How do I get my husband to pay my divorce fees? 17 Answers as of May 06, 2011

My husband has initiated my divorce after 32 years. I did not want to divorce, but I got a lawyer to help me through the process. Is there a way to make him pay for my attorney, since he is the one who wanted to go through this anyway?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
That is certainly something that you need to discuss with your lawyer. The divorce court is a court of equity, and ultimately, the judge is to do what he or she deems is fair. It is possible depending on your facts. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
A judge can decide to award you attorney fees at the end of the case. Your lawyer should be able to answer your question as to how.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/4/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
You have an attorney, use him. File a motion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2011
Keri Burnstein, P.C.
Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
Have you discussed this with your attorney? Sometimes when there is a big discrepancy in income, the other party can be ordered to pay for the attorney fees.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/4/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
Speak with your attorney about it, your attorney should be able to file a petition for the contribution of attorney's fee.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/4/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    In Utah there is a statute that deals with getting your spouse to pay your attorney fees. We can help you with your divorce needs. We offer free consultations. Give us a call today.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Since you have an attorney already, your best advice would come from that attorney. Attorney fees and costs are awarded based on ability to pay and need. Intransigence is also a basis.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Very simple answer to your question: in your Answer to the divorce lawsuit, and in the papers that you file after that (pendente lite motion) you ask the Judge to make him pay your lawyer fees. if you asked your lawyer and your lawyer did not answer, fire your lawyer. and hire a lawyer who knows what they are doing.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You should discuss this with your own attorney. The court has the power to award fees after a trial if it believes the payment of fees is appropriate because if they were not covered it would interfere with your award. You already have the power to take the funds for fees from existing bank accounts as an exception to the Automatic Orders.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Attorney's fees are based on need and ability to pay. Assuming that your husband earns more than you earn, there is a reasonable possibility that you can obtain an order for your husband to pay a contributory portion of your attorney's fees. Discuss that with your Family Law Attorney, who I'm sure knows how to seek an order (or orders) for your husband to pay all or part of your attorney's fees, during the case, and at trial.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you have a lawyer representing you, he or she should be able to answer your question about requesting that your husband pay your attorney fees. As a brief answer, which you should discuss with your lawyer, fees may be payable by the other side for a variety of reasons, such as "need" (see Family Code section 2030 through 2032), or as a sanction for improper conduct (see family code section 271, as just one possible basis for sanctions). Again, talk to your lawyer. He/she should be addressing this question for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Your attorney should have explained this to you. Attorney's fees are relative. An award is based upon a number of factors. Your relative incomes is a big factor. California is a 'no fault' state, so it rarely matters who wanted the divorce first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    Usually the party who earns the smaller amount of income can make a claim for the larger wage earner to pay attorney's fees. It really has nothing to do with who filed, or who wants the divorce, and who doesn't.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    At any point in a dissolution, you may request a Court by Motion to award you legal fees from the other party. The Court can award attorney's fees on one of two basis: Need Based Fault based

    Need based legal fees may be awarded in an amount necessary to enable a party to carry on or contest the proceeding, provided that the Court finds: that the fees are necessary for the good-faith assertion of the party's rights in the proceeding and will not contribute unnecessarily to the length and expense of the proceeding; that the party from whom fees, costs, and disbursements are sought has the means to pay them; and that the party to whom fees, costs, and disbursements are awarded does not have the means to pay them. Fault based fees may be awarded if the Court finds that one party has contributed unreasonably to the length and delay of the legal proceedings and thus increased the fees, costs, and disbursements related to the proceedings.

    Some examples of delays where fees are awarded may include: a failure of one party to provide complete and necessary discovery responses; filing of repeated or frivolous motions; failure of a party to appear in court.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/3/2011
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