International child custody cases can be costly.
But there’s costly and then there’s really costly.
Where does the line get drawn?
Well, one law firm, which has a satellite office here in Palm Beach county, found out the hard way.
After prevailing in an international child custody case, the firm sought to recover attorney’s fees from the losing opposing party.
The total bill it submitted for attorney’s fees weighed in at $163,000.
For what the presiding federal judge in Pennsylvania characterized as a “garden variety” custody case, with few legal or factual disputes.
The Court refused to stick the losing party with the price of the prevailing party’s individual choice to staff the matter with a team of five different attorneys, four of whom attended a three day trial.
The modest finances of the losing party, whom the court apparently felt acted wrongly but in good faith, may have played a role in the Court’s ruling.
Of course, the Court’s decision doesn’t mean that the prevailing party or their attorneys would do anything differently if they had to make their decisions all over again …