Who pays divorce attorney fees?
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Who pays divorce attorney fees?

I have been a stay at home mom for 8 years. I have no income of my own. My husband left last week and has now informed me he has opened his own bank account and his salary will be going into there from now on. He stated he will "give me some spending money".

Obviously this has thrown me off, again, and I am not comfortable being at his mercy and begging him for money to live on.

If I hire a divorce attorney to file a legal separation and set up a separation agreement/support order, who pays the bill because obviously I cannot.

I feel very vulnerable and feel the need to protect myself financially right now.

Since he left he has been on about "not getting lawyers involved right now".. and "we can work this out outselves without lawyers for the time being". How convenient for him.

ps. we have a 8 yo child.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

Where I live--each person pays their own attorney fees. The person filing is responsible for the divorce legal fees re: courts, etc. You could always ask in the divorce papers for him to pay for it.

If you can't afford an attorney, call legal aide.

Oh and the BS about "not getting lawyers involved right now"-- is a joke. Don't listen to him. Protect yourself and your child cause he does NOT have your best interests if he walked outon you.

I would file for child support at minimum. You may have rights to alimony, etc. Call up a few places and find out.

Start looking for a job.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

I paid my lawyer up front--had to put it on my credit card and I'm paying it off as I can. But she is asking the judge to grant me repayment of legal fees in the divorce settlement, and because I have been a stay-at-home-mom for years (and was not responsible for the demise of the marriage due to H's affairs) she said I will get it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

OMG what a mess I find myself in.

I have access to NO money. I could take out the cash left in our joint account but we were supposed to pay bills with that.

We went through a bankruptcy last year so access to credit is pretty much non-existent. Unemployment in my area is over 13% so wish me luck in job hunting for minimum wage jobs....

I am so torn, upset, and angry with him for throwing away our marriage.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

Call up legal aide today.

Or you guys can use a mediator. It's cheaper.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

Oh and you can probably file for the child support on your own, for free. Call up your local courthouse to find out what forms you need to fill out.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

Many divorce attorneys will see you at no charge for the initial visit. Also, since you have no income and have been a SAHM for a long time, there's a good chance your husband will have to pay your legal fees. You do need to take immediate action though. The quicker you file for divorce, the sooner you can get a court order for temporary spousal/child support.

My estranged husband did the same thing. He kept telling me I would get more out of him, if we kept the attorneys out of our dispute. Well, after 12 months I got only $1,500. How generous right? The judge was much kinder!
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 827Aug View Post
You do need to take immediate action though. The quicker you file for divorce, the sooner you can get a court order for temporary spousal/child support.
Yes! This!

File for a temporary spousal/child support on your own at the courthouse. The paperwork is free (shoul dbe). Also, you can even file the divorce paperwork on your own for free. If it's uncontested--that would be ideal as there's nothing to fight over but if it's not--ugh that is where it gets annoying. Most couples do settle before the final divorce date though.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

My lawyer originally setup my divorce filing paperwork for my STBXH to pay my legal fees, which I declined. I'm sure it can be built into the filing. I know you can do a lot on your own, but I am a real supporter of getting the best legal help that you can. You need to make sure you have someone that has your back in this.

My STBXH asked on multiple occasions for me to not use lawyers, because we were both reasonable people and could work out a "fair" agreement. Men in these situations get scared of what consequences the legal system will have for them. You deserve a lot more than what he thinks is fair. Obviously! he left you with no money.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Who pays divorce attorney fees?

You can counter sue for fees. Your situation would be the most likely one to get it. As for the "bills" money, take that money and get a lawyer. Make him pay the bills. Half of his money is yours so you need to get a lawyer involved quickly. I imagine him getting a separate account before filing for divorce would make his situation problematic.
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