How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Illinois?

Updated on April 15, 2022
Updated: June 17, 2022

Divorce cost in Illinois is almost as costly as getting married at the altar in a celebratory wedding. When it comes to getting married, couples in the U.S. spend on average $33,391 on a wedding. Divorce costs couples at least one-third of the cost of nuptials.

Divorce costs to separate from a former spouse vary widely across the nation. Out of all 50 states, California is the most costly state to get divorced. The average divorce filing fee in California is $435, with average lawyer’s fees ranging around $13,800. In contrast, North Dakota is one of the least expensive states to get divorced, with average divorce filing costs of $80 and average lawyer fees of $8,200.

Illinois isn't an economical state to legally separate from a spouse. Illinois is in the top 10 states with the most expensive divorce fees. On average, the divorce cost in Illinois is $13,800. However, when you include child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division into the mix, and the cost of divorce sharply rises to an average of $35,300.

What Is the Average Cost for a Divorce in Illinois?

The average filing fee for divorce in Illinois is $289, which is above the national average; while the average divorce lawyer fees hover around $10,900.

Spouses who wish to get a divorce must begin their journey by filing for a divorce. The simple but necessary action of filing itself costs a few hundred dollars. In certain instances, like when spouses have insufficient income to pay the filing expenses, the fee might be waived.

When you bring children into the picture, the cost of divorce skyrockets to $20,700 on average in Illinois. Disputes over child support, plus child custody disputes increase the costs of divorce proceedings, particularly when the family law court resolves the issues. Divorcing couples save money significantly when they settle divorce matters involving children before the divorce case goes to trial.

Also, alimony drives the cost of divorce upwards across the country. In Illinois, alimony increases the costs of divorce to $19,100 on average. Spouses with unequal earning power often fight over alimony issues, increasing divorce costs. The purpose of awarding spousal support is to enable the lesser-earning spouse to live as comfortably possible as they did during the marriage.

A few situations warranty spousal support, including:

  • A long marriage
  • When one spouse gives up their career to support the working spouse
  • When one party stays at home to raise the couple’s children. The cost of spousal maintenance increases because of the necessary involvement of financial experts and vocational analysts.

Child support and spousal support are two completely separate family law matters. Child support benefits the couple’s minor children, with financial support going to the spouse who has custody of the kids. Alimony is strictly reserved to offer financial help to the lesser-earning spouse until they become self-supporting.

wedding rings on top of money

High-income spouses often have a high-cost divorce. The steep rise of divorce expenses that include property division arises when multiple marital assets are involved. Spouses entangled in the dissolution of marriage will aggressively safeguard their savings accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, real estate, and brokerage accounts.

When property division matters get resolved out of court, the cost of divorce decreases exponentially. On average, Illinois coupes should expect to pay $19,400 in divorces that involve property division.

Filing for divorce based on fault also increases the cost of divorce. Couples who claim faults, such as abandonment, impotence, infidelity, cruelty, drug, or alcohol abuse often witness the cost of their divorce proceedings increase significantly.

Illinois divorce attorneys charge an hourly rate of $260 on average to help with divorce matters. Spouses’ payments include fees for legal staff, any paralegals involved, court filings, funding the costs of financial analysts, expert witnesses, professional child custody evaluators, and appraisers. Those starting on the legal journey to divorce should expect to pay the lawyer’s hourly fee multiplied by the total number of hours the divorce lawyer spends to complete their divorce case.

Learn More: How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?

Is There a Faster Way to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

If you and your spouse have no children, have little income, and agree on all family law matters, Illinois family law courts may allow you to have a joint and simplified divorce.

There are additional requirements you must meet to qualify for a joint and simplified divorce. Some of them are:

  • You must be married for less than eight years,
  • You or your spouse can't earn more than $30,000 per year, before taxes, with neither spouse earning more than $20,000 a year,
  • Neither you nor your spouse can own any real estate,
  • You must meet the Illinois residency requirements,
  • Neither you nor your spouse can be financially dependent on the other.

If you and your spouse fulfill these requirements, ask for the required divorce forms from your county's clerk's office. Then you and your spouse must jointly file the divorce petition in the county clerk's office at the circuit court. The clerk will assign a court hearing date for you. On the date of the court hearing, the family law judge will review your divorce papers and, if they don't see any problems they'll sign your divorce papers.

Work with Experienced Family Law Attorneys From Tommalieh Law

The family law attorneys at Tommalieah Law have extensive experience in helping spouses navigate through and complete their divorce cases. Our legal team can handle both contested and uncontested divorces and help you and your spouse get a favorable outcome. 

We are experienced in many aspects of divorce proceedings, including parental responsibilities to help couples win child custody battles. Also, we can help you with child support agreements and visitation rights for parents.

Our lawyers also help you through property division matters, including stocks, homes, pets, and vehicles, to ensure you walk away with assets that you're fairly entitled to. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our law office today at (708) 232-0017.

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