Getting legal help with divorce is a necessary expense, but for many people it can be a major financial concern. The thought of spending so much money on your divorce may cause you to panic because you know it will be a significant financial hardship. You may be wondering what you can expect it all to cost. Also, you’ll want to know if you will be able to receive help from your spouse with the divorce fees and legal costs.
First things first. Take a deep breath and know that, yes, divorce is expensive. However, you can plan for the expense by knowing what to expect.
Here’s what you need to know about the financial responsibilities of getting legal help with divorce:
Court Fees in an Uncontested Divorce
In the case of an uncontested divorce, the court fees tend to be lower, but a contested divorce often requires multiple court appearances from your attorney and time-consuming attorney preparation, which costs more in legal fees.
Attorney Fees when You Divorce
While it is commonly expected for both spouses to pay for his or her own attorney fees, if you do not have the funds available there may be ways around this. For example, if your former spouse earns significantly more money than you do, the court considers it unjust for your spouse to pay for a top dollar attorney when you cannot afford one. In this case, there may be a court order for your spouse to pay for some of the court costs and divorce attorney fees.
Liquidating Marital Assets
There are also scenarios in which a judge can order the liquidation of marital assets in order to pay for legal expenses that you cannot afford.
Infidelity and Legal Fees in Divorce
If your spouse has engaged in infidelity, some courts may ask him to pay the legal fees if he drags out the divorce proceedings by filing unnecessary motions or not cooperating with the court.
Joint Bank Accounts in Divorce
If you are in a situation where you do not have access to the marital assets, the courts have protection in place for you. For example, if all of the couple’s bank accounts are in the wife’s name and the husband is unable to access funds, he would be unable to pay for legal assistance. In this case, you would be able to make a motion for attorney’s fees in order to use the marital bank accounts to pay for your divorce attorney and court costs.
In the state of Georgia, the responsibility of legal representation payment should be within the discretion of the court as long as the court considers the financial situations of each party.
If you are concerned about your financial responsibilities when going through a divorce, you may have some options available to help you. It is important to consult with a qualified divorce attorney to learn what those options are so you can move forward and get some peace of mind.
The team at Reeder Law Firm is here to help you determine your options. Call (770) 475-2521 to contact us today to get a free consultation and learn more about your options regarding how to pay when getting legal help with divorce.