what can I do if I can't afford to pay for my attorney's fee while going through a divorce? 7 Answers as of March 18, 2013

My husband filed for divorce. We cannot come to any agreements and the divorce is now going to trial. I have had to borrow money for my legal fees from my parents. My attorney is now telling me she needs more money to continue. My parents are broke. What is my recourse?

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Fran Brochstein
Fran Brochstein | Fran Brochstein
Unfortunately, often a divorce costs a lot of money. Usually because the other spouse is being unreasonable. That is not your attorney's fault. You can allow your attorney to withdraw. However, then you would be without legal counsel. I suspect that would not be a good idea because I suspect that your husband has an attorney. I normally suggest that you and your family need to "find" the money somewhere to pay your attorney to "protect" yourself. Usually in a divorce there are no good options. I'm sorry that you are going through this.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/18/2013
Law Office of John J. Stanton | John J. Stanton
Your attorney can request fees from your spouse. The court will order him to pay some or most of your fees if there is an income disparity between you two (He out earns you by more than just a little) and you can demonstrate need. Also, if there are any cash accounts that hold community funds, the court can grant you access to your share.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2013
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
Ask your attorney if she will make a motion for attorney's fees. If your husband is force to pay your attorney's fees, he may be more willing to negotiate a settlement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2013
John Russo | John Russo
Represent yourself.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 3/18/2013
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
You can try to work out a payment plan with your lawyer. You can also agree to pay her out of whatever equalization payment you can get in the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 3/18/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Unfortunately, there is not really any recourse in a situation like this. An attorney cannot work without compensation (nor should they be expected to), so if you are unable to afford counsel, you might have to represent yourself at trial. There is a possibility that the court could order your husband to reimburse your legal fees, but that is generally the exception, not the rule.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/18/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I strongly suggest that you pay your lawyer! this is important and will affect your life (and your children's lives if you have any) for many many years. Credit cards? not great, but use if needed. please, your husband will crush you in court if he has a lawyer and you do not.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/18/2013
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