Is My Spouse Required to Pay My Legal Fees if I Can’t Afford Them?

Is My Spouse Required to Pay My Legal Fees if I Can’t Afford Them?


Sometimes when a couple goes through divorce, one partner is able to independently afford council, while the other is not. Domestic relations law, Section 237, authorizes the court to award counsel fees from what we call the “monied” spouse to the “non-monied” spouse. This is put in place to, as the case law says, level the playing field between partners. Having this law ensures both parties are benefiting from experienced counsel throughout their divorce or separation process. However, it’s not a mandate. Depending upon the facts and circumstances presented to the court at any particular time, the award may occur, may not occur, or may not occur to the degree necessary. It all depends. As a general rule, the court is inclined to make those kinds of awards so both parties can have equal representation at the time of divorce.

Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.

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