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Paying a spouse’s attorney’s fees in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Divorce |

If you are getting a divorce in Maryland, you may be concerned about the cost. The process can be expensive, and this can be particularly true if you have to pay not just your attorney’s fees but those of your ex-spouse. While usually each person pays their own legal fees, there are situations in which one person might be required to pay the other’s.

Factors in paying legal fees

One spouse may ask for a court order that requires the other to pay legal fees. A judge may take several factors into account. For example, differences in income could be considered, particularly if one person earns all or most of the money and the other has been supportive of their career. If the other person appears to be delaying the progress of the divorce, this could also influence the judge’s decision. The reason for the divorce might be a factor. For example, if there is domestic abuse, this could lead to one person having to pay the other’s fees.


Not every divorce case goes before a judge. Going to court can result in a more expensive process, but sometimes, it is necessary to reach a settlement. However, in a more amicable split, couples might negotiate an agreement outside of court. If one person has significantly more resources than the other, that person might agree to pay the other person’s legal bills as part of the divorce settlement.


There are certain thing people can do to keep costs downs. While it is important for people to try to protect themselves financially, arguing for too long over certain pieces of property can end up costing more than the property is worth.

Talking to an attorney about the divorce and how the process of property division might proceed can help a person prepare for the expense. People should also think about the fact that maintaining two households is more expensive than one, and their costs might go up afterwards.


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