The short answer: It depends.
Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-119 says that in a divorce or custody case, the Court can order a party to pay some of the other party’s attorney fees after considering both parties’ financial resources and ability to pay for fees. What this means is that if one party drastically out earns the other party, then the higher-earning party might have to contribute to the other’s attorney fees. For instance, if Wife earns $200,000 a year, and Husband earns $35,000 a year, the Court could order Wife to contribute to Husband’s fees because of the income differential.
Colorado Revised Statute 13-17-102 provides another basis for requesting attorney fees in a divorce or custody case. If a party brought a claim in front of the Court that lacked substantial justification and was frivolous, groundless, and vexatious, the Court could order the offending party to pay the other’s fees for having to respond to such a claim. For instance, if Husband filed a Motion and falsely claimed that Wife was endangering the kids, then the Court could order Husband to pay Wife’s attorney fees for defending that claim if Wife showed the Court otherwise.
Talk to a Colorado family law attorney about more specifics regarding these two ways to get attorney fees in a divorce or custody case.