Can my spouse make me pay their divorce attorney fees in New Jersey?

divorce attorney fees

Divorces are financial burdens. Between court fees and the general cost of filing a divorce attorney fees can severely overwhelm individuals. Some spouses may not be able to pay for their divorce attorney fees. In New Jersey, if you are financially disadvantaged, the court may enforce your ex-spouse to pay your divorce attorney fees. The court will only hold your spouse responsible if the circumstances are deemed reasonable. If you are unable to afford a divorce attorney, contact one of our trusted and dedicated Monmouth County Divorce Attorneys who can help you proceed with this intricate situation.

When is my spouse responsible for my divorce attorney fees in New Jersey?

The dissolution of a marriage can be extremely costly. In certain cases, a lower-earning spouse can request their higher-income spouse to pay for their divorce attorney fees. In New Jersey, the court may require your ex-spouse to pay for all or some of their attorney fees. In certain circumstances, one spouse may be unemployed and dependent on the other spouse’s income. Their job may be a “stay-at-home” parent while the other spouse is the breadwinner. If one spouse has a significant economic disadvantage the court may demand the higher-earning spouse to pay the attorney fees of the spouse with fewer means depending on other pertinent components. Determining if or how much a spouse may have to pay is assessed by:

  • the number of fees requested to be covered
  • the financial income of both spouses
  • ability to pay for counsel fees
  • if both parties acted in good or bad faith during litigation

If your circumstances deem acceptable to the court, they may demand your ex-spouse pays for a certain amount or all of your legal fees.

Will the court consider a spouse’s behavior during litigation?

An enormous factor that affects whether or not the court will require a spouse to pay for the other spouse’s divorce attorney fees is whether they acted in good faith during litigation. Meaning, if they conducted themselves honestly during court proceedings. Although if they spitefully act dishonestly, the court may merit this as reasonable cause for having them pay additional attorney fees. If they try to hide any shared marital assets, intentionally try to prolong the process, make false accusations, refuse to follow court orders, or in any way try to purposely burden the other spouse financially, they may be required by law to pay attorney fees. Divorces bring out the ugliest sides of people, but that ugly side could cost you.

If you need help understanding who can be held responsible for paying divorce attorney fees in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our skilled attorneys who can help you with your financial situation. You can rely on us to help you through this complex situation.