A.R.S. 25-324 Example Cases

The trial court may, "after considering the financial resources of both parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken throughout the proceedings," award a "reasonable amount" to a party in a dissolution proceeding "for the costs and expenses of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this chapter." A.R.S. 25-324. In Appels-Meehan v. Appels, 167 Ariz. 182, 185, 805 P.2d 415, 418 (App. 1991), the Court denied a request for fees under A.R.S. 25-324 as the record was "inadequate to make a determination" of who should bear costs. The Husband in Appels argued that "the trial court received no evidence and entered no findings regarding the financial condition of the respective parties." Id. In Gerow v. Covill, 192 Ariz. 9, 19, P45, 960 P.2d 55, 65 (App. 1998), the Court denied the husband's request for fees because "he provided no information about the financial resources of either party nor did he provide evidence supporting his claim for fees." In Magee v. Magee, 206 Ariz. 589, 592, P17, 81 P.3d 1048, 1051(App. 2004), the Court stated that "the court is obligated to consider factors such as the degree of the resource disparity between the parties, the ratio of the fees owed to the assets and/or income of each party, and other similar matters" when making an award. A party may be able to pay and still receive an award of fees. Id. at 593, P18, 81 P.3d at 1052. "Relative financial disparity between the parties is the benchmark for eligibility." Id.