Our New Jersey divorce attorneys for men often hear from our clients that their ex has complained to them about their attorney’s high fees. Often the other party blames our client for the family law case and the expenses that come with it. In some cases she has even threatened to make him pay her legal fees! So, does your ex have a right to ask you to pay their attorney’s fees? What can you do to prevent such a costly situation?
When Can One Spouse Be Reimbursed?
Courts throughout the U.S. all abide by the same law regarding attorney’s fees. The “American Rule” states that opposing parties in a legal case must pay their own attorneys’ fees regardless of the outcome of the case. For example, if you are awarded custody because your co-parent has displayed neglectful behaviors, you will still have to pay your own fees even though it may seem that your ex’s poor behavior is the reason for the custody case.
New Jersey divorce lawyers aren’t often concerned about their client being forced to pay the other party’s fees. This is because there are very limited situations where one spouse can ask the other to reimburse them. Usually there must be a significant discrepancy in the incomes or economic standing of the parties. If bad faith is involved (one spouse drains the joint account to prevent the other spouse from having funds to pay an attorney), a judge may order the spouse who acted in bad faith to pay for both attorneys’ fees.
Both Parties Can Avoid High Attorneys’ Fees
If you and your ex are both concerned about having to pay thousands to an attorney during your divorce or custody case, you may want to consider working together to make the process less expensive. This is a much more attainable goal than asking the court to make your ex pay your attorney’s fees.
During a divorce, both parties can save money by utilizing a negotiation process to address points of contention. Divorce lawyers for men in New Jersey almost always recommend this process to their clients as a first step. You should also consider an E-divorce if you get along well enough with your ex and you are both willing to compromise. You may both be able to walk away from divorce negotiations with your top needs met – and a smaller bill to pay.
When it comes to custody, parents who are seeking a formal arrangement are also free to negotiate those terms through their New Jersey family lawyers. New Jersey divorce attorneys often encourage divorcing dads to come to an agreement on custody outside of court, even if they can’t agree on the division of their assets. Any cooperation will decrease the hours your attorney puts into your case, which will decrease the total of your final bill.
Divorce Lawyers For Men in New Jersey
Our men’s divorce lawyers in New Jersey are committed to helping you achieve equity in your divorce or custody case, whether that means splitting things 50/50 or coming up with another fair solution. When your spouse or co-parent is threatening to make you reimburse them for legal fees, contact our attorneys to ensure this matter is settled appropriately.