Can legal fees be awarded as part of a divorce settlement?
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Can legal fees be awarded as part of a divorce settlement?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Divorce |

In Georgia family law cases, there are many issues to be navigated. Financial aspects are among the most contentious. People frequently and accurately associate this with alimony, child support and property division. However, there are other parts of the case where finances may come to the forefront.

One question people might ask at the outset of the case is who will pay the legal fees. This is a common topic for dispute. Because legal assistance can be crucial to being fully protected and reaching a positive outcome, it is important to understand what the law says about the possibility of one party being awarded legal fees and the other obligated to pay it.

Can attorney’s fees be granted in a Georgia divorce?

Georgia law allows for the recovery of attorney fees as part of a divorce. There are certain conditions for it to be ordered. It can be made when the case is pending and be related to divorce, divorce and alimony or contempt of court from these issues. This includes contempt of court for child custody, visitation and property division.

The basis for the award is at the court’s discretion. If, for example, one person had substantial assets or was the primary breadwinner in the marriage and the other does not have the means to afford effective counsel, then the person who earns more may be ordered to pay the other’s attorney fees. The financial circumstances are key.

Both sides should understand being awarded legal fees in a divorce

As with other parts of a divorce, financial concerns can be challenging and problematic. A person who has more income and assets than the other could have an unfair advantage in a divorce simply because they can afford more expensive legal counsel. The objective of awarding legal fees is meant to protect the person who has less means.

When a person does not have the wherewithal to pay for legal assistance, it is possible that the other will be ordered to pay. The other person could also object to being asked to pay. The court has a range of options in these situations and much will hinge on the finances. When considering this and other considerations in a divorce, it is important to have professional help to understand how to proceed.