The Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC
The Law Office of David SmorenThe Law Office of David Smoren
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Legal and Expert Fees

Typically the less-monied spouse is entitled to request legal fees from the monied-spouse to retain an attorney to bring or defend an action for divorce. The basis for requiring one spouse to pay all or part of the other spouse’s legal fees stems from the proposition of New York law that married couples have an ongoing responsibility to provide support to each other. The award of attorney’s fees is also justified to level the playing field so that one spouse should not be able to utilize financial superiority  to out lawyer the other spouse.

Attorney’s fees requested through a pendente lite (during the divorce) application to the court are now typically awarded on an interim basis “during” the divorce proceeding to the non-monied spouse as compared to an award being made at the conclusion of the divorce.  The new spousal support laws provides for a presumption that counsel fees should be awarded to the “less monied spouse” so as to enable legal representation at the commencement and throughout the action.

Expert fees can also be awarded within a pendente lite application to the less monied spouse to further enable representation in the divorce proceeding. Experts are typically retained to appraise and evaluate marital property such as businesses, advanced degrees, pensions, stocks and other complex property issues.

While the new law seems to favour the non-monied spouse when it comes to legal fees, one must recognize that almost every law has exceptions to the general rule. This is why an experienced attorney should be consulted whether you are considering an application for legal and/or expert fees or faced with opposing such an application.

At the Law offices of David Smoren, PLLC we have successfully handled all aspects of applications involving legal fees and expert fees.

Call us today at 718 225-6700 for a free phone consultation, or to arrange for a comprehensive office consultation to discuss your options or simply post a comment or question on the contact form.