Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can I get my spouse to pay for some of this?

This scenario comes up all of the time:  I get a call from a potential client inquiring about an uncontested divorce.  I confirm that the case is uncontested, making sure the parties have an agreement on property division, debt allocation, child custody and support if children are involved, maintenance, etc.  Generally the client inquiring about an uncontested divorce will confirm that an agreement has been reached.

Then, about 10% of the time, the potential client will ask, "can we make my spouse pay for half of this."  My answer is usually, "maybe, but we won't be proceeding with an uncontested divorce."

For your divorce to be considered uncontested - from an attorney's point of view - we (the attorney) cannot be "making" anyone do anything.  Recovery of attorney fees and court costs could be applicable to your case, but if an agreement on the splitting of those fees and costs has not been reached prior to obtaining your attorney, he or she likely will not view your case as uncontested.  This does not bar you from splitting fees in the uncontested case, of course - I have clients split fees and costs all of the time.. but it's by agreement, like everything else in the uncontested dissolution situation.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Gerald W. Linnenbringer, Missouri Uncontested Divorce Attorney

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