Usually, a party to a civil case may only be granted attorney’s fees if the court could find that such party has no ability to pay for a retainer. The court maintains the standard of “disparity in access and ability to pay” in determining whether it is just for one party to shoulder both parties’ litigation expenses. The test is on the party’s “ability to pay.” Gifts or loans are not proof of such ability, unless there is another way for such party, like income or assets, to pay for the fees.

However, as per the California Code of Civil Procedure, if the court finds that an “appeal was frivolous or taken solely for delay, it may add costs on appeal such as damages as may be just” (CCP § 907). Such a party may be found to be a “vexatious litigant” [CCP § 391(b)] and could be subject to other civil actions as provided for in CCP § 391.7.

Work with a lawyer who is an expert in divorce and family law in order to avoid being harassed with frivolous appeals and undue delays in the divorce procedure.