Attorneys' fees in a divorce case

Attorneys' fees in a divorce case

Are you considering getting a divorce, but unsure who pays attorneys’ fees in a divorce case, check out this video to find out.

Hey, my name is Barry Zlotowicz and I’m a Chicago attorney. Today I’m here with Northbrook divorce lawyer Mark Schondorf to discuss attorneys’ fees in divorce cases.

So, Mark is a divorce lawyer and one of the important issues in a divorce case is which spouse is going to pay attorneys’ fees.

In fact, in all family law cases, who is going to pay an attorney’s fee is an important topic. Getting divorced can be very costly. Mark worked on one million-dollar-divorce case that went on for 10 years.

But the typical divorce case can cost as much as it costs to buy a small car.

The biggest question is, who is responsible for paying attorneys’ fees in a divorce. Generally speaking, in Illinois at least, each party is responsible to pay for their own attorneys’ fees. And most divorce attorneys will require some sort of divorce retainer prior to getting to work.

But what happens if one spouse cannot afford to pay for their attorneys’ fees? People often ask will my spouse pay my attorneys’ fees? The answer is, in Illinois at least, it depends.

In Chicago, Illinois, the general rule is that you try to “level the playing field.” So, the party seeking the other party to pay the fees has to show the court that they don’t have the money and that the other side has the money.

Now if one attorney does pay all the attorneys’ fees, it may be considered an advance against marital assets meaning that they attorneys’ fees that were fronted on their behalf will come out in the settlement. But not always.

You may also be able to recover attorneys’ fees in other family law cases as well. When you enter into a divorce decree, that is a court order. If you violate that court order by not paying for your child’s soccer expenses or your child support, that is violating a court order and in that case you may be able to recover attorneys’ fees when someone violates a court order as well.

One last thought, you want to save money in a divorce? Come to a reasonable settlement with your former spouse. It could save you tens of thousands of dollars that you could have kept for you or your kids.

Thanks for checking out this video on attorneys’ fees in a divorce case. Please subscribe to our channel and if you have any other questions on this or any other topic, please feel free to reach out to me at


  1. This is ridiculous! Whomever wants to divorce should pay the divorce fees! They can be lying that they don’t have $ and blame on the other party that they have enough $ to cover the devorce when they HAD NO idea this was coming!

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  3. I need a divorce from Newark nj and my husband has stolen my identity and replaced me with another woman please call her I been married for 13years

  4. Maybe seek counsel with someone who offers a FREE consultation. I paid $375 for a wasted hour. The lawyer told me I have a “bad case.” Also, I would have to use money coming to me by settlement to equate to my spouse’s paying of the fees. There isn’t a lot.

  5. The lowest form of life, "Family Law Attorney!" Truly Evil people. They make their money off other people’s misfortune!!!

  6. My lawyer got paid $8,000. got me temporary monies,$700. a month to live on till a agreement or trial and told me to pay$2,000. to go to trial when he knew I got $700. a month to live on. Now what happens to me? Oregon

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