If you and your spouse decide that your marriage must be terminated, you may have some financial concerns. For one, your new independence may bring a lot of financial uncertainty. You may not only struggle with covering your basic expenses after your divorce but with your attorney fees during your divorce. Follow along to find out whether you can have your spouse pay for your attorney fees and how a proficient Morris County divorce lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC, can come to your aid.
Can my spouse pay my attorney fees in the state of New Jersey?
Simply put, it is important to retain the services of a talented attorney so that you can have strong legal representation when critical divorce terms are being argued over in your proceedings, such as alimony, child support, child custody, and property division. However, if you lack financial access or support, then this may be difficult to obtain. This is why New Jersey has laws in place to combat this.
More specifically, New Jersey’s Alimony Reform law states that the courts are allowed to order one spouse to pay for the other spouse’s legal service fees, “when the respective financial circumstances of the parties make the award reasonable and just.
How do I know if I am eligible to have my attorney fees compensated?
Say, for instance, that during your marriage, you stayed home to raise your child and have zero outside income while your spouse worked and made a significant salary. Or, say that your spouse cut off your access to your joint bank accounts when you decided to terminate your marriage. Or, say that you have suffered through financial abuse from your spouse for years throughout your marriage.
Under any of these circumstances, it may be considered reasonable to request that the court order your spouse to pay some or all of your attorney fees. Essentially, this creates a level playing ground when divorce terms are argued over. Because otherwise, the economic status of your spouse would unfairly skew the outcomes in their favor.
With that being said, when you make this request to the court, they will consider several factors to make their final ruling. These factors may include the following:
- The financial status of both you and your spouse.
- The net amount of attorney fees that you are requesting to be compensated.
- The reasonableness of your request to be compensated.
- Your ability to pay for your attorney fees independently.
- Any previous awards of attorney fees you may have received.
Nonetheless, if you believe that you qualify to have your attorney fees covered by your spouse, then you pick up the phone to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Morristown family law attorney. We look forward to hearing from you.