I have been with my husband for 20 years, married for 15. He has been financially caring for me since I was 14 years old. I didn’t finish school or get a degree. I became a stay at home mother and helped him persue his very successful career. he has always handled all the money and bills. He has never given me cash just a debit card to keep track of my spending. After 19 years of mental and emotional abuse, I want a divorce. Since I have never been able to save money, can I get him to pay my attorney fees? I know he will end up fighting me long and hard. He was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder and discharged from the military 15 years ago and has only gotten worse. He has threatened to leave me with zero and out of fear I have prolonged filing. Is there a way?
You can ask but you are not really asking for him to pay your fees but asking for the court to allow the community estate to help you pay some attorney fees. You need to get a case filed and get temporary orders. Houston requires mediation unless it is waived because of family violence. You can use joint credit and/or sell property to raise legal funds.
Thomas J. Baker of Baker & Tisdale PLLC principally practices in the Central Texas area, including Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, McLennan, Milam and Williamson counties. The advice given here is not and ahould not be taken as a substitute for in-personal consultation with counsel, particularly where legal documents, such as court orders need to be reviewed. I am Board-Certified in Family Law but not in any other areas of practice.
In your divorce filing, you may ask for interim spousal support and interim attorneys' fees to be paid to you from the community estate. It's been my experience that the judges do not object at all to this. After all, if he's controlling it, he ought to have to use it to benefit you as he's benefitting himself.
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation.
You can request it if indeed you need court intervention. But strongly advise that you seek help from a family law attorney.
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