Attorney Fee Factors In Idaho
Idaho Code Section 32-704(3) provides that the court may "from time to time after considering the financial resources of both parties and the factors set forth in section 32-705, Idaho Code, order a party to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this act and for attorney's fees."
Idaho Code Section 32-705 sets forth a number of factors, including:
(1) whether the spouse seeking attorney fees lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs;
(2) the age and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking attorney fees;
(3) the ability of the spouse from whom attorney fees is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking attorney fees;
(4) the fault of either party.
A disparity in incomes is generally sufficient to support a magistrate's conclusion that the party with the higher income should pay a share of the other party's attorney fees pursuant to I.C. 32-704(3). Jensen v. Jensen, 128 Idaho 600, 606, 917 P.2d 757, 763 (1996); Pieper v. Pieper, 125 Idaho 667, 671, 873 P.2d 921, 925 (Ct. App. 1994).
Nevertheless, an award of attorney fees pursuant to I.C. 32-704(3) is not appropriate when the party requesting attorney fees has the financial resources necessary to prosecute or defend the action. Jensen, 128 Idaho at 606, 917 P.2d at 763; Ireland v. Ireland, 123 Idaho 955, 960, 855 P.2d 40, 45 (1993).