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Who Pays for the Divorce?

The cost of divorce is something a lot of people worry about. You already know the costs will mount as you look for a new place to live and begin paying separate bills. How will you get the money to pay the divorce attorney’s fees? Also, there are other professionals to consider such as financial advisors and therapists.

In most cases, each spouse is expected to pay his or her own legal fees and any other divorce costs. Some clients have asked if they can “make” the other spouse pay for the divorce. The answer is usually no.

There is also a myth that the person filing for the divorce pays the fees. Some people believe the person who cheated or behaved badly pays the fees. In both cases, no. Judges will not order your spouse to pay your lawyer’s rate only as a punishment.

In Cases of Alimony

However, in North Carolina, there is an instance in which your partner might be the one paying for the divorce. If you are considered a dependent spouse and will receive alimony, a judge may determine your spouse should foot the bill. You must request payment of fees prior to your alimony hearing, so check with your attorney early on about whether you have the opportunity to do this. In some of these cases, the fees awarded cover only the costs of the attorney fee for the alimony hearing, so keep that in mind.

Also note that if you have a prenuptial agreement that specifies who pays for the attorney costs, you are bound to that contract.

An Advance

If you are concerned about finding the money for the divorce costs, check with your attorney about getting an advance on your distribution. In some cases, you can request an advance on your portion of the assets to help pay for the divorce.

Questions about divorce? Schedule a consultation via chat or our contact form, or visit our monthly Second Saturday Wake County divorce workshop to talk with one of our lawyers, a therapist, and a financial advisor.


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