Divorced Parties Foiled in Efforts to Avoid Counsel Fee Award

In a February, 2019 decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department foiled the cooperative efforts of previously-divorced parties to avoid an interim fee award to the ex-wife’s counsel to prosecute incident to the parties’ settlement of the pending issues. In Rhodes v. Rhodes, the parties were married in 1993, had three children, and divorced in 2008. In 2013, the ex-husband successfully moved to modify the parties’ custody arrangement and, in a December, 2014 order, was granted residential custody of the children. The ex-wife appealed from that order. In May 2015, the ex-wife moved for interim appellate attorney’s fees and costs. In an August 25, 2015 order, Former Suffolk County Supreme Court Acting Justice Marlene L. Budd granted that motion, awarding the ex-wife $20,000 in attorney’s fees and costs “for the prosecution of the appeal, with leave to apply for additional sums upon the completion of the appeal.” The ex-husband was…

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