I will be responsible for my wife’s lawyer fees at the time she files for divorce?

QUESTION:

I will be responsible for my wife’s lawyer fees at the time she files for divorce?

My wife has told me that she will file a divorce and she is been told that after all, I will be force by the lawyer and the court to pay her lawyer fees, based on her 0 income or not working.

ANSWER:

The lawyer can’t force you to pay her attorney’s fees, but he can ask the judge to order you to pay all or some of her attorney’s fees. There are three incidences where one person pays the other person’s attorney’s fees in a divorce case:

1) At some time after the case has already been filed, if the judge finds that one party does not have access to community funds and that the other person has access to significant community funds, the judge can order the party with funds to pay a portion of the other parties attorney’s fees;

2) When a party acts in bad faith, that is the party is found to have violated the law or a court order, or been wasteful of the court’s time or with community assets, the court can order sanctions that include paying the other party’s attorney’s fees;

3) If the other party agrees to pay your attorney’s fees.

Most of the time, each party will pay their own costs, but if there is a big disparagence in incomes or access to money, the court can order otherwise.

Good luck.

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC
623.218.1000
480.636.1333

 

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