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Sahm and paying for divorce

Countrygirl10 posted 11/18/2020 09:37 AM

I am looking into lawyer but I am worried about the cost.
I am a SAHM. I do work part time for the last 2 years (well did until
Covid hit and I needed to put my notice in to stay home with the kids)

My question is this. I know this is not going to be a easy or pretty divorce so is it possible to have a good attorney and have the stbx pay the fees? Or will I have to front the money upfront?

Is it possible for us to both have the same attorney (pending he is not the ass I am assuming he is going to be)

I know these are questions for a consult meeting however we have tracking on our phones so for me to go have a meeting is slightly hard at the moment(, god forbid I miss a call from him he goes on I am cheating on him mode)

Poppy704 posted 11/18/2020 10:54 AM

It is highly unlikely that a judge will award you legal fees unless your spouse is in contempt of some existing order (for example, he keeps breaking the custody order, or he refuses to make mandated payments, or he sells/destroys marital property that wash to be divided).

The office I work for offers legal financing and many of our clients than pay off their balance out of the final settlement.

Countrygirl10 posted 11/18/2020 11:28 AM

Thank you. I appreciate your answer:

That answered what I was wondering if I had to pay a lump sum upfront or could pay toward the end.

Poppy704 posted 11/18/2020 12:59 PM

To clarify: the financing we offer basically allows our clients to take out a loan for their retainer and make installments, with most of them paying it off completely with their settlement. Our lawyers decided to present this option because we have a lot of domestic violence clients. Before we offered this we told clients that weíd take payments to a point but we couldnít go months or years without payment.

Ratpicker posted 11/18/2020 13:40 PM

It will depend on the state where you live and the laws that are in effect there. Perhaps you could check to see if there is any basic information available via legal aid, the county's clerk of the court website, info on state bar association website, perhaps a domestic abuse organization could point you in a helpful direction. Look for a free consult with a local attorney who could tell you if it's even possible to seek legal fees up front.

Pre-covid, my area had a monthly Q & A about family law issues. Often local attorneys were there to answer those kinds of questions. I know of a couple of clients who met an attorney there who evaluated the family situation and filed for the SAHP & immediately requested the working spouse pay the legal fees. Not every state's laws provide for that option but when it was known one party was paying both attorney's on both sides - they didn't drag anything out.

The website for my local court district has very little information for self-filing or any information on the process itself. But a neighboring district's website was full of information.

Legally - a single attorney can not represent both parties. One party can agree not to seek their own representation, so the other party's attorney draws up all the paperwork & filings.

Pandora16 posted 11/18/2020 13:46 PM

I was a SAHM and my ex husband had to pay my legal fees. Maybe it depends on the state?

This is definitely a question to ask when getting legal consult.

josiep posted 11/18/2020 15:05 PM

Are you still living together as man and wife (so to speak)? Do you have joint credit cards? A joint checking account? I don't believe you are forbidden the use of them just because you're thinking about getting a divorce.

Secondly, do you want to work? If so, go back to work. Maybe one where you work while he's home to watch the kids. Or you just get up in the morning and leave for work and let him figure it out.

I know both of these paragraphs sound snarky but really, why do women believe we have to ask permission to spend family money? And why do we believe that we're solely responsible for the child care and the decisions about said childcare. You don't need his permission to get a job. He's your life partner, the father of the children. That makes him 50% responsible for their care.

I realize you probably won't do either of these things nor am I recommending that you do. But I do hope this helps remove some of the "wife fog" we ladies often fall into. Believe me, I speak from years of experience.

hcsv posted 11/18/2020 17:18 PM

Divorce funds for both parties should come out of marital funds. I was also a SAHM.

My ex cleaned out our joint accounts. When it came to paying my attorney, she sent him an invoice through his attorney and he had to write her a check.

Countrygirl10 posted 11/19/2020 14:03 PM

Thank you all very much..
I appreciate the advice on where to look in my state. The money I have been stashing I planned on using to keep afloat for a few months and just thought about the legal fees.
I do have a job Ďlined upí and also am finishing up school to be able to get a much better job ( needless to say after dday 1 I assumed I would be in this boat again so Iíve spent the time wisely as a just in case. But havenít been able to save as much as I wanted) and began panicking about the fees I have been reading about

messyleslie posted 11/20/2020 22:54 PM

I put my retainer on a credit card and was lucky that my church actually paid a huge chunk for me and Iím slowly paying the rest now.

I do have a friend who was a sahm and she was able to have her attorney file something so her ex had to pay her fees as well.

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