Who by law has to pay for total costs of a civil union dissolution?

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Who by law has to pay for total costs of a civil union dissolution?

My ex-partner and I entered into a civil union 3 years ago. Then, this past month my ex-partner sent me “dissolution of civil union” papers to sign through a lawyer. I never agreed on paper to pay half of the $800.00 fee, can she take me to court for this payment?

Asked on November 25, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that things have not worked out for you and your partner.  Dissolving a civil union is like dissolving a divorce.  The court will also decide the ancillary issues involved like equitable distribution of property.  So if the same laws apply to dissolution of a civil union as they do to dissolution of a marriage, then so do the same rules for payment of your attorney.  And if you did not retain the attorney to dissolve the civil union - you signed no paperwork hiring him or agreeing to a fee, correct?  - then the bill is not yours at this point in time unless a Judge rules otherwise.  The courts can ask one party to pay the legal fees of another in a divorce or even to split the fees but that determination is made on a case by case basis.  Good luck to you.


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