Do I have to pay my wife’s attorney fees in a divorce?

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Do I have to pay my wife’s attorney fees in a divorce?

My wife convinced me to move away from the family, halfway across the US, to “make more money for the family’. 2 weeks later she moved her boyfriend in. They have lived together for 6 weeks now. My 13 year old lives with them, my 16 year old moved with me. She is pushing me to use mediation instead of a traditional lawyer. She states that since she lost her job 2 weeks ago I would have to pay an attorney that she might hire. Is this true? Why is she pushing for mediation? Why does she push mediation?

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Family Law, Kansas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Go hire your own attorney to help you.  Occassionally a spouse is ordered to pay the attorney's fees of the other spouse.... but usually, each spouse is ordered to pay their own expenses.  In instances where a spouse is ordered to pay, it is occurs in situations where one spouse is having to repeatedly take the other spouse to enforce compliance with an order (child support, visitation, contempt, etc.)  Basic filing of divorce suit does not usually invoke this penalty. 

As far as the mediation part goes.... your still going to have to file for divorce.  Some courts will require you to attend mediation, but they don't require it if everything can be worked out with the parties.  She is probably pushing the mediation because she wants ya'll to be equally unrepresented.  If you can afford one, hire an attorney to review all of your options.  It sounds like she's just getting warmed up to take advantage of you some more.


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