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Former Husband Should Pay Attorneys Charges Regardless of Some Success


Tennessee case abstract on lawyer’s charges in post-divorce motion.

Julie (Carden) Sexton v. Jason Vincent Carden

Former Husband Should Pay Former Spouse’s Legal professional’s Charges Regardless of Some Success

The husband and spouse on this Hamilton County, Tennessee, case have been divorced in 2010, and their agreed parenting plan referred to as for joint custody of their two sons.

This was modified three years later when the spouse returned to court docket requesting a change and complaining of an arrearage in baby assist.  At the moment, she was named the first residential guardian.

In 2014, the husband’s parenting time was additional restricted and an order for defense was entered in opposition to him.  Beginning in late 2016, he was allowed two hours of supervised parenting time.  In 2017, the court docket put a plan in place to section out the supervision.  Throughout this time, quite a few paperwork have been filed with the trial court docket, and the trial court docket finally held that the spouse was the prevailing get together.  The spouse requested her lawyer’s charges, and she or he was awarded over $26,000.  Though the husband was not the prevailing get together, the husband additionally requested his lawyer’s charges, however this request was denied by Decide Ward Jeffrey Hollingsworth.   The husband then appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court docket.  He argued first that the trial court docket erred in designating the spouse because the prevailing get together.  He additionally argued that the quantity of charges was inappropriate.

The appeals court docket conceded that the husband had “some success” in the course of the litigation course of.  Nonetheless, it held that this was not ample.  The take a look at was whether or not the get together had succeeded on a major concern, and it famous that the spouse had succeeded on quite a few points.  For that motive, it held that the trial court docket was inside its discretion to find her to be the prevailing get together.

The husband subsequent argued that he was unable to pay the award.  Nonetheless, the court docket held that incapability to pay was not a protection within the case of a kid assist or baby custody case.

The spouse additionally requested her lawyer’s charges on attraction, and after reviewing the proof, the Court docket of Appeals held that such an award was acceptable.  It remanded the case for the decrease court docket to find out the quantity.

For these causes, the Court docket of Appeals affirmed the case and remanded to the trial court docket.

No. E2019-01057-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 9,  2020).

See authentic opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Process: How Divorces Work Start to Finish.


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