cost of divorce in Illinois

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Illinois?

Those living in Illinois and thinking about divorce might be like many Americans in the current uncertain financial climate. You’re wondering how much does a divorce cost in Illinois. The short answer is the cost of a divorce in Illinois depends on your marital situation. Factors include whether or not you have children and property to deal with.

We all know of the emotional costs of divorce, for better or worse, there’s no completely happy end to a marital relationship. Add children to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for pain in many cases. Yet, the financial costs of divorce are a problem as well. Some couples may even put off obtaining a legal divorce because of money.

Divorce Costs are a Worry

A 2012 survey by the American Sociological Association shows a significant number of couples who separated didn’t get a divorce because they couldn’t afford it. Outside of being able to pay an attorney, these couples were concerned about the long-term effects of a divorce, wondering how they could support themselves and children after a divorce. Others worried that their soon-to-be former spouse would welch on the support payments. A New York Times article noted that some couples worried about the dissolution of financial assets and the potential loss of health insurance.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Illinois?

In Illinois, there are no set costs for the divorce. There are, however, set costs for filing the paperwork with the court where you live.  You may have to pay up to $300 in filing fees. If you are a young couple who have been married a short period and have separated for at least six months, a divorce should be relatively inexpensive even if you hire an attorney. If you are married with children, have joint assets like savings and retirement accounts, or own a home or business together, you may think it is easier to hire attorneys and let them work out the details.

How much do Illinois Divorce Lawyers Charge?

Illinois divorce lawyers may charge upwards of $500 per hour to work on your divorce if you’re living in Chicago. Fees may be less if you’re living in Carbondale. Your lawyer may have to hire a specialist to help with the decisions on what is in the best interest of the child, or to thoroughly investigate spousal assets. Some attorneys may charge a retainer, which is a flat fee the lawyer charges at the beginning of your case. The lawyer will withdraw money from the amount until it’s gone. The amount of the fee will vary depending on your case. An attorney can ask for $1,500 upfront, and then still need more money later in complex cases.

DIY Alternatives to Divorce Lawyers in Illinois

There’s no law that says you have to hire an attorney to handle your divorce in Illinois. If you’re worried about how much does a divorce cost in Illinois, you may consider handling the divorce yourself. You can fill out the forms yourself, file the paperwork yourself and come to a satisfactory agreement that costs much less than if you go through a lawyer. If you and your spouse can work together and make key decisions, you won’t need a lawyer. You’ll save money and save yourselves some long-term pain.

Do it yourself divorce in Illinois