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Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates Law Firm Frequently Asked Questions Video

Can one party petition to get some or all of the divorce costs paid by the other party?

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Transcription


A question that is often brought to my attention is, “Who’s going to pay for the divorce?” Often times when parties better suited financially to pay the costs of the attorney’s fees associated with the divorce.

In cases where a stay at home mom is faced with a divorce situation, she can petition the court for what we call interim attorney fees. The court would look at her ability to not be able to pay for her legal fees and then look at the husband’s ability to pay for those fees and to what we call a leveling the playing field. It would not be fair for a wife that had absolutely had no income to be forced into a divorce situation where she couldn’t pay those attorney’s fees and then let her husband then pay for all of his own attorney’s fees, because Illinois looks at all income during the course of a marriage as being just that, marital income, equally belonging to the wife as it would belong to the husband.

In addition to interim attorneys’ fees, the court does have jurisdiction to make a finding for contribution of attorney’s fees and that happens at the end of the case. During the pendency of the divorce, the court wants to make sure that the playing field is leveled between the spouses. Also at the end of the case, the court can take a look at all the attorney’s fees expended and what is deemed reasonable and who can best afford to pay those fees and the court can then reallocate those attorney’s fees and make one spouse either pay for some, most or all of the attorney’s fees of the other spouse.

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