Bresky Law Successfully Defends Against Motion to Stay Pending Appeal of Order Awarding Former Wife Her Attorney’s Fees

Bresky Law recently successfully defended against a motion to stay pending appeal directed at a family court order awarding our client her attorney’s fees.

The trial court entered an order (“Fees Order”) that awarded our client her attorney’s fees following the dissolution of the parties’ marriage and directed that the former husband pay the fees in monthly payments. There was a vast income disparity between our client and her former husband, and our client would have had to deplete the assets she received in equitable distribution to pay her attorney’s fees.

The former husband appealed the Fees Order to the Fourth DCA. We represent the former wife in the former husband’s appeal of the Fees Order. The former husband filed a motion to stay in the trial court while the appeal was proceeding, asking the trial court to stay its Fees Order pending the outcome of the former husband’s appeal. The former husband argued that the trial court’s Fees Order would likely be reversed on appeal because the former wife had some ability to pay attorney’s fees herself.

We opposed the motion to stay. We argued that the trial court should not stay its Fees Order because the former husband could not show a likelihood that he would prevail on appeal and that he would suffer undue harm if the trial court denied a stay. We argued that the former husband had failed to provide the appellate court with an appropriate record and the appeal might be affirmed for technical reasons as a result. We also argued that the award of fees to our client was proper because the Fourth DCA had previously found an abuse of discretion where trial courts denied attorney’s fees to parties in circumstances similar to our client’s situation.

On October 14, 2016, we attended a hearing on the former husband’s motion to stay, at which we presented our arguments on behalf of the former wife. The trial court entered an order denying the former husband’s motion. This favorable result preserves the status quo in favor of our client and allows her to continue to receive the monthly payments pursuant to the Fees Order while the appeal is pending.