The Cost of Divorce in Illinois: 4th Most Expensive State in the U.S.
There is no getting around it – if you live in Illinois and want a divorce, it is going to cost you. Even if the divorce is amicable and you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree on all aspects of property division and child custody, you will still face expenses and at least some attorney’s fees. With money suddenly an issue, you may wonder how much the divorce will cost and who is responsible for paying those fees.
Illinois Fourth Most Expensive State for Divorce
A report released early this year by FindtheData.org ranked Illinois as the fourth most expensive state for couples getting divorced. At $337 just to get the paperwork filed, Illinois ranks behind only Florida, Minnesota and California. Perhaps because of this, Illinois also ranked as having one of the lowest annual rates of divorce, tying for third with several other states at eight divorces per 1,000 married couples.
Most of the costs associated with the divorce will be for the attorney’s time, whether it is meeting with you, drafting Court pleadings, negotiating with the other side, attending Court hearings or preparing for trial.
Costs also include expenses, which are unrelated to the attorney’s time. Expenses may include:
- Filing fees;
- Process server fees;
- The use of a stenographer for depositions;
- Travel (if the attorney must travel out of town to attend depositions, or if witnesses must be flown in for depositions or trial);
- The use of private investigators; and
- Accountant fees.
No attorney can say with certainty how much getting divorced will cost. Fees can range from very low in uncontested cases, to extremely high in contested cases that go to trial. Generally, the more amicable the divorce, the less it will cost, as trial preparation takes a great deal of time, leading to significant fees.
Choosing to participate in mediation or collaborative law can also help keep costs to a minimum, as the goal is to reach a mutually agreeable solution without the need for Court intervention.
Who is Responsible for Paying Attorney’s Fees in Illinois Divorce?
In most divorce cases each party is responsible for paying their own attorney’s fees. If one spouse has little access to funds (for example, a stay-at-home mom whose sole source of income was her husband’s salary), the Judge can order the husband to pay the fees.
Fees, whether paid by each spouse or by one spouse for both, are paid from the marital estate, which means the more money spent in attorney’s fees, the less money will be available for distribution when an agreement is reached.
Palatine Divorce and Child Custody Attorney
Divorce is stressful enough without worrying about the costs. Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson approaches all divorce cases with an eye toward reaching a mutually agreeable resolution as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, so you can begin the next phase of your life. He is an experienced attorney who will fight when necessary, and work collaboratively with the other side when it is in your best interests. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.