Divorce & Annulment

questions & answers

Question: The Judge granted me a divorce 12/08/06.My ex keeps filing Motions to the courts requesting to stop the default divorce. The Judge has already denied two as previously denied by the courts. What can I do to make her stop, or is there any paperwork I can file for her to stop.

Answer:

Generally (and perhaps unfortunately) there is not much you can do to prevent someone from filing a document with the court.  However, if (1) your "ex" continues to file motions that have no basis or are unjustified and (2) you incur attorneys fees or court costs as a result of having to respond to those motions.... then...  you can submit a (timely) motion to the court asking that your  ex pay/reimburse you for those attorney's fees and/or court costs.  (Forgive me for stating the obvious, but you cannot ask for attorney's fees if you are not represented by counsel).  After considering your motion, the court may require her to pay all or some of those attorney's fees or expenses.  (Be advised however, that the court always has to option to decline any such request). 

You are authorized to ask for reimbursement of your attorney's fees and court costs under A.R.S. 12-349(A) and A.R.S. 25-324.

A.R.S. 12-349(A) states, in pertinent part:

    • Unjustified actions; attorney fees, expenses and double damages; exceptions; definition

A. Except as otherwise provided by and not inconsistent with another statute, in any civil action commenced or appealed in a court of record in this state, the court shall assess reasonable attorney fees, expenses and, at the court's discretion, double damages of not to exceed five thousand dollars against an attorney or party, including this state and political subdivisions of this state, if the attorney or party does any of the following:

1. Brings or defends a claim without substantial justification.

2. Brings or defends a claim solely or primarily for delay or harassment.

3. Unreasonably expands or delays the proceeding.

4. Engages in abuse of discovery.

A.R.S. 25-324 (Pertains to divorce proceedings).  It provides:

    •  Attorney fees

A. The court from time to time, after considering the financial resources of both parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken throughout the proceedings, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other party for the costs and expenses of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this chapter or chapter 4, article 1 of this title. On request of a party or another court of competent jurisdiction, the court shall make specific findings concerning the portions of any award of fees and expenses that are based on consideration of financial resources and that are based on consideration of reasonableness of positions. The court may make these findings before, during or after the issuance of a fee award.

B. For the purpose of this section, costs and expenses may include attorney fees, deposition costs and other reasonable expenses as the court finds necessary to the full and proper presentation of the action, including any appeal.

C. The court may order all amounts paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's name with the same force and effect, and in the same manner, as if the order had been made on behalf of any party to the action.

If (1) you have not been represented by counsel; (2) you have not incurred costs, and  (3) your ex continues to file (what you have described as) baseless motions, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only can the attorney assist you in properly addressing the matter before the court, the attorney may be able to direct a letter to your ex.  If your ex is faced with the possibility of having to pay attorneys fees and costs (---again-- there is no guarantee that she will be required to do so) - the possibility alone may be enough to deter her from filing additional motions.

 

QUESTIONS

  • The Judge granted me a divorce 12/08/06.My ex keeps filing Motions to the courts requesting to stop the default divorce. The Judge has already denied two as previously denied by the courts. What can I do to make her stop, or is there any paperwork I can file for her to stop.

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