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How will I pay for my divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Divorce

There are many issues to address in divorce from child support and child custody to division of assets and alimony. But divorce also comes with expenses such as legal fees. Depending on the circumstances, courts may order your estranged spouse to pay for your legal fees.

Courts may order spouse to pay attorney fees for ex

In New Jersey, a spouse may be required to pay divorce fees for the other spouse. Under state law, statute Rule 5: 3-5, a New Jersey family court may order a person to pay legal expenses for the other party when the financial conditions of those involved make it “reasonable and just.”

In making their decisions, courts review the financial capabilities of each party, the fees they incur and a person’s ability to pay these fees. The courts simply do not want a case determined because of a spouse’s financial disadvantage. Fairness plays a big factor in courts doing so.

Fees that may be incurred during divorce could include:

  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court document filing fees
  • Experts for assessing property valuation
  • Business valuation experts when a family business is involved

Additionally, spouses may sell off marital assets as ordered by the court if needed to pay for divorce costs. This could include the family home or other marital property such as vacation homes.

Other payment options

Here are some other ways to consider when paying for a divorce:

  • Credit cards: Most law firms accept credit cards.
  • Bank accounts: Money from your savings or checking accounts may be used. In some cases, you may tap into money from joint accounts.
  • Loans from friends or relatives: People close to you understand your challenges. You may have helped them out in the past. Now, they may want to return the favor.
  • Retirement accounts: This should be a last resort as this money is intended for your retirement. However, a divorce represents one of the only times you may remove money early from an IRA or 401(k) and not have to worry about paying a 10% withdrawal penalty.

Your attorney may agree to bill you monthly to spread out payments.

The pending divorce and figuring out how to pay for it represent a one-two punch that hits you emotionally and financially. But you can find solutions. You have options.