Who Pays the Legal Fees in a Divorce?
Divorce can be expensive, which is why many people worry about whether or not they can afford to hire a good divorce attorney. If you find yourself asking this question, it’s important to remember that the cost of divorce not only has to do with legal fees, but also with the lifestyle changes and the overall process of marital dissolution. Separating your finances, dividing your assets, moving out, splitting child-rearing costs, and career changes can all contribute to the high cost of divorce.
As significant as these other factors may be, it is still extremely important to determine how you will pay for your legal fees in a divorce. In certain circumstances, it might even be possible to petition the court to have your spouse pay for your legal fees. To learn more about your options, read below:
Who Usually Pays Legal Fees in a Divorce?
When divorcing couples come from a single-income household, it can be a hardship for the non-earning spouse to come up with adequate funds to pay for the expense of divorce. However, asking the court to have your spouse pay for your attorney fees can be challenging. It is possible, but it is not overly common. In a divorce case, you should be prepared to pay your own legal fees.
When Might My Spouse Pay My Legal Fees?
It is most common for each party to pay his or her own legal fees, unless there is bad faith by one party or a considerable difference in the parties’ financial situations. If you have minimal earning capacity (you don’t have a job or specialized trade skills that would enable you to earn a decent living), and if you stay at home with your children, it is far more likely the court will ask your spouse to pay for your legal fees, either partially or in full. Or, if your spouse earns significantly more than you, the court might also grant your request. However, if you do have a job and a steady income, the court might not force your spouse to pay your fees, which would leave you to pay for your divorce attorney on your own.
The divorce process is stressful enough as is and wondering how you will pay legal fees shouldn’t be an additional concern. If you are curious if you might be eligible to have your spouse pay your legal fees, contact McKinley Irvin. We can evaluate the details of your case and provide you with the legal guidance you need.