Florida statute 61.16 and 61.17 authorize the Broward marital and family law judge to award attorney’s fees, suit money and costs in a divorce, separate maintenance, time-sharing, support and enforcement proceeding. The Fort Lauderdale court has equitable jurisdiction to award attorney’s fees, suit money and costs during an annulment. However, any fees and costs attributable to a domestic violence injunction can not be awarded in Florida.
Temporary attorney’s fees and costs are awared during the pendency of a case. The purpose is to allow an award of attorney’s fees and costs to ensure that both parties will have the same ability to secure competent legal representation of their cases.
In order to be awarded attorney’s fees and costs, the requesting spouse must show that they have a need for attorney’s fees and costs. Depending upon the jurisdiction, their is a requirement to show an actual need, superior ability to pay or relative financial positions when determining the need of a spouse. In addition, the spouse requesting an award of attorney’s fees and costs must show that the other spouse has an ability to pay. The court must consider the impact of the final judgment when determining if a spouse has the ability to pay. Also, the court must look to the resources available to the paying party without having to look to resources beyond their individual control