Christopher Bruce’s article is available by clicking Christopher Bruce’s article explaining attorney’s fees in Florida family law cases.
The article addresses the recent opinion by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal in the case of Hallac v. Hallac, So. 3d 253 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012). In Hallac, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed an order limiting a wife’s request for attorney’s fees under Florida Statute § 61.16 due to her rejection of what the court deemed to be a reasonable settlement offer.
Although the long-term impact of Hallac is remains to be seen, it appears the days of the wealthy spouse being required to foot the tab for unrealistic divorce court litigation is over in the Fourth District. Family law practitioners, litigants, mediators, and counselors should take note of Hallac, as the case makes it clear that an impecunious spouse’s entitlement to attorney’s fees under §61.16 can be limited or even eliminated when a reasonable settlement is rejected.