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.
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