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Who pays for attorney fees for a divorce in New Jersey?

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Divorce can be tough for numerous reasons. Sometimes one spouse doesn’t want to get a divorce and oftentimes one spouse cannot afford attorney fees on their own. In today’s society, getting a divorce can be extremely expensive and it can be challenging to foot the bill on your own. However, both parties are entitled to use their shared finances to pay for divorce attorney fees. If you depend on your spouse’s income because you are not employed, the court may enforce your spouse to pay for all or some of your attorney fees. This will depend on your financial situation. If you are unable to afford the fees of a divorce attorney, a skilled Union County Divorce Attorney can help you with your situation. 

Will the court require my ex to cover my attorney fees in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, if you are the lower-earning spouse, the dependent, you can have your soon-to-be ex-spouse pay your attorney fees under New Jersey’s Alimony Reform Law. The court can require your spouse to pay for all or some of your attorney fees in certain circumstances. They may also be required to cover your retainer. A retainer is an advanced payment you must give an attorney for the work they will do before they begin working on your case. The court will determine the finances of each spouse, the number of fees that need to be covered, reasonableness during litigation, ability to pay, and any previous awards of attorney fees. One of the main factors a judge will look at is the good faith of the spouses during litigation.

What if one spouse acts in bad faith during litigation?

If one of the spouses acts in bad faith, meaning they do something like violate court orders, drain joint bank accounts, prolong the process, or make false accusations, the court may require that spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees. A judge has the right to order this during or after a divorce is finalized depending on the circumstances. If they have reasonable evidence that one spouse has shown reasonable bad faith through litigation, they have every right to require that spouse to pay for the other spouse’s attorney fees.

Ultimately, New Jersey allows individuals to pay their spouse’s attorney fees. A lack of financial access or support can force the “breadwinner” of the family to foot all or some of the retainer, court fees, and any other related fees involved in the divorce. Divorce is already a difficult legal matter, and adding financial difficulties, can be overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you through this process. You can rely on us to help you with your situation.

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Mediation Services

Our firm believes that exploring alternatives to litigation can greatly benefit our client. Our firm’s established mediation practice can help you resolve family law issues more efficiently, amicably and at a lower cost. If you are interested in knowing more about our mediation services, contact the firm to discuss your situation.

“This firm and it's team are the best out there, hands down. Robyn Ross helped me through a difficult time. Something that should have been...”

– Nestor –

“Robyn navigated me through a difficult period and explained every piece of the process in great detail along the way. I know in the end...”

– Clarissa –

“Robyn Ross handled my two cases and won both, her passion and expertise was beyond a 5-star rating. She communicated with me through both cases...”

– Abdul –

“Liz represented me throughout a long and difficult divorce process. She was a godsend. Her knowledge, compassion, dedication, and commitment are unparalleled. I can not...”

– Peter –

“The hardest part of going through a divorce or separation is the children. I’m so thankful that I had this firm represent my case. Ross...”

– Paula –

“This is a great counsel team. Very knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. They also make you feel like you are their only client, very attentive!”

– Bettyna J. –

“This firm and it's team are the best out there, hands down. Robyn Ross helped me through a difficult time. Something that should have been...”

– Nestor –

“Robyn navigated me through a difficult period and explained every piece of the process in great detail along the way. I know in the end...”

– Clarissa –

“Robyn Ross handled my two cases and won both, her passion and expertise was beyond a 5-star rating. She communicated with me through both cases...”

– Abdul –

“Liz represented me throughout a long and difficult divorce process. She was a godsend. Her knowledge, compassion, dedication, and commitment are unparalleled. I can not...”

– Peter –

“The hardest part of going through a divorce or separation is the children. I’m so thankful that I had this firm represent my case. Ross...”

– Paula –

“This is a great counsel team. Very knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. They also make you feel like you are their only client, very attentive!”

– Bettyna J. –