Who Pays

Rule #1 (or if not #1, it’s pretty important) of a divorce: Never get legal advice from the STBX.

That being said, depending on what issues are being tried, and the financial situations of you both, you may be required to pay some of the legal bills.

Alimony/PSS hearings can require the supporting spouse to reimburse (or otherwise pay) the reasonable legal fees of the dependent spouse associated with the alimony/PSS hearing. (This may be offset in property distribution, however.)

To clarify the abbreviation I used:

STBX = Soon To Be eX.

I’ve also used (although not here): iSTBX, which is Insufficiently STBX.

Golfball is right. You should not get legal advice from the stbx or her/his attorney. Consult with your own attorney is always the best option to find out your rights.
If your spouse is not completely finacially dependent on you then most likely they will pay their own fees.
My husband’s ex made exaggerated claims of suing him for slander after reading the custody complaint and making him pay for her attorney fees. She also told him that she would get the separation agreement voided because, after we started dating, she suddenly felt she deserved more. This didn’t happen. Filing suit for something that is a waste of time and that the courts would find unnecessary to have a hearing on, then there is more of a chance that the attorney could request that the plaintiff reimburse the attorney fees since they would not have had to hire an attorney without the suit. That’s normally if the courts sides with the defendent.

The court may award attorney’s fees if you are addressing the issues of alimony, child support and in some cases child custody. However, unless ordered to do so, you do not have any obligation to pay her attorney’s fees.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

In the middle of a divorce and my ex says I must pay for her lawyer in addition to my own. What does the law say?