Who Is Responsible For Legal Fees During Divorce?
Going through a divorce puts significant emotional pressure on all parties involved. This can be greatly amplified by the financial burdens that come with divorce cases. The dollar amount involved in pursuing divorce varies. While collaborative partners may pay as little as $1,000 in legal fees, the costs of a contested divorce begin to mount quickly. The figures involved lead some to ask, who should bear the burden of attorney fees in a divorce? The answer is actually quite simple.
Who Bears the Burden?
In most divorce cases, the burden of payment falls evenly on both sides. Each part is responsible for paying for their own attorney fees. There are exceptions to this rule, but when you or your spouse file for divorce, you should always be prepared to pay for your own representation.
Under special circumstances, you may be able to petition your spouse to cover your legal fees if you are financially dependent (i.e. stay-at-home parents.) Gender is not a factor in these considerations, and stay-at-home fathers share the same rights as stay-at-home mothers.
Exceptions can also be made if your spouse has unnecessarily prolonged the duration of your case, driving up attorney costs. While the legal system seeks to balance the financial burden of divorce fairly, there are few circumstances that can exempt you from paying for your own representation. Despite popular belief, being a victim of adultery does not relieve you of the responsibility of covering your own legal fees.
When to Request Attorney Fee Coverage
If you may be eligible to have your spouse cover your attorney fees, you need to request it before entering an alimony hearing. The other party must be made aware of your intentions. This can be done in a pleading or a motion, and your attorney will guide you through the process.
Learn more about your legal fee options by visiting the Doyle Law Group, P.A.