Do Both Parties have to Pay for a Divorce?

Divorce is costly, but losing a divorce proceeding will be much more costly in the long run. The foremost concern is the custody of children, and the battle could draw out relative to the properties involved. This is definitely a battle worth fighting for.

There would be lawyers who would offer their services for a fixed amount. Truth is, expenses can balloon when more assets and liabilities are discovered. If the opposing party is adamant about disputing every claim, then it could take more time and money.

Attorney’s Fees charged to Community Property

No two divorces are the same and, in many cases, the income capacity of the spouses involved is not equal. One party can afford a lawyer, while the other spouse may not be able to. The trial will obviously favor the former. How does the court deal with an inequitable situation?

Both parties should be the ones to pay for their legal fees and expenses. However, there are ways that these can be offset even before the proceeding concludes.

It should be noted that attorney’s fees will be considered when dividing the community income. The disadvantaged party must be given access to their community income when the proceeding ends. This is to settle their attorney’s fees. A spouse can request for interim attorney fees and this will be decided at a Temporary Orders Hearing.

The main reason for the courts to allow this is a disparity of income. If one spouse decides to give up employment in order to focus on parenting, such spouse is disadvantaged. It would not be fair that the spouse would be placed at a disadvantage due to this decision.

The judge may order to use community income to settle the attorney’s fee, or they can order the attorney’s fees be paid by the community estate in advance.


The judge can also impose sanctions on any party during the divorce, and these sanctions can include paying the attorney’s fees of the opposing party. These sanctions could be a result of non-compliance with the court orders or deliberate efforts to unnecessarily stall or prolong the proceeding.

If one party refuses to submit their documents or does not attend the hearings, the judge has the authority to lay down these rulings.

In short, there are cases when only one party pays for divorce or at least pays a bigger share than the other.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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