In many Florida marriages, one spouse controls or has all the finances and the other spouse cannot access funds or resources to pay an attorney a retainer to hire the attorney.This not only happens in affluent areas, like Ponte Vedra Beach and upscale neighborhoods in Jacksonville, but in all communities. If one spouse has the greater ability to pay a Florida divorce lawyer, the judge can order that spouse to pay your lawyer attorney fees and costs in advanced. A Florida divorce attorney has the discretion whether or not to accept representation on a case. While most attorneys will want a retainer paid up front, some Florida divorce attorneys will take on a case and seek attorney fees from the more affluent and higher earning spouse. Florida Statute 61.071 provides as follows: "Alimony pendente lite; suit money.-In every proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor." This Florida divorce law is designed to provide an even playing field for the spouse to have competent representation during a Florida divorce and that one spouse should not take advantage over the other because of money.
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