Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

Who Pays for Attorney Fees and Costs in a Florida Divorce?


Just about everyone knows that a divorce can be very expensive. The attorney’s fees and costs are just one expense you may incur if you choose to go through the divorce process. Many people wonder whether they will have to pay all their own fees as well as their spouses fees as well.

The legal fees and costs to consider in a Florida divorce include not only your own legal fees and your spouse’s attorney’s fees, but also costs such as court filings, mediation, process servers, experts, copies, appraisals, court reporters, transcripts, and more. And once the divorce is finalized, you’ll begin to face alimony payments and other expenses.

Can You Request Your Spouse Pay Divorce Fees?

In a divorce, the court wants to ensure that both parties leave the marriage on an even financial footing. Due to this, the law allows one party to request that their spouse pay all or a portion of their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. This request must be made known in the appropriate court filing, or else it will likely be found to be waived. Now you may be wondering, what factors will the court consider?

In evaluating a party’s request for attorney’s fees and costs, the court will assess factors such as:

  • The financial resources of both parties
  • The history of the case
  • The merits of both parties’ positions
  • Whether the award is needed

As previously stated, an award of attorney’s fees and costs in a divorce must be reasonable. That means that even if the court finds that an award of attorney’s fees and costs is appropriate, the court then needs to determine how much is reasonable. This determination varies from one case to another.

The court may consider the amount of legal fees versus the other attorney’s legal fees, whether the party has engaged in frivolous matters, how much work was performed, the complexity of the issues, and the nature of the case overall. A hearing will then be held on the issue of attorney’s fees and costs, in which evidence and testimony is presented from both sides for the court to evaluate and rule on these factors.

Talk to Your Lawyer About Impending Costs

Divorce can be expensive, which is why you should ask your lawyer direct and upfront questions about what the fees and costs of your divorce may look like. This will allow you to plan accordingly with the understanding of your legal rights as to the same.

It is important to keep in mind that as your case develops and the issues are better understood, you may need to revisit these discussions. It’s very possible that the attorney’s fees and cost may change as more issues are determined, along with the needs surrounding the same.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, you can speak with one of our family law attorneys at the Yaffa Family Law Group. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Boca Raton, call 561-276-3880 or visit our website at www.yaffafamilylawgroup.com to schedule your confidential complimentary consultation.

Are you thinking ahead to life after divorce? Join Yaffa Family Law Group Founder Doreen Yaffa and husband, Jeff Wilson, each week on their podcast, Life After Divorce Coaching. The coaching duo help you visualize life after your divorce and give you the tools you need to create the best version of yourself yet.