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Can I get my spouse to pay for my attorneys’ fees?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Family Law |

Provided by Arthur S. Kallow:

At the beginning stages of divorce, we must navigate the emotions that come with the end of a marriage. This is worth mourning, even if it is amicable or if you are the party who chose to move forward with the process. Those who chose to get married believed, at one time, that this individual was the one who would be their partner through life. The decision to end that partnership is never a light one.

Although the emotional aspect is important it is also vital to take the logistics into account. Divorce is a legal process. A process that generally requires the two parties split their assets and, if children are present, put together a parenting plan and child support agreement. Navigating this legal process is no easy matter and a single misstep can mean that you may not get your fair share after the divorce.

Those who are considering legal counsel may have concerns about the cost. Attorneys are not cheap, but the cost of moving forward without representation can be even more expensive. These concerns are especially pronounced when one party to the divorce has finances to get legal counsel and the other does not, especially if the party with significant assets is concealing them.

Thankfully, there are options for those who find themselves in this situation. It seems unfair for one party to have funds to hire an attorney and leave the other on their own. Our legal system generally agrees and often provides the opportunity for the party without funds to have the party with significant means cover the cost of the other party’s legal representation.

Is it really possible to have my ex cover my legal fees for the divorce?

The answer and details vary depending on the facts of the case and the state. In Illinois, state law allows the court to order one party to pay for the other’s attorneys’ fees and costs. The court will generally need evidence to help establish that such an order is warranted. Examples can include an affidavit with an explanation of the facts that support this request. This is generally most successful if the facts show that it would be in line with public policy to grant the order.

I see that the law allows it but does it every actually happen?

Yes. In a recent example a father of a young boy was able to fight for his ex to cover attorneys’ fees and costs from the divorce. The father was able to show that he did not have much income and that the mother was wealthy. Upon review of the evidence, the court agreed with the father and ordered the wealthy mother to cover the attorneys’ fees and costs from the divorce. Attorney Jeffery M. Leving, who represented the father in the case, explained that this was an example of how a great father was able to achieve justice.

This is just one of many examples of how the system can help those who do not have the finances to pay for counsel during their divorce. Those who find themselves in a similar situation are wise to reach out to an experienced family law attorney to discuss this and other options.

Arthur S Kallow is an attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd.

Jeffery M. Leving is the founder and president of the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd., and co-authored the first real Illinois joint custody law and other laws. In addition to “How to Be a Good Divorced Dad,” he is the author of “Fathers’ Rights” and “Divorce Wars.” To learn more about Jeffery M. Leving and his latest court victories, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and view his videos on YouTube.