Can I Ask the Court to Make My Spouse Pay My Legal Bill?

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Can I Ask the Court to Make My Spouse Pay My Legal Bill?

A request for an award of attorney’s fees is incredibly common in divorce practice. In fact, most attorneys will include the request in all of their pleadings as a matter of practice, just to make sure that it is on the table. That being said, there should never be an expectation that attorney’s fees will be covered. A typical fee agreement between you and a lawyer will require you to pay your own legal bill, with any award in attorney’s fees being used to reimburse you for what has already been paid. Most judges are of the mindset that parties bear the burden of their own fees, but certain circumstances can lead to a judge ordering fees. These scenarios can include one party delaying litigation, one party having substantially more money that the other, misconduct during the marriage, or not follow court orders. The court can order a party to pay some or all of the other party’s legal fees in almost all family law cases, minus a few exceptions.