The financial settlement or judgment in your divorce may include spousal support, child support and equitable distribution of your marital assets. There is another avenue to obtain financial assistance from your spouse. It is possible to agree or to have the court order that your spouse will pay part or all of your attorney’s fees. In a situation where you earn much less than your spouse or if you are an at-home parent, you may not have the resources to retain the same level of legal counsel as your spouse. New Jersey law allows the judge to order your spouse to pay some or all of your legal fees so that you can have adequate representation.
There are no formulas used to set payment of attorney’s fees, however there are factors the court considers. These include:
- The need of the spouse requesting payment
- The ability of the other spouse to pay attorney’s fees
- The equitable distribution of the marital assets among the spouses (how much each is getting)
- The behavior of the spouses to each other (for example, a spouse who cheated or who was abusive might be expected to pay more than one who did not) and during the court proceedings
The court does not blindly order a spouse to pay all of the other spouse’s legal fees. The court evaluates the legal fees that have been billed for fairness and considers if they are within the customary or normal range for a case of the same type of complexity.
At DeTorres & DeGeorge, we understand your financial needs and the strain of divorce are ready to file an application for your spouse to pay your legal fees in Annandale, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Call us at 908-284-6005 to schedule a convenient appointment.