If I get a lawyer, can the judge order my spouse to pay my attorney fees?
The judge has the authority to order that the either party pay the attorney fees of the other party in any claim for divorce, dissolution of civil union, termination of domestic partnership, nullity, support, alimony, custody, parenting time, equitable distribution, separate maintenance, enforcement of agreements between spouses, domestic partners, or civil union partners and claims relating to family type matters. The judge can make this order while the case is pending (known as pendente lite) or at the end of the case. The judge will have to determine if an award of attorney fees is appropriate in each situation.1
1 NJ Court R. 5:3-5(c)