If you are considering divorce and you have fewer financial resources than your spouse, you may wonder how attorney’s fees will be handled. When incomes are miles apart, many question whether a spouse will have to pay some or all of the other’s fees to create more of a level playing field.
This situation is especially prevalent among families where one spouse worked part time or stayed home to raise the children, while the other pursued a paid career. The lower earning spouse is often concerned they will not be able to afford legal representation in their divorce, making the lower earning spouse legally vulnerable to the spouse who can afford a more experienced divorce attorney.
Fortunately, courts will consider requests for attorney’s fees when one spouse has more income than the other to ensure that both parties have access to competent legal representation. Courts can assess each parties incomes, assets, needs and their respective abilities to pay for legal representation and may order reasonably necessary fees and costs if a couple’s financial means are indeed lopsided.
However, it is important to know going in that requests for attorney’s fees are often highly contested. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can advocate for your position. Your attorney will ensure that the appropriate forms are filed with the court along with supporting and factual declarations from the requesting spouse and a general estimate of what fees and costs are necessary to bring your case to conclusion. If there is a demonstrated ‘need’ and the other spouse has the ‘ability’ to pay for some or all of the attorney’s fees, the court will likely order attorney fees and costs to be paid by the higher earning spouse.
Experience and legal expertise count when trying to win attorney’s fees in a divorce. When you are considering divorce and have questions regarding payment of attorney’s fees, property division, child support or custody, contact Libertyville divorce lawyer Ronald L. Bell & Associates at 847-495-6000 for immediate assistance today.