Legal fees in Divorce…who pays?

Posted over 2 years ago. Applies to Arizona, 3 helpful votes


Most often, each party will pay his or her own legal fees and expenses of a divorce. Should financial circumstances be such that one spouse has sole control of the finances, and the other has no access to funds to pay legal fees, you can request that your spouse release to you a portion of the funds to pay your legal fees during the divorce proceeding. Even if the judge declines to award you interim attorneys’ fees, the court can still reallocate the fees at the end of the divorce. If the court believes that a party has behaved improperly such as failing to obey a court order (contempt of court) or has taken patently unreasonable positions, the court can order attorney fees to be paid by the unreasonable or contemptuous spouse. The most common type of case that results in an attorneys’ fee award, however, is where there is one spouse that is the breadwinner and the other spouse is completely reliant on that spouse.

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

Divorce court

Divorce court is where the divorce process takes place. The court may determine matters like alimony, child custody, and property division.

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