“Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 237(a), a lawyer who represents a nonmonied spouse may seek attorneys’ fees from the monied spouse in the divorce action” (Frankel v Frankel, 2 NY3d 601, 605). On August 13, 2010, the Legislature approved amendments to Domestic Relations Law § 237(a). These amendments provided, inter alia, that “[a]pplications for the award of fees and expenses may be made at any time or times prior to final judgment” (L 2010, ch 329). The amendments did not take effect until October 12, 2010, after the instant motion was decided and, thus, are inapplicable to this appeal. Rather, at the time that the Supreme Court decided the instant motion, Domestic Relations Law § 237(a) provided that an attorney’s fee award in a divorce action “must be made in the final judgment in such action . . . or by one or more orders from time to time before final judgment, or by both such order or orders and the final judgment.” This language authorized courts to award fees “at any time after the start of the action up through the entry of final [*2]judgment” (O’Shea v O’Shea, 93 NY2d 187, 192; see Redgrave v Redgrave, 304 AD2d 1062). Since the law firm made the instant motion before the entry of final judgment, the Supreme Court had the authority to entertain the motion and should have resolved it on the merits.
Moreover, since there is no indication on this record that the defendant stipulated that an award of an attorney’s fee could be made solely on the basis of affirmations, he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on the issue (see Sommers v Sommers, 25 AD3d 685, 685-686; Thoma v Thoma, 21 AD3d 1080, 1082; Price v Price, 113 AD2d 299, 309, affd 69 NY2d 8; Santora v Nicolini, 237 AD2d 504, 506; Nee v Nee, 240 AD2d 478, 479; Weinberg v Weinberg, 95 AD2d 828, 829).