Divorces, just like weddings, can be expensive — and the costs start to add up faster than most people realize. The average cost of a divorce without children in Georgia is about $14,700 — and that goes up to $22,000 when minor children are involved.

Some of that cost is related to refinancing loans, paying off debts and setting up new households independent of the marital home. However, your attorney’s fees aren’t likely to be an insignificant expense during this time period — especially if your spouse is determined to drag out every issue and have their day in court.

What happens, then if your spouse is holding all the financial cards in your marriage? If you can’t afford a divorce attorney and your spouse can, are you simply out of luck?

Not exactly. In some situations, you can ask the court to order your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees and related court costs. If there’s money in the marital accounts and your spouse simply won’t give you access, that’s certainly a reasonable request. It may also be a reasonable request when your spouse’s income is vastly superior to your own. After all, the court generally wants to give both parties a level playing field so that the terms of the divorce end up being fair. Family court judges seldom appreciate it when a well-heeled spouse uses their considerable financial clout to try to pummel their spouse in court.

If you’re uncertain about your rights during your divorce — including your right to use the marital assets to pay for your attorney — find out more about your legal options today.