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I am a Dependent Spouse. Do I Have to Pay My Legal Fees?


I had a new client last year who was terrified when she called me. She was married to a very rich philanthropist who was extremely controlling. He liked to control everything, from his money, to his businesses, to her.

In spite of their enormous wealth, she had no access to money, other than what he gave her each week to spend on everyday necessities. Although she desperately wanted a divorce, she had no idea how she would pay a lawyer to take her case.

As a New York divorce attorney and mediator, I explained to her that in New York, courts normally awarded legal fees to dependent spouses, to even the playing field during a divorce.

She was able to borrow some funds from her parents to get started, and we had to make an application to the court for her husband to pay her counsel fees. In addition, since he refused to pay his wife's bills, we had to ask for temporary spousal and child support.

This situation arises in my legal practice more often than one would expect. That is why the legislature passed the law enabling dependent spouses to pursue their cases in court.

Fortunately for this woman and her children, the judge got the picture and awarded her the large sum that we requested to enable her to maintain her standard of living both during and after her divorce.

It would have been better if her husband had gone along with the program and offered to pay his wife's legal fees.

If you are in a position where you might be required to pay your spouse's legal fees, or require your spouse to contribute to your legal expenses, we can assist you. Call to schedule your free consultation now.

As a highly experienced, psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator with over 35 years of experience, I can guide you on how to get your spouse to pay your counsel fees.

During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually reduce risk and maintain safety.

We still have some appointments available for this week.

I look forward to helping you.

Stay Healthy & Stay Safe!

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner now to book your Free 1 Hour Consultation.