How much is a divorce in illinois what to expectHow much is a divorce in Illinois is a notion you would ask if you are considering a divorce in Illinois. The answer to the following query depends on different factors, including the complexity of your case and the number of issues you’ll handle during the process.

With Illinois among the country’s most expensive states to get a divorce, it is important to know what to expect during the process. In this guide, we’ll explain the most common costs associated with a divorce in Illinois hence you can take informed decisions about your finances during the divorce process.

How Much Does an Illinois Divorce Cost?

The average cost of divorce in the state of Illinois is $15,000. However, this number does not include the cost of retaining a divorce attorney to represent you for the time it will take to complete the process. Attorney’s fees typically range from $200 upwards per hour.

What Are the Common Divorce-Related Expenses in Illinois?

The divorce costs in Illinois depend on the type of case you and your partner are filing. Retaining an attorney and resolving issues such as child custody and support, property division, and alimony (spousal support) can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of your divorce. Determining how much you will spend on your divorce requires careful planning and realistic expectations about how much the legal process will take in your case.

– Filing Fees

If you are filing a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, you must pay a filing fee to the court to initiate your case. As of January 1, 2020, the filing fee for a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation in Illinois is $311. If you and your spouse have insufficient income and can’t afford the filing fees, the court may waive some or all of it. For further information, you may contact the county clerk’s office in the county where you live.

– Spousal Maintenance or Support

In some cases, one spouse may be required to pay spousal support to the other spouse following the divorce. To begin receiving payments, your spouse must file a petition requesting the court to order you to pay them a given amount of money each month.

Nonetheless, the court-determined amount depends on several factors, including income, ability to pay, and living situation. The obligation to expend alimony ends when the spouse receiving the payments remarries or dies. The amount of alimony ordered may change over time as the circumstances of the paying and receiving spouse change.

– Child Custody and Support

Divorcing couples with children will need to pay for the costs of child support and child custody arrangements. Child support is generally paid until the children reach the age of majority or become self-supporting. Child custody orders are also generally permanent until one parent requests that the court modify them to accommodate changes in their children’s lives or the paying parent becomes disabled or otherwise unable to earn an income.

– Property Division

Property division is based on Illinois’ equitable distribution laws. That means that it is done in a manner that the judge deems fair, considering all of the relevant factors. Divorce costs are likely higher than average whenever multiple assets are involved. When spouses have differences about property division, property appraisers, tax experts, and other financial experts are likely to be retained to assist with a fair property division.

These experts have to be paid for their time and expertise, which can drive up the cost of your divorce. On the other hand, if both you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your property division, you may be able to avoid many of the costs associated with a divorce.

– Litigation Costs

Divorce cases in which one spouse cites the fault of the other, such as infidelity, drug abuse, abandonment, or physical abuse, are likely to cost more to resolve than divorce cases in which neither spouse would blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage.

In addition, fault-based divorces tend to have longer court battles and additional legal issues that must be resolved before the finalization of the divorce. The average cost of a divorce in which one party accuses the other of wrongdoing will likely be higher than the average cost in which both parties accept the blame or agree that there is no fault involved.

What Are the Factors Determining the Cost of Divorce in Illinois?

Many factors can affect the cost of your divorce. Some would even have a more significant influence than others, but all affect the cost of divorce to some degree. Such factors include:

  • The challenge of the issues involved in the divorce.
  • The amount of time it takes to resolve the issues in the divorce.
  • The court procedures for resolving these issues.
  • The attorneys that you hire represent you throughout the divorce process.
  • The number of children you have and their potential involvement in the divorce proceedings.
  • The geographic location of the court proceedings and the level of expertise required in those areas.
  • Whether you agree to settle your dispute out of court or go to trial.
  • The size of the marital estate.
  • Whether there is any marital debt to be resolved as part of the divorce proceedings.
  • Whether the case is resolved through mediation or litigation.
  • Any extra fees that you incur during the divorce proceedings.

What Are Cost-effective Options for Marriage Dissolution?

There are two key options for a marriage dissolution to have cost-effective approaches, one of them is the no-fault dissolution, where you reach a term of an agreement to avoid traditional divorce. You may even have a collaborative divorce, where you work as a team to trach a settlement.

– No-fault Dissolution

If you may reach an agreement with your former spouse regarding the terms of the property division, you may be able to avoid many of the costs associated with a traditional divorce. However, even if you reach an out-of-court agreement regarding your assets and debts, you still have to go to court in order to finalize the divorce, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Many couples prefer a less expensive form of divorce known as an uncontested divorce. The divorcing parties agree on issues such as property division and debt obligations without the assistance of an attorney. While this saves the couple both time and money, it should only be considered if the parties fully comprehend the terms of the agreement and their legal rights in case of future disagreements.

– Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorces involve working with your spouse and a team of neutral professionals to reach a settlement and avoid the high costs of going to court. The team may consist of a lawyer for each party, a financial specialist, and a mental health professional if your children are involved in the case.

The parties will meet with the team regularly throughout the process to discuss their disputes and reach a settlement without needing court intervention. While the collaborative divorce process is less costly than traditional divorce, you will still need to pay your team’s legal fees. Collaborative divorce reduces costs by requiring both parties to resolve disputes outside court.


– How Long Would a Divorce Take in Illinois?

A traditional divorce can take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the nature of the couple’s dispute and whether they can agree on divorce-related issues. Uncontested divorces can be finalized within a few months as they don’t have a mandatory waiting period, provided one of the parties meets the residency requirements.

– How Much Does It Cost To Get a Divorce Lawyer in Illinois?

The cost of hiring an attorney can vary based on the lawyer’s experience and the work required to complete your case. Lawyers will often charge an hourly rate or an upfront fee based on the hours they anticipate working on your behalf. On average, Illinois attorneys will charge between $150 to $300 per hour.

– How To Hasten the Speed of a Divorce in Illinois?

You can shorten the amount of time it takes to finalize your divorce by agreeing to the terms of your settlement before filing your petition with the court. In most cases, this will prevent you and your spouse from having to attend numerous court hearings to resolve the details of your divorce.


Divorce is tough for everyone involved, but you can do several things to minimize the emotional and financial challenge it takes on you and those around you. The process involves various issues which may affect your divorce’s overall cost. In this article, we’ve discussed factors that can influence the cost of your divorce and the options for a cost-friendly divorce. Here’s a summary of that discussion:How much is a divorce in illinois all you need to know

  • On average, the cost of a divorce settlement in Illinois is almost $15,000.
  • In most divorces, filing fees, attorney fees, alimony, child support, and property division make up the total cost of divorce.
  • The cost of your divorce may also be affected by other factors, including the complexity of your case.
  • Settling divorce-related issues with your spouse out of court or filing an uncontested divorce helps expedite the process and cut costs.

Terminating your marriage through divorce is no easy task; however, it can be emotionally and financially rewarding if you can agree on the terms of your divorce settlement with minimal involvement of a court and attorneys. By establishing ground rules for child custody and support, spousal support, and property division before filing your petition with the court, you can save significant time and money during the divorce process.

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