The divorce or separation process can be difficult and expensive. Luckily, a Scottsdale family lawyer can help you get over the hump. Plus, you can alleviate some of the financial burdens by getting your spouse or partner to fund your case against them. Here are some guidelines to get them on board.
Negotiate an Agreement
Discuss your circumstances with your former partner or spouse before taking legal action. A lawyer may also help you negotiate a fair and equitable agreement. The agreement should provide an understanding of who will pay the legal or court fees and clear expectations about the outcome. This can help ensure both parties understand their obligations and responsibilities before legal proceedings start.
Request Legal Fees from the Court
In some cases, you can request legal fees from the court. This is often referred to as “cost shifting” and can shift some financial costs away from you.
However, this doesn’t always occur, meaning you may need to discuss the option with your lawyer beforehand. In addition, if you take this route, ensure you have enough evidence to support your claim and explain why cost-shifting would be fair in your situation.
The court may allow one party to pay attorney’s fees. However, you must file your application before the court makes a divorce decree. In so doing, you can defend and maintain your position during the proceedings. The court usually considers the economic impact of such legal action on the applicant and may award the attorney’s fees accordingly.
You may also have the other party shoulder the financial costs in special circumstances. Let’s look at a few scenarios below:
1. You’re Unemployed
Seeking financial assistance for your family law case may seem impossible when faced with unemployment. However, by doing extensive research and making a strong case based on the facts, you can get the other spouse to foot the legal bill.
Begin by researching similar cases in which the party was required to assist financially; look into state laws that support your position and make sure you understand the legal terminology related to your situation. Presenting a thorough explanation of your eligibility for help can go a long way in persuading the other side to take responsibility for funding at least part of your family law case expenses.
It may also be beneficial to discuss how both parties stand to benefit from their financial participation. Ultimately, remember that presenting a clear, compelling argument can make all the difference in convincing the opposing party that they should help.
Plus, having an attorney in your corner can simplify the process. They can help you navigate the legal system and create a strong case for your family law expenses.
2. Contempt Proceedings
The court expects the opposing party to comply with its order. If they do not, you can have them held in contempt and fined for their failure to abide by the court’s orders. For instance, the court may order them to pay your legal fees as part of the resolution.
Likewise, if the other party fails to provide child support, it can be challenging to fund a case against them in family court. Hence, the court presumes you’re entitled to legal fees to bear the burden of taking legal action against your former partner or spouse.
You may also seek attorney’s fees from the opposing party if they act in bad faith or engage in particularly egregious conduct. However, speak with a lawyer before taking this step, as it can be complicated and time-consuming.
Plus, other circumstances may call for the other party to foot the bill. For instance, if they haven’t been providing spousal support as mandated, they may be responsible for covering any legal fees you incur during the divorce process.
Similarly, if they dishonor the divorce’s terms, the court may award you attorney’s fees to pursue the case in family court. However, you must substantiate your claim or complaint, which underscores the need for a knowledgeable attorney.
If you fail to prove your complaint, the court may deny your request for attorney’s fees or may award them to your opponent. Thus the court may sanction frivolous or insubstantial claims. The idea is to prevent either party from abusing the process. Plus, awarding attorney or court fees protects either of the parties who may face the court process without their control or consent.
Getting the opposing party involved in funding your family law case can lighten the financial burden of a divorce, annulment, or separation while ensuring justice is served. In so doing, you can take meaningful steps toward resolving your disputes.