Steven Fernandez |

Complex Divorce, Debts, Divorce Process

Attorney’s Fees: Who Pays for Them?Divorce can be expensive, this we all know. It can also be affordable under certain circumstances. Every divorce is different and will require more or less time or efforts dependent on how complex it is.

Issues that can increase the complexity of a divorce are number of children involved, custody disputes, business ownership, significant assets or an overall high net-worth.

In these cases, it can be well worth the investment to hire a skilled family law attorney to ensure you walk away from the divorce with the outcome you want and deserve.

However, paying for a skilled attorney may be a challenge for some, especially if they were a stay at home mother or spouse or otherwise have little financial resources independent of their spouse. This is a common position to be in and so sometimes attorney’s fees are awarded to the financially dependent spouse, in certain circumstances.

You may also qualify for a fee waiver from the court to waive the filing fee for the divorce itself, if you are the petitioner, but this is income dependent. Generally, attorney’s fees will not be awarded unless it is clear the spouse with less financial resources would be at a great disadvantage in court without attorney representation. Having a complex divorce can warrant such an award of fees.

Awarding attorney’s fees is one way the court can make sure neither spouse can be taken advantage of because lack of representation. If you feel you would be at a disadvantage without representation, you or your attorney, if you’ve already retained one, can request the opposing party pay your attorneys fees. You can request fees be paid by your spouse either during proceedings or after the divorce is finalized.

There are several factors the courts will consider in either granting or rejecting your request for fees. The court will consider the access to funds each party has, the ability of the spouse to pay for the attorney’s fees, whether representation is necessary, how much of a disadvantage one spouse would be without representation and in general, how reasonable and necessary the requested amount is. It is important to note that attorney’s fees are not awarded in every case and rarely are they awarded in full so make sure you have backup financial resources available in case you aren’t awarded attorney’s fees.

If you have questions about paying for a divorce attorney and are in the Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades or Beverley Hills area, family law attorney Mark H. Karney can provide expert and efficient legal counsel. As a Certified Family Law Specialist, Los Angeles family law attorney Mark H. Karney can advise you on how to request attorney’s fees for your divorce. Call our Los Angeles office today at (310) 393-0236; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.

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