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When is the non-monied spouse awarded legal support by the monied spouse?

  • By: David Bliven
  • Published: June 2, 2022

Q:If the monied spouse files for divorce and the non-monied spouse has 20 days to respond do they have to request payment for their legal fees before they respond?
Can a court appointed attorney help get both financial assets and custody of 2 children from 19 years of marriage?
In this case the monied spouse brought the non-monied from Ukraine and obtained US citizenship. If the originally Ukrainian national needs welfare for support does the monied spouse have to reimburse the US government for that support?
Are pro bono divorce attorneys available in New York?

A: (1) The non-monied spouse should include a request for counsel fees in their Answer. (2) Assigned counsel may pursue counsel fees – but technically s/he is only assigned on the custody/visitation/family offense issues (not maintenance & child support). (3) If the non-monied spouse goes on public assistance, DSS can sue the monied spouse – especially if s/he submitted an Affidavit of Support in conjunction with the I-130 filing. (4) Pro bono counsel exist, but are few & far between. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

David Bliven, Esq.

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