If a spouse is served with divorce papers and the spouse who is served contests the divorce, does the spouse serving the papers have to pay the lawyers fees?

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If a spouse is served with divorce papers and the spouse who is served contests the divorce, does the spouse serving the papers have to pay the lawyers fees?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, each person has to pay his or her own legal costs (lawyer's fees). If you wish to have your lawyer include a petition to have the divorcing spouse who filed for divorce pay your legal bills post-divorce, your lawyer would need to include this during the divorce process, much like when you separate assets and debts. There has to be an accounting in most every divorce if it is a long term marriage and you have many assets and debts that need to be assigned to one or both people.


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