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Minnesota law allows the parties to a divorce to make a claim for attorney’s fees, and other costs, from the other side, in certain situations.

There are just two ways that you can recover attorney’s fees from the other party in a divorce.

The first type of request is based on need — where one of the parties does not have the ability to pay divorce attorney fees, while the other spouse has the ability to pay these costs. This is the most common type of fee award in family court.

The second type of fee award can be imposed on the other party in a divorce based upon their bad-faith conduct.  In such cases, the court must find that a spouse has behaved unreasonably, contributing to a delay, and increasing the cost of the proceedings.

Simply contesting issues in the divorce, or requesting a trial does not necessarily mean that the spouse has engaged in bad-faith or unreasonable conduct.

It’s also important to understand that a real, imagined or perceived insult by your spouse will not qualify as unreasonable conduct in divorce cases. The focus is on conduct leading to unnecessary litigation — not hurt feelings.

Do you have questions about an attorney fee award as part of a divorce? Our lawyers have handled thousands of cases — many involving significant fee awards. We’re here to provide answers. Call (763) 783-5146 for a consultation.