Determining Who Pays the Lawyers for Divorce

Paying the lawyers for divorce can be a financial hardship for many. Going through a divorce has its share of stress on your finances. You may be wondering if there is any way you can get your former spouse to pay for attorney fees instead of having to pay for them yourself. Of course, your former spouse may tell you there is no way he or she is covering the bills. But, what does the law say?

Here’s what you can expect when it comes to the payment for lawyers for divorce:

  • In uncontested divorces, the fees will certainly be lower and more affordable. However, a contested divorce often requires multiple court appearances from your attorney and time-consuming attorney preparation.
  • While both parties should pay for his or her own attorney fees, if one spouse does not have the funds available there may be ways around this.
  • If one spouse earns a lot more than the other spouse, it is unjust for the wealthy spouse to pay for the best attorney, while the other spouse can’t afford one. In some cases, there can be a court order for the wealthier spouse to pay for the litigation costs and attorney fees.
  • A judge might order the liquidation of marital assets to pay for legal expenses that a spouse cannot afford.
  • A cheating spouse isn’t required to pay the fees for the wronged spouse. However, if the cheating spouse drags out the divorce proceedings by being uncooperative or filing unnecessary motions, some courts may order he pay the legal fees.

Georgia Law: Court Considers the Financial Situation of Each Party

In the state of Georgia, it is typical for each party to pay for his or her own attorney’s fees. In cases where there is a spouse who doesn’t have access to the marital assets, there is protection in place.

For example, if all of the marital bank accounts are in the husband’s name, and the wife is unable to make withdrawals or sign checks; so, she would be unable to pay for an attorney. In this situation, the wife could make a motion for attorney’s fees. She would then be able to utilize the martial accounts to pay for the proper representation in the court.

According to the state of Georgia, the grant of attorney’s fees should be within the sound discretion of the court as long as the court considers the financial situations of each party. Attorney fees can be awarded in a lump sum when divorce proceedings are finalized. Or, they can be awarded at a hearing. If the spouse with the assets does not comply, the order can be enforced by an action for contempt. Not a wise move, so this order is typically more than enough for the spouse to comply.

Worried about Paying for Your Divorce?

You may have options to help pay for your divorce if you do not have the funds to pay yourself. It is important to talk to a family law attorney to learn what those options are so you can move forward.

The team at Reeder Law Firm is here to help you during this time. Call (770) 504-4747 to contact us today to get a free consultation and learn more about your options regarding how to pay the lawyers for divorce.