Often one spouse will be required by the Court to pay, in full or in part, the attorneys fees incurred by the other spouse. Whether this will be required depends on the financial circumstances of the party, and it is based on an analysis of the need of the spouse seeking fees and the ability of the other spouse to pay or contribute to the fees. The Court’s want to avoid a situation where one spouse can afford representation and the other spouse cannot.
The need and ability to pay analysis of the Court regarding the issue of attorneys fees is similar to the analysis of these issues done by the Court in the alimony context. The Court will consider the income of each party, the reasonable monthly expenses of each party, and the other financial resources available to each party (including assets awarded to each spouse in the divorce judgment).
Additionally, the Court may award a contribution to attorneys fees while the divorce action is pending, or the Court may wait and award fees at the end of the case, or the Court may provide a combination of both.
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