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Understanding Interim Attorney Fees in Texas

When going through a divorce, the financial burden of legal representation can add significant stress to an already challenging situation. However, in Texas, there is a provision that allows one spouse to request the court to order the other spouse to pay interim attorney fees during the pendency of the divorce case. This can provide crucial financial support for individuals who may be at a disadvantage compared to their spouse. In this article, we will explore the process of requesting interim attorney fees in Texas, outlining the steps involved and the factors considered by the court.

What Are Interim Attorney Fees?

Interim attorney fees, also known as temporary attorney fees, are the fees that one spouse may request the court to order the other spouse to pay for legal representation during the divorce proceedings. These fees are meant to ensure that both parties have access to legal representation and can effectively advocate for their rights during this crucial period. The purpose of interim attorney fees is to address any financial disparities between the spouses, allowing the financially disadvantaged spouse to obtain quality legal representation without suffering an undue financial burden.

When Are Interim Attorney Fees Necessary?

Interim attorney fees may be necessary in situations where one spouse lacks the financial means to afford legal representation during a divorce case. This often occurs when there is a significant income disparity between the spouses or when one spouse has control over the marital assets, denying the other spouse access to financial resources. In such cases, the requesting spouse must demonstrate a genuine financial need for interim attorney fees, typically by providing evidence of their income, expenses, and assets. By proving their inability to cover legal expenses independently, the requesting spouse increases the likelihood of the court granting their motion for interim attorney fees.

Steps To Request Interim Attorney Fees

In Texas, a spouse can request that the court order the other spouse to pay interim attorney fees during the pendency of a divorce case. Here are a few steps to take to request that the court order your spouse to pay your interim attorney fees:

1. File A Motion: To request interim attorney fees, you will need to file a motion with the court. This motion should explain why you are requesting interim attorney fees and should include a proposed order.

2. Demonstrate Financial Need: The court will typically only order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s interim attorney fees if the requesting spouse can demonstrate financial need. This can include evidence of income, expenses, and assets.

3. Show Reasonableness Of Fees: You will also need to demonstrate that your interim attorney fees are reasonable and necessary for representation in the case. This can include providing an itemized list of the services provided by your attorney and their associated costs.

5. Considerations By The Judge: The court will take many different factors into consideration including if one spouse makes considerably more than the other spouse, whether there has been financial abuse where one spouse does not allow access to the financial resources of the marital property to the other spouse, and whether one spouse has acted in “bad faith” to cause the marriage to break down.

6. Attend A Hearing: The court will likely schedule a hearing to determine whether to order your spouse to pay interim attorney fees. At the hearing, you will need to present evidence and argue your case.

It’s important to note that the court has discretion in determining whether to order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s interim attorney fees, and each case is unique. If you are considering requesting interim attorney fees, it’s important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.


Requesting interim attorney fees in a divorce case can be a vital step for individuals facing financial challenges during the legal process. By following the necessary steps, such as filing a motion, demonstrating financial need, and proving the reasonableness of fees, individuals can increase their chances of obtaining the financial support they require. However, it’s important to remember that the court retains discretion in determining whether to order one spouse to pay the other’s interim attorney fees, and each case is evaluated on its own merits. Seeking guidance from an experienced divorce attorney is crucial to navigating this process effectively and ensuring your rights are protected. With proper legal representation and a well-prepared case, you can strive for a fair and equitable resolution during your divorce proceedings.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced Texas family lawyers takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. We understand the financial burden a divorce can have on an individual. As such we have created our industry-first SimpleStart™ program, providing people a chance to reduce the amount of money needed upfront to start their case. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.



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Austin, TX 78759

(737) 252-7395


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San Antonio, TX 78216

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Dallas, TX 75231

(469) 871-8050

By: Erica Larson, Esq.

Posted June 08, 2023

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