Who Pays Attorneys’ Fees in a New Jersey Divorce?

Divorce may be a personal decision you feel is necessary to move on with the life you want. However, it is also a legal process that can be filled with complexities and practical concerns. For many people just considering the process or ready to get started, the cost of divorce can be a major concern.

At Moskowitz Law Group, LLC, our New Jersey divorce and family law attorneys have earned a reputation for providing experienced, client-focused, and cost-efficient representation in all types of divorce cases throughout the state – including those involving complex issues. Because the financial elements of divorce are an important factor to consider, we wanted to help anyone still weighing their options understand what’s most important.

Attorneys’ Fees in a New Jersey Divorce

In most divorce cases, both parties pay the costs for their own counsel, meaning each spouse gets a lawyer to protect their rights and interests, and pays for that lawyer on their own. However, there are situations where certain circumstances may require different arrangements. For example:

  • Divorcing spouses in New Jersey are entitled to use martial funds when litigating a divorce. In fact, a court may order both parties to sell certain community property assets, such as a family home, to fund the divorce.
  • Under New Jersey law, one of the parties in a divorce can be held liable for some or all of the costs of the other’s attorneys’ fees. This can include things like filing fees, copying and postage fees, the use of experts, and other out-of-pocket expenses during the process. The court may order one spouse with significantly more assets to pay for some or all fees as a means to create a more equal playing field.
  • When making determinations about awarding attorney fees to one spouse in a divorce, the court will consider a number of individual factors, such as each spouse’s financial situation, whether they acted in good or bad faith (i.e. did they sell off assets, prolong a case, or violate orders), the nature of the fees paid, and more.
  • In some cases, the court may order one spouse to advance the other’s attorneys’ fees at the beginning of a divorce case, or may order one spouse to reimburse the other during or after a proceeding. The procedures for attorney fee awarded in New Jersey divorce cases are outlined by Court Rule 5:3-5.

Costs in Divorce Cases

There are other things to consider when it comes to costs in divorce cases, including:

  • You get what you pay for – Though expenses are a warranted concern in any legal endeavor, it is important to remember that there is value in what you pay for when you pay for an attorney. In the past, we have discussed the risks of trying to cut costs when it comes to divorce, such as when opting for a DIY divorce where the significant amount of information and laws you don’t know can compromise the outcome of your case and your future. Cutting costs too aggressively can actually cost you more in the long run.
  • You have options for controlling costs – Divorce cases can vary widely, not only because every marriage and family is unique, but also because divorcing spouses themselves have a great deal of control over controlling the trajectory of their case and related costs. For example, a willingness to openly communicate and compromise can help reach resolutions in a much more affordable means than taking a case to trial, which is not always necessary or prudent.

If you have questions about divorce, your rights and options, and how our attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC can help, our firm offers free and confidential consultations and is available 24/7! Call (201) 241-4189 or contact us online to get started.

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