If you're going through the process of getting divorced, you're likely wondering how the legal fees will work. Here is what you need to know about those fees.
Expect To Pay Hourly
Since there are so many variables in a divorce case, it is possible that you will not find a divorce lawyer that will work on a flat fee basis. Expect to pay hourly for the services of a lawyer, since they will want to have all of their time accounted for. Being charged hourly does not mean that your lawyer costs will be out of control. It just means that you need to go into the divorce with the mindset to be collaborative with your spouse to keep fees down.
Know How You'll Pay For The Legal Fees
While each state handles lawyer fees during a divorce in a different way, for the most part you can expect to be responsible for your own lawyer's fees. If your spouse decides to use a lawyer, their costs will be their own responsibility. The fees can come from each individual's own income, from shared marital assets, or put onto a credit card and paid off at a later date.
Know When You'll Have To Pay Your Spouse's Legal Fees
You may run into a situation where your spouse asks the court for you to pay for their legal fees. This can happen if you are hiring a lawyer because you can afford it, and your spouse cannot afford a lawyer. The court would require you to give a cash advance for your spouse's lawyer to create an even playing field in the divorce proceedings. Your spouse may be required to give that money back to you, or the court may decide that you should pay it because of the income inequality between the two of you.
Another situation where you will have to pay for legal fees during a divorce is if you personally violate a court order. For example, if you do not pay spousal support or child support and you need to go to court to settle the matter, your previous spouse can request that you pay for the legal fees because you brought on the legal situation. In this instance, you would be required to pay those fees so that it does not cost your former spouse money to take you to court.
Contact a local divorce lawyer in your area for more information about their fees work.