Can I Have My Spouse Pay My Attorney’s Fees?

I get asked a question quite often and that is, “Can my spouse be required to pay my attorney’s fees?” The law provides for that. The law contemplates that, in certain circumstances, your spouse can be required to pay or contribute to your attorney’s fees. I have not seen that happen enough. I think this is an area of the law where judges need to be more open-minded and need to consider the circumstances more adequately in awarding attorney’s fees. The law provides it. I just don’t believe that courts do it sufficiently. Something to ask yourself is, “what are the assets that you’re receiving?” In other words, if you’re receiving enough assets that you could pay for your own attorney’s fees, courts will often times not award attorney’s fees. You have to remember that 95% of divorces settle. Spouses do not like to pay their other spouse’s attorney’s fees. It’s an issue that becomes a distraction and if you insist on your spouse paying for your attorney’s fees, you may not settle your case and by that same token, escalate the costs.

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