What If I Can’t Afford My Attorney Fees?


I submitted a Spousal Consent Form for a loan on my 401(k) to help pay for my divorce. However, my wife is refusing to sign it.

Am I allowed to go to the courts to have the judge grant me the right to bypass that stage and take the loan out?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I practice in Pennsylvania, if a spouse going through a divorce is unable to pay for attorney’s fees and costs, he may ask the court (through his divorce complaint or a counterclaim) for the wife to pay for his reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses. Usually, this award of attorney’s fees and costs comes at the end of the divorce process; however, upon filing the proper petition, these fees and costs may be awarded during the course of the divorce.

Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan
Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV

Also, Pennsylvania divorce courts are courts of general equity, which means they may, upon the filing of a proper petition, grant appropriate relief in order to protect the interests of the parties. While this type of relief may seem broad, non-specific, and even open-ended, Pennsylvania courts are usually reluctant to exercise their general equity powers.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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