Can I Request that my Husband Pays the Attorney Fees if I File for Divorce?

Can I Request that my Husband Pays the Attorney Fees if I File for Divorce?

Question:

I have been married to my husband for three years. He is an active duty soldier¬†and¬†has been in the mental hospital three times this year, and has been diagnosed with Psychotic Depression. I told him I was leaving with our 10 month old daughter until I knew that he was stable and until we could talk through some of our problems. He has since changed the passwords to our bank account and has told me that if I need to know the balance I can go to an ATM machine to do a balance inquiry. I want out of the marriage but can’t afford to pay anything at the moment because I’m a stay at home mom and he has taken away my control of our joint account.

Answer:

As part of the divorce action, you may file a Motion for an Allowance Pendent Lite – a Motion for an award of attorney’s fees from your husband for you to use to prosecute the divorce. The Motion should be supported by and Affidavit in which you detail your factual circumstances – such as that you are a stay-at-home parent, he has been the breadwinner, you are dependent upon him for your support and he has access to the funds etc.¬† If allowed, the Court will order your husband to pay to you or your attorney a certain amount so that you can go forward with your divorce case.

This legal question was provided by Avvo and answered by Cynthia Hanley an experienced Mansfield, Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer.  This does not consent an attorney client relationship.