Interim Attorney’s Fees in Illinois Divorce Cases

Family Law Blog

Interim Attorney’s Fees in Illinois Divorce Cases

December 1, 2019 | Divorce

Interim Attorney’s Fees in Illinois Divorce Cases

If one spouse controls the marital funds, then it may be difficult for the other spouse to pay for his/her divorce attorney. Illinois divorce law recognizes that it is unfair for one spouse to have money for a divorce attorney while the other spouse does not. The spouse with the money would have an advantage in the divorce case. Therefore, judges want to “level the playing field,” and make sure that both spouses can pay for an attorney. Essentially, under certain circumstances, the judge will order the spouse with access to money to pay the other spouse’s attorney.   

The spouse without the money will have to file a Petition for Interim Attorney’s Fees. A judge will consider many factors, including, the money each spouse has, the money each spouse will earn in the future, the complexity of the casethe total amount of attorney’s fees incurred, and the attorney’s fees expected in the future. The judge should rule on the attorney fee petition for interim attorney fees relatively quickly. Judges usually will order one spouse to pay the other’s attorney’s fees if there is marital money available to pay the fees 

It should be noted that the spouse without the money may think he/she is in a “catch-22” because he/she needs an attorney to get money from the spouse (through filing a Petition for Interim Attorney’s Fees) but he/she needs money first in order to hire an attorney. However, this is usually not an issue because divorce attorneys will often take a low retainer if they believe they can file a successful interim fee petition.  

The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been serving DuPage and Cook County residents for nearly 50 years. We have vast experience handling cases involving divorce. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys, please email us or call (630) 573-8585 to schedule a free consultation. 


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Contact the Botti Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about our different practice areas and how we can best address your legal concerns. Call (630) 573-8585 to speak with one of our attorneys.


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