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Who Pays Attorney Fees in a Divorce?

The general rule is that each party pays their own legal fees in a divorce.  This is primarily based on the notion that the parties will equally divide the assets and debts of the marriage, thus leaving them both with similar financial resources.  In collaborative law cases, this is one of the consideration which is discussed and ultimately agreed upon by the parties and the attorneys attempt to divide the workload. In general, a judge has tremendous discretion in awarding attorneys' fees.  They are generally awarded when one party is unnecessarily increasing the legal costs for both parties.  The statute regarding attorney fees mandates that the judge's decision be based on the financial resources of  both parties.  

KRS 403.220 states: Costs of action and attorney's fees. The court from time to time after considering the financial resources of both parties may order a party to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this chapter and for attorney's fees, including sums for legal services rendered and costs incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding or after entry of judgment. The court may order that the amount be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in his name.

  If you need an attorney for divorce, custody or collaborative law, contact Michael Bouldin in Northern Kentucky at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.

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