One of the concerns that comes up with respect to a spouse that is not employed and works primarily in the home and takes care of the children is in the case of a divorce, whether or not that spouse commenced the divorce, or the other spouse commences the divorce, how do I pay for my counsel fees?

The answer is that we can make an application to the court to request that your spouse actually pays your legal fees in the divorce. There are statutes and case laws that provide for what is referred to as the non-monied spouse to obtain counsel fees from the more successful monied spouse. This statute sets forth certain provisions that have to be identified in the motion. A statement of net worth must be included so that the court can see the financial circumstances of the parties, and the court has the discretion to award what it feels is appropriate. In some cases, the court will award exactly what is asked for, but what must be kept in mind at all times is that the parties, particularly the non-monied spouse, is entitled to be on a level playing field with the monied spouse so she can – or he – can have the attorney of their choice and not worry that they can’t afford to get through the proceeding.

One of the most important things to make sure of in a divorce is that both parties are accurately and fairly represented in their case and that one spouse does not have a significantly better attorney than the other spouse due to financial circumstances. If you and your spouse are planning to get a divorce, it is valuable to seek experienced legal counsel to help you with your case.

If you are in need of legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm and we will be happy to assist you in your family and criminal law matters.