HomeBlogDivorceCan I Afford A Divorce?

Can I Afford A Divorce?

The idea of getting a divorce is stressful not only emotionally but financially as well. Many clients come to our law office afraid they cannot afford a divorce. Suddenly having one income instead of two and trying to sell a home or split assets are scary ideas. If this sounds like your situation, remember there is also a significant price for sacrificing your well-being and happiness. If you are a parent, conflict and unhappiness will impact your ability to care for your family, and tension or resentment in the household will likely be felt by your children, as well. 

For couples still hoping to reconcile, a legal separation may be a good choice. However, if it has become clear that your marriage is broken, divorce is usually the best path forward, even if it disrupts your finances. An experienced divorce attorney can review your specific financial circumstances, help you understand how divorce might impact you, and identify tactics for minimizing your costs.

You May Be Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees

In 2022, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was revised to allow litigants to request attorneys’ fees from their spouses to retain an attorney. Previously, retainer fees had to be paid upfront, and an allowance could be requested afterward. However, under 750 ILCS 5/501, divorcing parties can request attorney’s fees for a retainer to initiate a case or respond to a petition.

To receive an award for attorneys’ fees, you must show that you meet the eligibility requirements, which consider each party’s financial need, resources, and earning capacity, among other factors. You should find an attorney you’d like to work with first, who can submit the request on your behalf. Many firms offer a free consultation to allow you to explore these possibilities.

Knowing Your Priorities May Minimize Conflict and Reduce Costs

Divorce does mean change, but it doesn’t always have to mean conflict. In some cases, such as those involving domestic abuse, a contentious divorce cannot be avoided. However, if you and your spouse are able to agree on some or all of the issues in your divorce without going to court, you may save time and reduce your divorce costs.

When conflict does arise, it’s important to know your priorities and be willing to compromise when appropriate. For example, fighting to keep items due to sentimental attachment or a desire to “win” might seem tempting, but it will likely draw out your divorce and increase your legal fees.

A Skilled Attorney Can Advocate for a Fair Settlement

As seasoned divorce lawyers, our firm has seen all kinds of financial situations over the years — including high-net-worth divorces where the impact was heavily financial. We will not sugarcoat the expectations and outcomes of your financial situation. However, what we will do is be as cost-effective as possible and not waste your time. We believe in efficient and thorough divorce counsel. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of Illinois divorce laws, and we will advocate for a settlement that is reasonable and fair.

Over Two Decades Of Family Law Experience

While the road to getting a divorce may not be easy, the end result could very well be worth it. For almost all our clients, we do not recommend waiting to get a divorce simply because it doesn’t seem like a good financial move at this time. There is never a good time to get a divorce, and the decision is often beyond your control, and it is okay to realize this. However, the experience of your attorney is something you can control. 

At WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, our founding attorney, Jennifer R. Ward, has over two decades of experience in matrimonial and family law counsel for those in the Chicago, Illinois, area. You will find that our team is compassionate, dedicated, and efficient. We encourage you to take the first steps toward finding out more about divorce laws in Illinois and whether this is the right step for you. You can contact us online to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your divorce or separation options.



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