Monday, August 15, 2016
Contempt vs. Inability to Pay
I have been debating the award of attorney's fees on a case where one party is in contempt and another has the inability to pay. Logically, I don't see why if a party has the inability to pay, they could not be awarded attorney's fees if they file for claims other than defending the contempt. In theory, I think the clean hands doctrine would bar the attorney's fees on defending just the contempt. However, if a judgment is entered on the contempt, I think if a large amount of fees is expended on the modification they could be awarded. I have been unable to find cases dealing with this issue. However, I have a test case on this currently pending.