How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Illinois?

Updated on August 28, 2020
Updated: May 23, 2022

When you finally decide to get a divorce, you have likely already struggled with this decision for a while. At this point, you are sure that there is no other option that will be sufficient to sort out the marital issues you have been facing.

If you are in this phase of life and want to move forward with your decision, the first step that you will likely take is to figure out just how much an Illinois divorce lawyer will cost. The team of family law attorneys at Tommalieh Law is here to work with you to get the optimal result in your divorce case.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Illinois?

Average Cost for Divorce

Getting a divorce is not easy, and being able to afford a divorce lawyer can be tricky depending on your financial circumstances. The cost can range anywhere from $4,000 to $30,000 with the average cost in Illinois being $13,800. However, this amount is only the average and is only related to childless divorces. Every case is different so you can expect a higher amount if you feel like there are complications in your divorce.

Illinois comes in as the 13th most expensive state when it comes to the cost of getting a divorce or a divorce lawyer for the matter. The reason why the cost varies this much greatly depends on how you want to go about the process, which lawyer, or law firm you decide to opt for and how complicated your case is.

The cost listed above is not a set amount, but it serves as a baseline that you need to keep in mind when moving forward because if you do not think is irreparable, getting a divorce will not only be difficult emotionally but financially as well. Additionally, not making the right decision at the right time when it comes to divorce can have lifetime consequences so do keep that in mind.

Average Attorney’s Rates

The divorce lawyer cost in Illinois can also vary to a great extent. However, on average, considering the overall $13,800 cost, the cost for the lawyer is around $10,900. There are other expenses as well that combine to make the total amount even greater, for example, the fee for filing a divorce case in Illinois is $289. As such, it is extremely important to know about all associated costs before you make your decision.

The cost of a divorce attorney highly depends on their hourly rates. On average, the hourly rate of a divorce attorney in Illinois is $260. This also varies depending upon your decisions and which lawyer would you like to go with. On average, your case can take 4-11 months depending on the complications or even more if it goes for trial.

Situations in Which the Cost will Increase

As mentioned earlier, depending on your case and how serious the issue is, the overall cost of your divorce can increase exponentially. This is the case because the more complex your case is, the lawyer will have to spend more and more time working on it. Since the payment is calculated on an hourly basis, the cost will eventually increase.

Some other contributing factors include having the need to hire a finance or tax consultor, calling in an expert witness, or appraisers. We have prepared a list that will help you in getting a better idea of the costs for your specific case.

Custody of a Minor

The most challenging divorces are the ones in which children get involved. If you have a family at the time of your divorce and you and your partner are unable to agree upon who should get the custody or how will this workout, the cost of getting a divorce is going to be higher. This is not to scare you off but to make a point and tell you how significant it is in this case to have an experienced lawyer.

Seeking help from an experienced child custody attorney will not only increase your chances of winning the case but will also help you in understanding what is beneficial for you in the future. Additionally, since they have gone through many cases, they understand how difficult this process is emotionally and they can support you in whatever ways possible.

While all of this stands true, one cannot ignore the cost which on average increases to $17,500 for the lawyer only. However, the defining factor here and in every other situation is whether the case gets settled before going to trial or not as it can decrease the amount significantly.

Alimony Cases

While child custody is a very serious issue, alimony disputes are also not something that one should take lightly. The rationale behind saying this is the fact that there can be so many different possibilities for resolution.

There can be disagreements on how much the working spouse earns or the fact that one of the spouses left their career to support the family by staying at home. The settlement amount itself and how long should it continue is also an issue.

This is why one can get in serious trouble if they do not consult an expert in such a situation. While seeking legal advice is significant, it can also be costly, which eventually increases the average rate in this case to $19,100 which includes an average of $15,900 for the divorce lawyer.

Baby playing with coins

While the prices can sound a bit intimidating, you need to keep in mind how much more loss you may have to bear if you do not opt for this one-time payment. Additionally, your lawyer will be working extremely hard just so that you don’t get caught in this issue for the rest of your life. Having a divorce attorney fighting for you will probably be one of the best decisions of your life.

Property Issues

One of the most common issues that people dread when they decide to get divorced is the property issue. However, it is a more common issue for couples that have a high net worth and numerous physical assets. There are several misconceptions pertaining to this specific issue.

For example, people think that not having a joint account after marriage will help significantly if they ever end up in such situations or the fact that the house is in your name so your future is secure no matter where your marriage ends up. Well, these pointers might have some importance but they in no way define that everything that is in your name is necessarily your private property.

These complications are the reason why not having an attorney for divorce should not even be considered an option. Most likely, it will be difficult for both you and your partner to agree on one thing, so along with the help of a divorce lawyer, you will need the help of tax and financial experts, and appraisers so be prepared for that. While the cost can vary widely, to give you an average rate for Illinois, the total average is $19, 400 which includes an average of $16,000 lawyer cost.

No-Fault Divorce

While all of the above pointers were the complications that come after you have decided to take a divorce, the actual reason behind choosing this option can also have an impact on the costs.

In Illinois, you can file a no-fault divorce which means you do not have to explain why exactly you are filing for it or what issues that you are facing because of your partner. While this option does exist, most of the divorces that happen are messy and have several reasons.

For example, you may want to file for a divorce because your spouse is a harasser, a raging alcoholic, drug user, issues of abandonment, or infidelity. In such cases, there is a high chance that the overall cost of your case increases because of the complications that might become a part of the case as you move forward with it.

Should You Hire an Illinois Divorce Lawyer?

While divorce is one of the issues where working single-handedly is rarely recommended, there is an option for hiring a mediator instead of a lawyer as well. Although, we would only recommend that if you think that you and your partner can sort things out with the help of a mediator without going to trial.

If you think that you want a divorce but are still unsure about the process, the team of family lawyers at Tommalieh Law will be more than happy to help guide you through the process and make things easier for you. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with us so that we can take this forward.

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