My ex is asking for attorney's fees. Will I have to pay for my spouse's attorney?
Although awards of attorney's fees are less commonplace these days, they may still be granted. If your spouse has no income to speak of, or your incomes are deemed "disproportionate" (you make considerably more than your spouse), the judge may act to "level the playing field" by making the more affluent spouse pay some or all of the less well-to-do spouse's legal fees.
This often has the unintended side-effect of increasing litigation, sometimes to extremes. Here's how it works: If your opponent has to pay the bills, the more you litigate, the more it depletes them financially. Therefore, it makes sense for you to get the most expensive attorney you can, and then wage the most effective (read: expensive) litigation you can, asking for extra depositions, private investigators, etc etc, all of which they have to pay for. And not only do they have to pay your legal bills, they have to pay for theirs at the same time. It's easy to see how awards of attorney's fees can financially obliterate the paying spouse and put them at a tremendous disadvantage.
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