Can I file for divorce and have the cost of everything charged to my ex husband? I can't afford to file on my own, which sucks.

Asked over 2 years ago - Farmington, MN

I

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael J Corbin

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Maybe. There are two ways to accomplish this. First, you can apply to the court for "in forma pauperis" status - which means that you are claiming that you are unable to afford the filing fees, etc. This will not, however, get you an attorney. There are no legal aid or public defenders for divorces. You will also have a hard time finding a pro bono attorney. Second, you can ask the court, via a motion after you've initiated your divorce, for an order requiring your husband to pay your litigation costs. This is rarely granted since (a) he hasn't done anything legally wrong for which he should be punished by paying your costs, (b) you will have to prove that you are unable, through no fault of your own, to pay your own costs, and (c) that your husband has the money available to pay your costs. Clearly, if you are seeking things like child support, spousal maintenance, and the like, the odds of him having even more money to pay for your attorney is remote.

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  2. Benjamin Josef Colburn

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you have meager financial resources, you may qualify to get the filing fee(s) waived by the court if you complete an application for In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") status. If you are granted this status by the court, you will not have to pay any filing fees to get the court to accept your documents.

    You may also ask the court to order your not yet ex husband to pay for your attorney fees and costs, though one should not count on the court to order this.

    Obtaining a divorce is theoretically possible to do without an attorney, as the forms (and instructions) are available online through the Minnesota Judicial Branch website. However, depending on the level of conflict in your case and the presence of difficult issues (disputes as to custody & parenting time are the most complicated), your ability to function well as your own attorney is debatable.

    Most attorneys do offer a free initial consultation, which I would recommend you seek, whether or not you have the money available to retain an attorney. During this consultation, you will discuss the divorce process, timing, and potential costs of the case. Do yourself a favor and seek further information before starting a case on your own. In all but the most simple divorces, I strong recommend that people find a way to hire an attorney. As the analogy goes, if you needed surgery, you would not do the operation yourself. Same logic applies to legal proceedings.

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  3. Peggy Margaret Raddatz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You will have to either pay the filing fees or apply to sue as a poor person. Go to the local courthouse and ask how to do that or look online on the local courthouse website. As to service you will probably have to pay that cost of your local sheriff serving him. The rest of the case will then be the issue. You can try to apply for legal aid services or ask the divorce court to have your husband pay your attorney's fees. Some lawyers will take your case with a retainer or payments on a retainer and ask for the rest of the fees from your spouse. The first thing you need to do is at least consult with a local divorce attorney.

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Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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