Asking for Lawyer’s Fees in Domestic Violence Cases

Under the law (Family Code section 6344), a court may order one side to pay the lawyer’s fees of the other in a domestic violence restraining order case.
The law says:
  • If the person asking for the restraining order (the protected person) actually gets the restraining order, the judge may order the other side (the restrained person) to pay the protected person’s lawyer’s fees and costs. If the protected person cannot afford to pay the lawyer’s fees, the judge must order the other side to pay the protected person’s lawyer’s fees and costs if it is appropriate after looking at both parties’ incomes, needs and their abilities to pay for the lawyer’s fees.
  • If the person asking for the restraining order does not get the order, the judge may order the protected person to pay the other side’s lawyer’s fees.

To ask for lawyer’s fees and costs in a restraining order case


For the person asking for protection:

  •  Follow all the instructions on Ask for a Restraining Order.
  • Check box 19 on your Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-100).
  • Fill out, file and serve an Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) together with the rest of your restraining order paperwork.
    • Keep in mind you cannot use the Financial Statement (Form FL-155) for a request for lawyer’s fees.

For the person to be restrained (someone asked for a restraining order against you):

  • Follow all the instructions on Respond to a Restraining Order.
  • Check box 19(c) on your Response to Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-120).
  • Fill out, file and serve an Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) together with the rest of your paperwork. If you already had to fill out a Form FL-150 for another reason (like child support or spousal support), then you are done.
    • Keep in mind you cannot use the Financial Statement (Form FL-155) for a request for lawyer’s fees.
© 2017 Judicial Council of California