Who Pays Attorney Fees in Divorce

Who Pays Attorney Fees in Divorce

You are right to be concerned about the cost of your divorce. Couples often wonder whether they have to pay attorney fees for each other or if they can make each other pay for a lawyer. But all this depends on the circumstances of your divorce.

If the judge hearing your divorce case feels that one spouse needs to pay the other spouse’s legal fees, then the judge will order that they do just that.  It’s not unusual for a judge to order one spouse to pay all the legal fees of the other spouse.

Asking Your Spouse To Pay Attorney Fees

Can I Make My Husband Pay For My Divorce Attorney In Texas?

Who Pays Attorney Fees in DivorceYou can ask the judge in your petition for divorce to order your spouse to pay your divorce attorney fees.  The judge will not do this unless you ask.  Since you and your spouse equally own community property, it means that attorney fees are part of that community property.  The spouse who is financially stable is likely going to have to pay for the other spouse’s attorney fees.

But the court is also likely to order a spouse who acts in bad faith or displays vexatious behavior to pay the other spouse’s attorney’s fees. Some examples of vexatious behavior include:

  • Harassment: when the badly behaved spouse harasses the other spouse to annoy or distress the other spouse.
  • Delay tactics: The misbehaving spouse uses delaying tactics to draw out the divorce process in order to bankrupt the other spouse.
  • Disobeys court orders: Some spouses defy court orders, especially when the orders seem to favor the other spouse.
  • Hiding assets: Hiding assets before or after the divorce process begins can get a spouse in a lot of trouble including having to pay the attorney fees of the other spouse

Failing to comply during discovery: Spouses are expected to be honest and clear during the discovery stage of their divorce. That includes complying with requests during the discovery stage.

When Does The Judge Order A Spouse To Pay Attorney Fees?

Does The Husband Have To Pay For The Wife’s Divorce Lawyer

The judge will make a decision on who pays attorney fees at the end of the divorce. You and your spouse will have to show the court how much you spent on lawyer fees and legal expenses.  The judge will add up the amount both of you spent and will divide the amount in a just and right manner.

But the judge may order one spouse to pay for all legal expenses.  If one spouse cannot afford to pay their lawyer fees, they can file a Motion of Interim Fees.

How To Find The Right Lawyer For Your Case

There are multiple ads on TV  for lawyers that claim they can help you with your divorce. To choose the right one do the following:

  • Contact a lawyer you know because the lawyer can refer you to divorce lawyers that they know
  • Ask friends or relatives who have had a divorce for contact information for lawyers
  • You can contact the bar association in your area to put you in contact with an appropriate lawyer
  • Search the internet for experienced divorce lawyers in your area.