Ask A Lawyer: When Are Her Attorney’s Fees Due?


I was ordered to pay 1/2 of the ex’s attorney fees. The case is over, but the order did not state a due date, or that fees or interest would be accrued if not paid.

How long do I have to pay her? I’m was told my wages are considered community property in AZ. Does that offer me some protection from her garnishing my wages vs. me making payments? Would she need to go back to court and ask for a clarification?

Is it okay to just wait until she makes a move?


Answer: I’m not licensed in the state of Arizona.  As a general rule, a judgment is due immediately.  Interest can be assessed on the judgment from the date of judgment.  For example, the statutory interest rate in Missouri is 9% annual compound interest (calculated month).

They can garnish property, accounts and wages.  They can also setup liens against property or file a motion for contempt with the court.

I do not see how your future wages are considered community property any longer if you are no longer married.  They were marital property until the date of the divorce.  Therefore, I do not see this as any protection on the payment of the judgment.

It would be unethical for me to advise you not to comply with the court order.  Further, unless you are making money at more than the statutory interest rate (good luck in this market),  you are likely financially better off paying judgment earlier rather than later.

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