Who Pays Attorney Fees In Divorce?


Who Pays Attorney Fees In Divorce?

Gavel with coins and wooden cutoutsFor many people considering filing for divorce, or for those who have already filed for divorce, the financial costs can be a significant concern. Oftentimes people who are anticipating a divorce, have questions as to who pays attorneys fees in the divorce and how the costs are handled.

Family law matters are very fact sensitive. Every family dynamic is unique, and there is not one solution that applies to all families. However, there are some general tips that will be helpful to people who have questions concerning who pays attorneys fees in divorce.

Do I have to pay for a divorce?

Generally, divorcing spouses in New Jersey are equally entitled to utilize marital assets during the pending divorce matter. Routinely courts will compel both parties to access joint assets to pay for the divorce if the parties are not able to do so from income.  Sometimes people take a loan against retirement assets or take a home equity line of credit against their property.

Routinely, one spouse will ask the court to compel the other spouse to pay for the divorce. When asked to do so, the court will evaluate whether one party should have a financial responsibility to pay the cost of the divorce for the other party. In those situations the court will consider whether or not either party acted in bad faith, the financial situation of both parties, including their earned income, and their ability to earn income, as well as their access to funds. 

Sometimes one person is directed to advance the costs with the intention that the party will be reimbursed at the end, perhaps from the sale of the home. Sometimes one party is compelled to pay the costs for the other party based on that person’s actions. The divorce process can be frustrating to people divorcing. If one or both parties is unwilling to have a dialogue and compromise with each other to reach a settlement, the case could drag on, and the costs could be excessive. If parties are unable to reach a settlement, and the case proceeds to trial, the costs would be significantly more than if the parties reached a settlement. 

Who pays for divorce mediation?

Sometimes people decide to utilize a mediator in an effort to control the costs of divorce. Generally, people share the costs of mediation equally. Again, this is also a situation where parties may access joint assets, such as the equity in their assets to fund the cost of mediation if need be.

At times people choose to represent themselves or pursue a company that promotes itself as being able to obtain a divorce for one flat fee. While this may seem cost-effective at first, it will likely turn out to be a more costly endeavor in the long run. Make sure that you know your rights, and communicate with a family law practitioner who can advise you and answer all of your questions, including who pays attorneys fees in a divorce.

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge, our family law experts have earned a reputation of effectively advocating for our clients and guiding them in all family law matters. If you have questions and want to know who pays attorneys fees in a divorce, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will ensure that all of your questions are answered. We are here to help you.


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