Who pays for the legal fees of a divorce? 2 Answers as of October 09, 2013

My husband makes twice as much as I do. We live in New York and I have heard that the higher earning spouse is required to pay he legal fees of the lower earning spouse. Is this true?

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Kalil & Eisenhut, LLC | Michael N. Kalil
There are no absolutes regarding the payment of legal fees. A court will take into account the disparity of incomes, the value of the marital estate and how equitable distribution plays into the picture, and even the conduct of the parties during the proceeding. Different judges on the same set of facts can come up with different answers.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/9/2013
Glenn Milgraum PC
Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
In NY - That is usually the case, as the goal is to "level the playing field"; but the reality is based upon each ability to pay, as well as whether a trial may be needed. I say this because a large portion of settlement agreements reached provides that each party shall be responsible for their own attorney's fees. That does not mean that you shouldn't be requesting "pendente lite" attorney's fees, which will at least help you get started.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 10/8/2013
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