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March 23, 2021

Do I Have to Pay All the Attorneys’ Fees Myself?

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Do I Have to Pay All the Attorneys’ Fees Myself?

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Filing for divorce in Chicago can be expensive. In addition to court costs and filing fees, you will need to pay the divorce attorney who is representing you in your case. You do not want to skimp when it comes to hiring the best legal team, but attorney’s fees are a reasonable concern. Fortunately, you may not have to pay these on your own. Your former spouse could be responsible for any legal costs you incur. 

Common Fees in a Divorce

Going through a divorce is always difficult. In addition to the emotional toll, it has the potential to significantly impact your current and future financial security. To protect yourself, you need an experienced Chicago divorce attorney on your side, making sure your rights and best interests are protected in any settlements or divorce orders issued. However, this costs money, which may be in relatively short supply with everything else going on.  

Common fees when filing for divorce in Cook County include: 

  • To open and file your divorce case: $337;
  • To respond to a divorce petition filed by your spouse; $206;
  • To have the local sheriff serve your spouse with divorce-related documents: $60
  • Transcripts and other court fees: $50-$100.

In addition to these costs, you will also need to pay attorney fees. These will vary based on the amount of time and effort your legal team needs to spend on your case, but they generally represent the bulk of the costs in Illinois divorce proceedings. 

Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney Fees?

Under the Illinois Statutes, each party is generally responsible for paying their own court costs and legal fees in a divorce. However, the court recognizes that if there is not a level playing field in terms of each party’s ability to pay, it could put one spouse at a distinct advantage over the other. 

To prevent this from happening, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that one spouse may be required to pay some or all of their spouse’s attorney fees. This is particularly common in the following situations: 

  • When one spouse makes significantly more than the other; 
  • When their actions are directly responsible for the divorce, such as in cases of adultery;
  • When your former spouse fails to cooperate, appear at hearings, or follow court orders issued in your case, prompting you to incur more attorney fees. 

Get Our Chicago Divorce Attorneys on Your Side

At the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we want you to have the professional legal representation you need to protect yourself in divorce proceedings. To discuss getting your spouse to pay attorney fees, contact our Chicago divorce attorneys and request a consultation today. 

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