Q&A: What happens if I stop paying my divorce lawyer, or I can’t pay my divorce lawyer or am being overbilled by my divorce lawyer?

divorce lawyer over billing

Your Divorce Attorney’s fees: What happens if you can’t pay your divorce lawyer, stop paying your divorce lawyer or are being overbilled by your divorce lawyer


If you stop paying your divorce lawyer either of the following can happen:
  1. Your divorce lawyer asks the court to allow him or her to stop representing you
  2. Your divorce lawyer hounds you for the money
  3. Your divorce lawyer puts a lien on your case
  4. Your divorce lawyer sues you for the balance
  5. Your divorce lawyer’s representation becomes under-zealous
  6. Nothing
If you can’t pay your divorce lawyer either of the following can happen:
  1. your divorce lawyer could offer to continue to represent you for free
  2. Your divorce lawyer could work out a payment plan that you can afford
  3. Your divorce lawyer could reduce his or her retainer
  4. Your divorce lawyer could ask the court to step off your case
  5. your divorce lawyer could ask the court to have your spouse pay your legal fees
  6. your divorce lawyer could continue to represent you but not so energetically
  7. your divorce lawyer could sue you
  8. Nothing
If your divorce lawyer is over-billing you you can
  1. challenge the bill with the lawyer and ask for a specific accounting of the charges
  2. Stop fighting your ex or calling your lawyer so much as this increases your bill
  3. refuse to pay the bill and ask for mediation or a court intervention
  4. Change lawyers
  5. Just accept it if you don’t mind and learn from the experience.
  6. Nothing



Author: Marion TD Lewis

Divorce Coach Marion TD Lewis is a licensed attorney in New York and Georgia. She serves as legal counsel and international correspondent for Divorce Saloon International, Inc. As Editor in Chief of Divorce Saloon, she also writes a Q&A column on general divorce topics. Marion is the original founder of Divorce Saloon which she started in 2006 as a local NYC attorney blog. Divorce Saloon has since evolved and is the world's first Divorce Newspaper with contributions from divorce professionals around the world. contact Ms Lewis at contact@divorcesaloon.com if you are seeking a divorce coach. (Please note that Ms Lewis' advice column does not constitute legal advice and that no attorney/client relationship exists without a signed retainer between the attorney and said client.)