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Will I have to pay for my wife's legal fees after our divorce?

Seattle, WA |

I'm in a contentious divorce that might go to trial. There are allegations against me of domestic violence and alcohol abuse. She makes $65k; I make $53k. I'm paying $518/mo child support. I filed for divorce after she obtained a year-long protection order against me based on false allegations. I have reason to believe her attorney has told her that I will be ordered to pay her legal fees. Is that likely?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If you without legal bases drag the case out more than necessary, the court can order you to pay some or all of her attorney's fees.

    Generally, if the case proceeds as other cases would, the party with less resources likely would not be paying attorney's fees for the party with more resources. In fact, given that you make less money, there may be some argument that she should be contributing toward some attorney's fees for you.

    What you should do is review the specific facts with your attorney to see what legal options you may have.


  2. There are to basis upon a court may order you to contribute to paying her attorneys fees: 1) her need and your ability to pay, and 2) Intransigence, which is an intentional act on your part to delay the proceedings or follow court rules, thereby causing delay..

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

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