Can I Make My Spouse Pay My Divorce Attorney’s Fees?
Getting divorced is not only a stressful and adversarial process but also a costly one. If you decide to hire a divorce attorney to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible, you may wonder whether you can make your spouse pay your attorney’s fees.
Under Florida law, attorney’s fees can be awarded in a divorce settlement. Thus, if you are hesitant to hire an Orlando divorce attorney simply because you cannot afford the cost of legal representation, you could get your spouse to cover your legal and attorney’s fees.
How much will a divorce attorney cost?
If you are going through a divorce in Florida, it is advised to consult with a skilled divorce attorney to protect your legal rights and interests. Your family lawyer will assist you with preparing and filing divorce paperwork and help you reach a fair divorce settlement.
How much it would cost to hire a divorce attorney depends on how much time and effort is required to finalize your divorce case. Thus, if you and your spouse can agree on all aspects of your divorce, including alimony and property division, attorney’s fees may not cost you much.
However, if your divorce involves several disputed issues, your attorney will have to invest more time and effort in helping you reach an agreement. As a rule of thumb, the more contentious the divorce case, the more your attorney will charge you.
Fortunately, however, Florida law allows spouses to make their spouse pay their divorce attorney’s fees.
When can you make your spouse pay your divorce attorney’s fees?
Under Section 61.16, Florida Statutes, attorney’s fees can be awarded in your divorce settlement or order. You can get your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to pay your divorce attorney’s fees when any of the following is true:
- Your spouse earns considerably more income than you;
- Your divorce attorney defends you against allegations made by your spouse;
- You hired an attorney to enforce an existing court order (e.g., when your spouse is not paying child support);
- Your spouse files frivolous or trivial motions to delay the divorce process or to intimidate you; and
- Your divorce case involves accusations of domestic violence.
However, if you want to make your spouse pay for attorney’s fees, you will have to address this when filing for divorce. This can be done when filing a petition for divorce or when responding to your spouse’s divorce filing.
You can get your spouse to pay attorney’s fees in divorce cases, child custody cases, enforcement cases, and other matters related to family law. In most cases, courts require attorney’s fees to be reasonable for the circumstances
Consult with your attorney to discuss your particular case and determine how you can make your spouse pay for court, legal, and attorney’s fees. Our Orlando family lawyer at Arwani Law Firm will help you determine whether you can get your attorney’s fees included as part of the divorce settlement. Call at 407-254-0060 to schedule a free consultation.