The issue of paying for attorney's fees in a New Jersey Divorce or Family Law matter comes up often. There is no rule in family law cases that the party who files for divorce or begins the custody dispute must pay for the other party's attorney. There is, however, authority in the law for a judge to potentially require one person to advance or pay the other party's fees. Family Court is a Court of equity, meaning the element of fairness is to be considered when a judge has to decide an issue. New Jersey law therefore gives a judge authority to grant an award of attorney's fees based on the financial situation if needed to level the playing field - to prevent one party from prevailing simply because he or she can afford to pay an attorney more. A judge may also award attorney's fees when one party has acted in bad faith, such as by violating a Court Order or taking a position that is blatantly unreasonable.