgment for alimony, maintenance, distributive award,  distribution  of
  marital  property or for custody, visitation, or maintenance of a child,
  made as in section two hundred thirty-six or section two  hundred  forty
  of  this  article  provided,  or  upon any application by writ of habeas
  corpus or by petition  and  order  to  show  cause  concerning  custody,
  visitation  or  maintenance of a child, the court may direct a spouse or
  parent to pay counsel fees and fees and expenses of experts directly  to
  the  attorney of the other spouse or parent to enable the other party to
  carry on or defend the application or proceeding by the other spouse  or
  parent as, in the court's discretion, justice requires, having regard to
  the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties. There shall
  be  a  rebuttable  presumption that counsel fees shall be awarded to the
  less monied spouse. In exercising  the  court's  discretion,  the  court
  shall seek to assure that each party shall be adequately represented and
  that where fees and expenses are to be awarded, they shall be awarded on
  a  timely  basis, pendente lite, so as to enable adequate representation
  from the commencement of the proceeding. Applications for the  award  of
  fees  and  expenses  may  be  made  at  any time or times prior to final
  judgment. Both parties to the action or proceeding and their  respective
  attorneys,  shall  file  an  affidavit  with  the  court  detailing  the
  financial agreement, between the party and the attorney. Such  affidavit
  shall  include  the  amount  of any retainer, the amounts paid and still
  owing thereunder, the hourly amount charged by the attorney, the amounts
  paid,  or  to  be  paid,  any  experts,  and   any   additional   costs,
  disbursements or expenses. Any applications for fees and expenses may be
  maintained  by  the  attorney for either spouse in counsel's own name in
  the same proceeding. Payment of any retainer fees to  the  attorney  for
  the petitioning party shall not preclude any awards of fees and expenses
  to an applicant which would otherwise be allowed under this section.
    * NB Effective October 12, 2010
    (c)  In  any action or proceeding for failure to obey any lawful order
  compelling payment of support or maintenance, or distributive award  the
  court  shall,  upon  a  finding  that  such  failure  was willful, order
  respondent  to  pay  counsel  fees  to  the  attorney  representing  the
  petitioner.

(d)  The  term  "expenses" as used in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this
  section shall include, but shall not be  limited  to,  accountant  fees,
  appraisal  fees,  actuarial  fees, investigative fees and other fees and
  expenses that the court may determine to be necessary to enable a spouse
  to  carry  on  or  defend an action or proceeding under this section. In
  determining the appropriateness and necessity of fees, the  court  shall
  consider:
    1. The nature of the marital property involved;
    2.  The  difficulties  involved, if any, in identifying and evaluating
  the marital property;
    3. The services rendered and an estimate of the time involved; and
    4. The applicant's financial status.

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