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Can You Get Your Lawyer’s Fees in Divorce?

Can You Get Your Lawyer's Fees in Divorce

Most of the time, if one spouse is able to pay for an attorney but the other is not, the court may direct the spouse that earns more money to at least partially contribute money to pay for the other’s attorney’s fees. However, it’s a really good idea for your spouse to agree upfront to pay you some of these lawyer fees, as it will save both of you time and money. This is not always the case though. You should know that in divorce, it is sometimes unlikely that attorney’s fees get awarded. Every case is different, so the most important thing you can do is to talk with a divorce lawyer who can review your specific circumstances to determine which way the judge will rule in your case.

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.

How to Prepare for a Divorce Trial

Not all divorces go to trial. However, in those that do, it is important you are properly prepared for everything that could happen in the courtroom.

While every divorce has its own set of issues and circumstances to take into consideration, there are still certain steps everyone going to trial for their divorce can take to better prepare themselves. Your attorney can work with you to simplify this process and ensure you set yourself up for success in court.

These things will help you prepare for a divorce trial – first you must know what evidence to gather. Collect all the evidence you need to support your claims. This evidence includes verified income information for both you and your spouse, financial statements, tax returns, property and asset information, child’s school and medical records and anything else that you think could support your case.

You need to develop a strategy for presenting evidence. Strategy development is mostly your attorney’s responsibility, but it’s a good idea for you to be looped in, too. There are many different ways to present evidence. You have to figure out what is best left up to your testimony, what witnesses can say on your behalf and what types of physical evidence make sense to be presented in court. Make sure any evidence you submit is completely accurate and up to date. Make sure you organize your list of exhibits. You will be required to submit your witness and exhibit lists to the court. Make sure these lists are extremely well-organized and include every single document you intend to use at trial — or have your witnesses review. Make sure all exhibits are properly marked for courtroom purposes, as well. Above all, make sure you do what the judge requests that you do.

Divorce Attorney Free Consultation

If you have a question about divorce or if you need to start or defend against a divorce, call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506 for your free consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506