White Plains, New York Divorce Lawyers Explain the Answer
At the law firm of Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP, located in White Plains,
New York, the county seat of Westchester County, one of the most common
questions asked by our clients is whether they will have to pay for the
fees of their spouse's lawyer. However, as each
divorce matter is different there is no "one size fits all" answer.
It will always depend on the facts and circumstances of each divorce case.
New York Domestic Relations Law Section 237(a) (Applicable to Westchester
New York Domestic Relations Law Section 237 provides that in any divorce
case the Court may direct one spouse to pay counsel
fees directly to the attorney of the other spouse to enable the other party
to carry on or defend the action or proceeding as, in the court's
discretion, justice requires,
having regard to the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties.
The purpose of this law is to prevent the spouse with more money from using
their superior financial resources as a sword against the other spouse
to the point where it weakens or destroys the other spouse from being
able to adequately litigate their position in court.
Domestic Relations Law Section 237(a) also makes it crystal clear that
there is a
rebuttable presumption that counsel fees shall be awarded to the less monied, or non-monied spouse.
This means that if your spouse makes less money than you do then it will
be presumed that you will have to pay for spouse's counsel fees. However,
the law also makes it crystal clear you may rebut this presumption. In
this regard, the court will have to consider your actual ability to pay
and the extent of legal services required to deal with the divorce case.
White Plains Divorce Lawyers and Paying for your spouse's lawyer fees
Whether you are considering filing for a divorce in Westchester County
or a divorce has already been filed, the White Plains divorce lawyers
at our firm can effectively assist you with a proper analysis as to whether
the Court may order you to pay for your spouse's lawyer fees. As a
result of the "rebuttable presumption" a fair amount of litigation
over this issue always exists in Westchester County divorce cases. The
White Plains divorce lawyers at our firm have a vast amount of experience
in this area and we encourage you to call us at (914) 840-5104 or contact us
online for a