Who Pays For Divorce Attorney Fees?
When divorced, it can be a financial burden to pay for legal fees. However, you don’t have to worry about who pays for your divorce attorney fees if you can qualify under a few specific circumstances.
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– You Are a Dependent Spouse
In North Carolina, the courts may award legal fees to a spouse who qualifies as a “dependent” spouse in order to level the playing field during a divorce. A dependent spouse can qualify if they qualify for alimony or other post-separation support, if the supporting spouse’s name is not removed from all shared accounts after the divorce, or if the spouse has changed their direct deposit to a separate account.
– Your Case is “at Fault”
If one spouse was primarily responsible for the breakdown of your marriage, you can ask the court to require them to pay all or some of your divorce attorney fees. Depending on your situation, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
– You Have Not Shown Good Faith and/or Has Behaved Badly
In determining who will pay for divorce attorney fees, the court considers many factors. For example, the more affluent spouse can complicate matters by hiding assets and failing to provide financial documents. They may also engage in frivolous motions or false allegations against the other spouse. They might also engage in actions that waste time and increase the costs of litigation.
– You Are Not Eligible for a Full Award of Counsel Fees
When you hire a lawyer to represent you in a divorce, you will need to make what’s called a retainer fee. This is an amount of money that the Firm you hire will put in a third-party bank account to hold until your case is finished. The money you pay to the Firm is a down payment toward any legal expenses they will incur in representing you, and it’s an important part of how lawyers earn their legal fees.
– You Need to Negotiate with Your Attorney
If you’re negotiating your divorce, the key to successful negotiations is to have a strong attorney who will negotiate on your behalf. This will help to save you time and money because your lawyer will have already done the legwork of getting to know your needs, evaluating your goals, and preparing a strategy for how to get there.
– You Need to Plan Your Budget for Divorce
When it comes to your divorce, the more you plan ahead and budget for your legal expenses, the less likely you will have to deal with debts during the divorce process. Invest in a budget and set aside funds for your legal expenses and to cover potential increases in your income during the divorce process.
– You Need to Be Flexible on Your Schedule
During your divorce, you may not be able to keep up with everything that needs to be done in the courtroom and by your attorney. In these cases, you might need to be flexible about your schedule and be willing to renegotiate your settlement agreement.