This is a question that we get asked a lot, especially by people who make less than their spouses. They are often concerned that they will not be able to afford an attorney if they have to pay for it by themselves.
The good news is that it is possible to ask the court to order your spouse to reimburse you for your attorney’s fees and court costs. Whether or not this will be successful depends on the facts surrounding your case, and it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not always possible.
Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether he or she thinks that your spouse should cover your attorney’s fees and court costs. Until that decision is made, you will need to pay for your own expenses, including your initial fee. If the judge decides to order your spouse to reimburse you, then the funds will be applied to the balance on your account or they will be returned to you when the case is complete.
Unfortunately, the court does not provide lawyers to people who can’t afford them in family law cases. Even if you feel that you cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent you during your divorce, it’s important to remember that having an experienced family law attorney representing you is a smart investment because it means ensuring that you will get a fair settlement.
Many people decide to ask a friend or relative for a loan, or use a credit card to cover their attorneys’ fees and/or court costs if they do not have the money available. When you meet with your lawyer, he or she may have a pretty good idea whether the judge will agree to order your spouse to reimburse you.