Family Code 273 Limits Attorney's Fees Against Government Agencies

Family Code 273 is California's law on attorney's fees against a government agency during a family law case.

What does Family Code 273 state?

Family Code 273 states the following.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the court shall not award attorney's fees against any governmental agency involved in a family law matter or child support proceeding except when sanctions are appropriate pursuant to Section 128.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure or Section 271 of this code."

What government agency may involve itself in a family law case?

The most common government agency in a family law case will be the Department of Child Support Services. They have the authority to establish, modify or enforce child support orders and can even get involved in enforcement of spousal support orders under certain situations.

Why is Family Code 273 important to a pending family law case?

It is common for a spouse or parent to seek attorney's fees during a family law case. This is true in prejudgment divorce and parentage cases, and post judgment proceedings.

California Family Code 273 is important because it places a limitation on that attorney fee request. Specifically, it does not permit fees against a government agency except in those situations that involve Code of Civil Procedure 128.5 and Family Code 271.

We rarely run into section 128.5 in family law cases. However, attorney fee requests per Family Code 271 are common. We wrote a comprehensive guide on section 271.

We hope you enjoyed this short article on Family Code 273. Contact us for an affordable strategy session if you seek representation for your California family law case.

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