Pay Ex's Attorney Fees?


What are the considerations a judge would use to determine if one would have to pay the attorney fees for an ex spouse?

She makes between 40 and 50k per year and has no children with her. She will get money in settlement. Can she not use this to pay her attorney?

Please advise.


Attorneys fees may be awarded for pursuing alimony, post separation support, child support and child custody. The court will not award attorneys fees for equitable distribution.

If the court awards alimony or post separation support, the court may enter an order of reasonable attorneys fees in order to allow the dependant spouse to meet the supporting spouse at trial upon substantially equal terms.


How do you go about collecting past atty fees. My ex spouse was ordered to pay a portion of my atty fees for a trial in spring 2008, and another one in the fall2008.The amount he was ordered to pay is close to 10K and it was to be paid directly to the atty. He never paid and I have since paid my attorney up.

Do we pursue this at the next trial?

I have a son who graduates from highschool in June so will only have 2 minor children in the home. WHen he takes me to trial to lower his child support (I am sure he will do this), can failure to pay past atty fees be brought up? Can his support not be lowered until he is caught up in his back payments. (He also owes back support, which the judge already held him in contempt)

Just think it is unfair to be taken by him back to court to lower child support when he is not paying current support or atty fees. Can a judge deny his motion to reduce Child Support until arrears are paid? I am just going further and further in debt and I feel this is his plan. (or, he just doesn’t care)


I would not wait to pursue this at trial. I would file a Motion to Show Cause and attempt to hold him in Contempt of court. The court can award attorneys fees and sanctions, even potentially throwing him in jail for 30 days unless he complies with the order on attorneys fees.

The judge won’t deny his motion to reduce child support, but the judge will put into place provisions to insure the child support arrears are paid. If you’re going to bring him to court for the Show Cause anyway, you might as well recalculate child support now and “nip it in the bud”. You can state that the recalculated amount begins June 1, 2009. Just a suggestion to try to save time, money and further hassle.



we are working above the CS guidelines so I do not have any idea how much lower supporting 2 children would be than one. Actually, when we went to court for 3 children two years ago there were several bills he was paying and had in his affidavit that he stopped paying after the order came out - one was car insurance which was a big bill, another was life insurance (my policy) but he was paying it so I did not have it on my affidavit. I pay that bill now. Plus, my debts are much higher than they were two years ago, mostly due to his nonpayment of support and I am supporting 2 children in college.

Actually, if it was up to me, the drop in child support from 3 to 2 would be minimal. He wants to take the amount he pays for 3 and divide it by three and then multiply that number by 2. That drops the amount too much for my liking.

So, I will need the judge to look at the figures and decide.I want her to see my updated affidavit.

Normally, what is the % drop from 3 children to 2?.


There is no % decrease especially in a case where you are off the Guidelines. Normally though, in guideline cases the support is not reduced greatly when one child ages out, this is because the court considers a part of your housing, utility, and transportation expenses to be covered in party by child support. Since those expenses do not substantially decrease when one child ages out, the support figure does not change greatly either.