Yes. The court has the authority to order either spouse to pay attorneys’ fees.
Pendente Lite Legal Fees
While the case is pending, the court may order one spouse to pay the reasonable legal fees of the other spouse. The payment of legal fees at this stage is called pendente lite legal fees. This typically occurs when there are sufficient funds in the marital estate but those funds are within the sole control of only one spouse. The rationale is to make sure that the rights of both spouses are protected and that neither spouse is denied the opportunity to retain an attorney.
At the conclusion of the case, the court also has the authority to order the payment of legal fees; in whole or in part. The court considers the same factors as in an alimony determination. However, the request for payment of legal fees often requires balancing the respective financial abilities of the spouses (including the ample liquid funds of a spouse to pay their own fees) with the notion that requiring a spouse to pay legal fees should not undermine the other financial orders of the divorce judgment.
Read here for another relevant blog: Legal Fees in a Connecticut Divorce
I represent clients in Connecticut Custody Application proceedings through out Fairfield County including Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.