My husband does not work and we are divorcing after 8 years of marriage. We have around $150K that is subject to equitable distribution. Around $25K has been spent in attorney fees already. And we do not have attorneys anymore and are self-representing to avoid further legal costs. What is the appropriate way to handle these $25K spent on attorney fees? Thank you
Family Law Attorney
Each party owes attorney's fees based on the number of hours spent by his/her lawyer and the hourly rate set forth in his/her retainer agreement with his/her lawyer. Assuming that you and your husband fairly resolve all other issues, and assuming that your attorney's fees and his attorney's fees are substantially equal, it would be fair for both parties' attorney's fees to be paid out of the $150,000 before 50/50 division of the balance. You didn't indicate whether or not you are working, and if workiing, what you earn. Typically in a divorce case where one party is working and the other is not, the Court orders the working party to pay some or all of the attorney's fees of the other, in a certain amount, payable in a reasonably affordable manner on a monthly basis. However, in many divorce cases, where the parties end up owing monies to their respective lawyers and they have liquid or liquefiable assets sufficient to pay the outstanding attorney's fees, they stipulate to payment of equal amounts of attorney's fees to each lawyer.
Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.