Can my x-husband against whom I filed for divorce pay for any part of my bill to my attorney without my permission and knowledge?

My x paid for my legal bill to my attorney without my knowledge and permission and then my attorney sent me the remainder of the bill balance ($500) to me, which has not been paid yet by me. What are the legal implications re my attorney for accepting pmnt and can the divorce agreement be null & void as a result. I found out about this after my relative disclosed to me that my x, while talking to her revealed what he did. Please advise what steps I should take at this point and thank you for any reply in this matter.

Asked on May 31, 2009 under Family Law, New Jersey


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible that your divorce agreement is voidable -- not absolutely void.  It will be up to you to try and have it set aside, based on what your attorney did.  By accepting payment from your ex-husband, without your "informed consent," it appears that, based on the facts you have given, that your lawyer violated the ethics rules, specifically RPC 1.8(f)(1).  This alone would make a full review of your agreement and the file appropriate, to ensure that the agreemenit is fair -- or, if not, whether it is worth moving to have it vacated.

You do need a new lawyer here,  and one place to look for attorneys is our website,

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.