Can I Get My Ex to Pay My Fees?
Many times clients will ask if the other party will have to pay their attorney fees. The answer depends on the specific case. Some parties will place a fee-shifting provision in their settlement agreements that requires the moving party to pay the other party's attorney fees if they lose the case. This is done in part to eliminate some of the discretion the judge has in awarding attorney fees. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals held that these provisions are not binding on the Court.
So what does this actually mean for your case? Even if the parties agree that the losing party will pay attorney fees, the Court does not have to honor this provision in your settlement agreement. The Court can decide what if any fee sharing will take place in your case.
To read the entire Indiana Court of Appeals decision, click on the link: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/12221501lmb.pdf