» Divorce

Will my spouse be required to pay my attorney fees?

Generally, each party is responsible for their own fees in an Illinois divorce. However, a party may petition the court for interim fees if the other spouse has greater access to resources or has an ability to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees.

Moreover, a spouse may be required to pay attorneys’ fees if that spouse is found to be in contempt of court for a violation of a court order. Accordingly, it pays to follow all court orders which are entered in court.

How is alimony calculated in Illinois?

If the court determines that a maintenance award is appropriate, the court shall order maintenance in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • In situations when the combined gross income of the parties is less than $250,000 and no multiple family exists, maintenance shall be in accordance with the guidelines, unless the court makes a finding that the application of the guidelines would be inappropriate.
  • The amount shall be calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s gross income minus 20% of the payee’s gross income. The amount of maintenance, however, when added to the gross income of the payee, may not result in the payee receiving an amount that is in excess of 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
  • The duration of an award for maintenance shall be calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage by whichever of the following factors applies: 0 – 5 years (.20); 5 – 10 years (.40); 10 – 15 years (.60); or 15 – 20 years (.80). For a marriage in excess of 20 years, the court shall order either permanent maintenance or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage.

How is child support calculated?

Parents may be ordered to pay child support. Illinois law provides guidelines as to the amount of support owed to a child. The court shall determine the minimum amount of support by using the following guidelines:

Number of Children Percentage of Supporting Party’s Net Income
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6 or more 50%

Section 5/505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that the above guideline shall be applied in each case unless the court makes a finding that a deviation is warranted.

What is the difference between joint and sole custody?

Joint custody requires both parents to consult with each other prior to making a major decision regarding their children. A major decision includes any decision involving the medical, education and religious upbringing. Joint Custody also requires that the parents attend mediation in the event of a conflict regarding the children.

Sole custody involves only one parent making the major decisions of the children. Illinois courts strongly favor an award of joint custody.

How long will the divorce take?

Each case is unique and the length of a divorce case in Illinois depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. The length of the case largely depends on the complexity of your case. The more unresolved issues you have the longer you can expect your case will take.