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Can you make your spouse pay your divorce attorney fees?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Family Law Services |

When you’re going through a divorce, you may need to spend a significant amount of time with your attorney and other professionals who can assist with your finances and other aspects of the divorce. These fees can add up, so it’s sometimes a good idea to ask if your higher-earning spouse could be held accountable for those fees.

It’s possible to ask your spouse to pay for your divorce fees. The court may agree to order them to pay for a number of reasons, too, if you ask the judge to make them do so.

When can you ask your ex-spouse to pay your divorce fees?

There are a couple of times when you can ask your spouse to pay your divorce fees. The first could be if you agree to having them pay for those fees in your settlement agreement. For example, you may have willingly let them have an asset in exchange for them covering the total cost of the divorce. This is fairly common, especially with lower income individuals who need help paying their representation.

It’s also possible for a judge to order one spouse to pay the other’s attorney fees if there is a large disparity between their incomes. For instance, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent with no career, then the judge may order the other spouse to cover the total cost of the divorce.

A third time when someone may be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney fees is if the court wants to penalize one person for causing drama, hiding assets or lying to the court. In those cases, the court may determine that it would be a good penalty to ask the offending spouse to pay the other party’s fees.

If you need to cover the cost of a divorce but are at a financial disadvantage, it may be possible to ask your spouse to cover any fees you face. This is something to discuss early in your case, as you should be fighting for that compensation from the start. With the right approach, it may be possible to have those fees awarded to you.