Sometimes your spouse may be ordered to pay interim attorneys’ fees and costs during the divorce process. A court may order that reasonable fees and costs already incurred or to be incurred will be awarded based on a number of considerations:
- the income of each party to the divorce
- the needs of each party
- the earning capacity of each party
- the age and physical and emotional health
- the complexity involved in the issues
- how much has been paid or will be paid by the other party
- any other relevant factors
The court will award an amount that allows the petitioning party the opportunity to participate adequately during the litigation, when otherwise they may have not been able to afford legal representation. An interim award is looked at as a temporary measure to get parties through the dissolution process on a level playing ground.
Although the petitioning party may lack sufficient access to income or assets to pay their own attorney fees at any stage of the divorce, they may be able to pay their own fees once the divorce is settled and property has been divided. If an interim award results in a payment exceeding what is fair to both parties, there may be an offset in the final allocation of marital assets and debt.
If you are considering divorce but are concerned about affording legal representation, perhaps because your spouse has access to more financial resources, it is important to discuss your concerns with your attorney. He or she will explore options with you so that you can have the benefit of legal representation in your case. Contact the family law offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for help today at 847-680-4970.