Court Award of Counsel Fees Against a Bad Faith Litigant When It Is Unlikely Payment Will Be Made

It sometimes occurs that one spouse is obligated to defend him/herself against a continuous barrage of bad faith motions from the other spouse. This may be especially the case where the bad faith party is not employed or has few assets. Defending these motions can be expensive and frustrating.
However, even if it appears unlikely that the good faith spuse will ever collect a possible counsel fee award, it is the Court’s responsibility to order a counsel fee award if that award is deserved. To do otherwise would be tantamount to enabling additional frivolous bad faith applications. At least a signal would be sent that bad conduct ultimately has a cost. Down the road, that spouse may be forced to pay for their misdeeds.

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