Who Pays for the Divorce?
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Who Pays for the Divorce?

Are you curious about who will bear the cost throughout an expensive divorce? Keep reading and you will learn what fees you might expect to pay and who is accountable for paying attorneys’ fees in the course of a divorce.

Electing to engage in a collaborative divorce means you will make use of a certified financial neutral, in which eliminates the requirement for each party to hire their own financial professionals. This also assists in minimizing the time each attorney may otherwise spend participating in the discovery and disclosure factors of a conventional divorce. For more information about the benefits of a collaborative divorce, speak with one of the professionals at Ogborne Law today.

What are the Attorneys’ Fees in Divorces?

In divorce actions, each party is commonly responsible for settling their own attorney for services carried out by them and their staff. Services provided by a divorce lawyer may comprise of:

  • Examining laws and statutes that may apply to the divorce
  • Setting up conditions for child support and legal decision making
  • Examine and assemble supporting evidence for the divorce
  • Prepare legal objects for use in court
  • Devise legal documentation and file them with the court
  • Breakdown of options for the distribution of assets and debt
  • Client representation during court proceedings
  • Getting ready for secondary follow up conferences or appeals

Who Normally Pays Lawyers’ Fees in Divorce Cases?

In a lot of cases, each party is accountable for paying their own lawyer’s fees in the divorce. Under some circumstances, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other’s legal fees.

Can My Spouse Be Ordered to Pay For My Attorney’s Fees Throughout Our Divorce?

Yes and no, subject to a number of factors put forward by statutes and case law. Divorce statutes in Arizona give judges the discretion to order one party to pay full or part of the other parties’ legal fees and costs throughout a divorce. Other statutes put forward circumstances in which a judge is required to order a grant legal fees, such as a sanction for specific wrongdoing throughout the course of the action.

ARS 25-324. states in Paragraph A that “The court from time to time, after considering the financial resources of both parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken throughout the proceedings, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other party for the costs and expenses of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this chapter or chapter 4, article 1 of this title.”

This is an instance of a discretionary grant of fees (for example the judge might order fees if they believe it is suitable to do so following the consideration of the financial funding of the parties and the fairness of their positions).

Paragraph B of this statute declares that “…the court shall award reasonable costs and attorney fees” if the judge discovers that a petition wasn’t filed with good intentions, wasn’t based in law or grounded in facts or was filed for an unsuitable purpose, like harassment, a needless delay or to increase the cost of legal proceedings to the other party:

This is an instance of a mandatory grant of fees (for example the judge shall grant fees if a party has participated in the misconduct detailed).

Who Pays Attorney’s Fees in a Collaborative Divorce?

In Collaborative divorces, each party agrees as part of their total settlement in how the fees for all the collaborative professionals, the attorneys included, will be compensated.

On average, a collaborative divorce in Arizona may be completed faster than traditional legal proceedings in a courthouse and can cost significantly less than standard litigated divorces in court. In many cases, you can be single again in as little as sixty to ninety days from the time you filing, and you could both save thousands of dollars that may have otherwise been spent through litigation.

Am I Going to Need a Divorce Attorney?

You need to think about hiring a divorce attorney if you want professional assistance in determining and pursuing ideal results in legal decision making, parenting time, child support, property and asset allocation, and spousal maintenance. In addition, hiring an attorney for divorce may be a good idea if your spouse has plans to hire an attorney or if you have a convoluted divorce case.


  1. Brenden KennedyBrendan J. Kennedy is a partner with the CPA firm of ATLAS CPAs and Advisors PLLC with offices in Arizona. (2020, August 31). Who Pays Attorneys’ Fees in Divorce? Retrieved September 10, 2020, from https://bestlegalchoices.com/who-pays-attorneys-fees-in-divorce/

Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer in Arizona

Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring a divorce attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.

If you want to learn about Michelle N. Ogborne and see if she is the right attorney to represent you in your collaborative divorce in Arizona, contact us today!

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