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Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3425
Experience:  Licensed Attorney - represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, family law disputes, traffic issues, and general legal issues. Youth Court Prosecutor.
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Heres my question Is it the law, or a matter of legal ethics, that a divorce

Resolved Question:

Here's my question: Is it the law, or a matter of legal ethics, that a divorce attorney must be paid by their client, and not by a third party? Here's the situation: My ex placed her legal fees (unknown to me) on a credit card for which I am responsible for paying off. Before I knew about this, HER lawyer told me at one point, that it was an ethical issue that lawyers must accept payment only from their client. Seems like I got caught in a loophole here. Any advice? I'm in Ohio
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hello -

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to helping you with your family law problem today.

The lawyer is correct. There is no law on "the books" that prevents an attorney from accepting money from a third party. However, legal ethics dictate that the attorney should only accept money from their clients, and not third parties.

Technically, the attorney here didn't "accept" the money from a third party - he accepted the money from her, because she had control of the card, although you have the obligation to repay. If she has authorization to use the card, I do not believe the attorney breached any ethical rules in accepting the payment from her. Nevertheless, the attorney himself may have a different take on the matter, and I would at least ask him about the possibility of speaking to his client (your ex) about a different method of funding the representation.

Hope this helps,

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