How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Illinois?

For many couples, divorce is an unfortunate and often costly reality. However, as a resident of Illinois, you may have options available to you that could lower the total amount of your divorce proceedings considerably.  You may have heard that the divorce process Illinois requires is “free”.  While this is a bit of an oversimplification, there are ways for you to seek a divorce that work more in your favor financially.

There are typically three fees that are associated with divorce in Illinois:

Filing Fees

This is the fee you’ll pay when you file your divorce papers.  The filing fee amounts in Illinois vary from county to county, so you’ll need to contact your county’s circuit clerk for the exact amount. If you are the spouse that has been served divorce papers and intend to participate, you will need to file papers for “Appearance” and “Answer”, and a fee will apply to those.

Spouse Notification Fee

The second fee is one you’ll need pay if you are the one the seeking the divorce.  In order to have your spouse served with the papers that will notify them of your intention to legally seek a divorce, you will need to pay a fee that covers that cost.  The fee for this service is up to your county clerk.

If you are in a financial situation that makes the cost of filing fees too expensive, you do have the option of applying for a Waiver of Court Fees.

This will require you to provide the following information:

  • Your monthly income and also the total yearly sum of all money received, including benefits and money received by anyone who lives with you and who you support.
  • The number of people living at your residence who rely on you for support.
  • All property ownership and estimated worth, as well as mortgage information.
  • The make and model of all vehicles that you own.
  • A list of your personal property and estimated worth.

This process may seem overwhelming, but it can be worth the time and effort.  If a judge approves your waiver application, you will be able to file for your divorce without have to pay any of the fees normally associated with filing, serving papers, any mandatory mediation or counseling programs and certified documents or transcriptions – and this could make a huge financial difference for you and those who rely on you.

Legal Fees

Unfortunately, hiring an attorney to represent you is usually the most expensive part of getting a divorce by far. The good news is that, if your divorce isn’t particularly complicated, you may not need a lawyer at all, saving you a fortune over the course of the divorce process. If you would like to learn more about DIY divorce and the money it can save you, feel free to contact us today.