My husband wants to file for divorce. If he files first, does he pay the full amount, or do I have to pay half?
In most states the divorcing couple pay each for their own attorney and their own court fees. In certain cases if one spouse has limited funds, they can apply for representation from legal aide and/or petition the court to have the other party pay their legal fees. You need to discuss your options with a family lawyer especially if you both have children and/or mutual real estate.
You might find my legal guide on selecting and hiring a lawyer helpful.
You might find my legal guide on "Is it Legal? Is it Illegal?" helpful.
You might find my legal guide on the understanding the different court systems helpful.
You might find my legal guide on legal terms used in litigation helpful
(Even if you are not filing a lawsuit this information can be useful).
You might find Gabriel Cheong’s legal guide on the do and don’t of finances after a divorce helpful.
You might find my legal guide on divorce in general and in NJ helpful.
(Much of this information is valid for unmarrieds who have children together).
Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If he files for a contested divorce, he will have to pay his attorney and the filing fee to do so. You will then have to pay for your own attorney. However, either attorney may petition the Court for pendente lite alimony, which is temporary spousal support during the pendency of the litigation and may help defray the costs of that party's attorney fees. Whether this is awarded to or not will be a question of fact for the Judge, who will look at you and your spouse's relative incomes and expenses, among other factors, the most important one being need. At the end of your divorce, should you not reach a settlement as to these issues, the Court will decide if either party is awarded additional payment of their attorneys fees by the other party and will decide which party will pay for the court costs.
This is intended for educational purposes only.