How Much Does it Cost to Get Divorced in Illinois?
A study conducted in 2012 showed that many couples choose not to get divorced because they believe it will be too expensive. Even though that study was done several years ago, the same holds true today, and those who are considering ending their marriage may be concerned about the cost of doing so. If you are thinking of getting a divorce in Illinois, you are likely wondering how much will it really cost?
The answer to that question can vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case. However, Illinois is one of the costliest states to get a divorce. In fact, in the Prairie State, the average cost of a divorce is $13,800. When factors such as child support and alimony are involved, the total costs can climb to approximately $35,300. Some factors that can affect these costs include:
The Filing Fee
One cost no couple can get around when filing for divorce is the filing fee. This fee is required in all cases, whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In Illinois, this fee averages around $289, depending on which county you reside. This is higher than the national average but is still not the highest in the country. In certain situations, such as when a low-income couple is getting a divorce, these fees are sometimes waived.
Couples that agree to get divorced and wish to do so amicably may choose to go through mediation to resolve the legal issues involved in ending their marriage. This is definitely the most affordable option, since the spouses will typically split the cost of mediation; once they have reached a settlement, they can appear together in court to finalize the divorce. However, if the divorce is not amicable, and the spouses cannot come to an agreement, they will usually need to go through litigation. The cost of taking a divorce to court can vary greatly, but it can be costly, since each spouse will need to pay attorney’s fees, including the time needed for a lawyer to prepare and review documents and appear in court. When multiple court hearings are required, these costs can add up quickly.
When children are involved in a divorce, the costs climb even more, particularly when the couple does not agree on these issues or when the assistance of outside experts or a guardian ad litem becomes necessary. Issues such as child custody and child support can cost a couple as much as $20,000 or more to resolve.
Spousal maintenance or alimony may be a factor in a divorce in which one spouse has a lower income than the other. These payments are meant to allow the lower-earning spouse to live as comfortably as they did when they were married. When vocational analysts and financial experts need to get involved, this can drive the costs even higher. These professionals are often required when one spouse does not work but instead stays home to raise the children. Spousal support is not included in every divorce, but when it is, it can add up to $19,000 in divorce costs.
When the couple owns assets such as a house, this can drastically drive up the cost of divorce. This is due to the fact that professionals, such as property appraisers and tax experts, may need to get involved to determine the value of the couple’s assets and the most fair and equitable way to divide marital property. Property division alone can add, on average, $19,000 to the cost of a divorce.
Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer
While hiring a divorce attorney will add to the costs of a divorce, having a legal advocate on your side is essential in order to secure the financial resources you need for the future and ensure that your rights are protected in matters related to child custody and the division of marital property. If you are considering getting a divorce, call experienced Barrington family law attorney Nicholas W. Richardson today at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation. With our help, you can reach a positive outcome to your divorce and ensure that you are prepared to take the next steps into your post-divorce life.