Ordered to pay attorney fees for my ex in a Wisconsin divorce | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. Ordered to pay attorney fees for my ex in a Wisconsin divorce | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Jesse S. in St. Francis, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I are getting a divorce, but she wants me to pay for her attorney fees. This is absurd. I'm not paying for her attorney fees. She also wants me to agree to giving her the majority of our marital estate. I'm not doing that either. What is really bugging me, is that she says she can have me ordered to pay her attorney fees. She said if the court doesn't approve it during the trial, she will have it awarded after the final judgment. Can she do that?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This is really a matter for the courts to decide, but it will be decided through various factors. She cannot simply “have a court order you” to pay her attorney fees, no. This situation usually pertains to the monetary allotment and current income statuses of both parties. It is also a motion to be made prior to the final judgment, not after.

In the case of Hengel v. Hengel, 120 Wis. 2d 522, 355 N.W.2d 846 (Ct. App. 1984), a woman had entered a notice of appeal on the property division and a contribution toward her attorney fees. It was after the notice of appeal had been entered, that the trial court ordered the husband to contribute to the wife's attorney fees. The husband appealed, and the order was reversed.

My advice is to contact an attorney that is experienced in family law in order to go over the specifics of your case. He/she will provide you with individualized advice, probable outcomes based on your circumstances, and represent you during the trial.

Dan Exner, J.D.Dan Exner J.D.
Family Law Attorney

Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
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