Is there any way to begin the divorce process so that the lawyer fees will be billed to the spouse?

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Is there any way to begin the divorce process so that the lawyer fees will be billed to the spouse?

I am getting divorced and do not want to go the uncontested route because he lied to me and cheated on me for years. I don’t want much out of it but continued health insurance, a percentage of his 401k and stocks since my income went towards both of those being capable of existence and for the lawyer fees to be covered. I am selling our rings to cover some costs but they are worth at most $3000. But since I was no where near at fault for any of this and was a faithful spouse one, I don’t want all of this costing me a fortune when it was never what I wanted.

Asked on August 10, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  I can tell that the matter is very upsetting to you and rightly so.  But I have to caution you here that you need to try and think with your head rather than your heart. The courts do not consider the "fault" of the parties in deciding the issue of attorneys fees.  Pennsylvania family court judges can indeed order one spouse to pay the other spouse's attorneys' fees. But the basis for such a ruling is a substantial difference in the income or property that each party has available for their use when they go to hire an attorney in their divorce.  And please, do not sell the rings yet.  They are marital assets and selling them would be considered dissipating assets and could be held against you.  Please seek consultation.  Good luck.


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