Can You Request Money for Lawyer’s Fees in a Divorce?
Most of the time, if one spouse is able to pay for an attorney but the other is not, the court will direct the spouse that earns more money to at least partially contribute money to pay for the other’s attorney’s fees. However, it behooves your spouse to agree upfront to pay you some of these funds, as it will save them both time and money.
Seeking the assistance of the judge
If your spouse will not volunteer to give you money for your attorney’s fees, your next option is to ask the judge to order your spouse to do so. Courts often see this as “leveling the playing field,” so to speak, for both spouses to ensure they have access to competent representation and that neither side has an unfair advantage in negotiations for things like child custody, child support, property division and alimony.
First, you should gather all relevant financial information you have to submit to the judge. You will need to prove you cannot afford to hire an attorney yourself. However, if you have sufficient funds in your accounts, or a credit card with a high enough limit that will allow you to hire an attorney, the judge might require you to make use of those funds before he or she orders your spouse to provide assistance. You might even be asked to take out a loan from your retirement account or another such source.
You will also need to prove your spouse is capable of assisting you with those fees. Perhaps he or she has money in bank accounts to which you do not have access or earns significantly more money than you.
To learn more about getting compensated for attorney’s fees in a divorce, work with a skilled Long Island attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.