Who Pays Attorney Fees in Divorce Texas

Divorce is emotionally intense and, with legal costs, can be very stressful.

Clients need support and clear guidance during this challenging period in their lives.

In Texas, attorney fees for divorce are paid for by each party and the petitioner covers the filing fee.

However, in community property cases, it’s possible to argue for equal division of attorney fees, ensuring both spouses have access to quality legal representation despite financial differences.

Who Pays Attorney Fees in Divorce Texas
Attorney fees in Divorce Texas. Source (Reddit)

How Does Texas Decide Who Pays The Divorce Attorney Fees?

Each party is responsible for covering its own legal costs when it comes to the division of divorce costs.

Spouses should anticipate this to be the situation in the majority of divorce cases.

Texas is a community property state, which means that upon a divorce, the marital assets gained during the marriage will be divided.

This implies that the assets of both parties may be shared between them after the divorce is finalized.

A marriage remains together until all aspects of the divorce are finished since Texas also does not recognize separation.

Who Pays Lawyer Fees For a Divorce?

In most divorce cases, each spouse pays their own legal fees, but there are exceptions:

  1. If one spouse is financially dependent, they may request the other spouse to cover their attorney’s fees.
  2. If one spouse unnecessarily prolongs the litigation, they may be required to cover additional attorney fees.
  3. If a dependent spouse’s access to shared accounts is restricted, the other spouse may be ordered to cover their legal fees.

These factors ensure fairness in divorce proceedings, irrespective of gender.

Adultery doesn’t automatically make the cheating spouse responsible for all legal fees, leaving the victim responsible for their own fees in an unwanted divorce.

Who Pays Divorce Attorney Fees Texas
Who Pays Divorce Attorney Fees Texas. Source (Indeed)

What Happens If A Spouse Can’t Afford The Legal Fees?

In divorce, if one spouse can’t afford legal fees, they can request temporary fees through a Motion of Interim Attorney Fees.

A judge examines financial factors like borrowing ability, retirement savings, accessible cash, and credit card balances to determine if one spouse should cover the other’s legal fees.

Transparency about finances is crucial for the correct legal support.

When Is The Decision For One Spouse To Pay The Divorce Fees Made?

Attorney fees are determined and settled on the final day of divorce proceedings.

Both parties present their costs, and the Judge decides how fees should be shared.

Payment for one spouse’s attorney fees, if ordered, happens after the divorce’s conclusion as reimbursement.

How Can Bad Faith Impact The Distribution Of Attorney Fees?

Apart from financial status, acting in bad faith, such as resisting mediation or hiding assets, can also result in one spouse covering the other’s attorney fees.

A Judge may view these actions as intentional disruptions, and the order can be issued during a court hearing.

How Are Attorney’s Fees Considered During The Final Settlement?

Divorce lawyer fees are determined during the final property settlement talks.

Since both spouses’ lawyer fees are considered community debt until the divorce is finalized, it’s crucial for both parties to provide clear cost reports.

Attorney fees can significantly affect community debt, so when dividing marital property, spouses should expect these fees to be deducted before distribution.