Attorney Fees in a Divorce
Are You Entitled to Attorney Fees From Your Spouse?
A New York divorce court judge will not want to approve any divorce agreement that was drafted in a way that clearly favors one spouse over the other. It is also important in a contested divorce for each spouse to have the legal ability and know-how to stand up and fight for their best interests. A good way to prevent one-sided agreements, or legal arguments, is for each spouse to be represented by their own a divorce attorney.
What happens if one spouse cannot pay for a divorce attorney, though? Will the other spouse be expected to pay the fees of the legal professional that “works against them” in the divorce? The answer comes on a case-by-case basis, primarily influenced by the divorcés finances.
When One Spouse Provides Total Income
It is not uncommon for one spouse to provide all, or the vast majority, of the income in a marriage. When this is the case, a family law court judge may order that the primary breadwinner pay for all or a portion of their spouse’s attorney fees. This is not something you should rely on happening, however, as a judge’s discretion could deem that you do not need such financial assistance.
Indeed, in most situations where a judge will order one spouse to pay for the attorney fees of the other, the aid is either partial or temporary. After all, following the average divorce, both spouses are expected to make a reasonable effort to support themselves financially. The mindset of financial independence will be encouraged, to some extent, during the divorce, not only after it concludes.
Other factors that could influence a judge’s opinion on the matter of attorney fees in divorce are:
- Spousal support agreements
- Child support obligations
- Grounds for divorce (theft of marital income, etc.)
- Education or career history of both spouses
- Equitable distribution of valuable assets
- Each spouse’s ability to find gainful employment
No matter the reasons behind why you should have your attorney fees paid by your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you will need to first create a petition for this motion to be approved. Start today with the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC and our Dutchess County divorce attorneys. Our years of experience and client-first approach to legal issues can help remove the stress of your divorce and turn this unexpected situation for the better.
Call (845) 605-4330 or contact us online to begin.
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