Filing fees alone in Illinois are $500 or more because both people have to pay - and they are separate from what the attorney charges for their work. If you file it yourself, you also will also pay a convenience fee if you use a credit or debit card. Add in the cost of an attorney, and you’re looking at an average price tag of anywhere from $1200 to several thousand dollars. The same websites that suggest a divorce should be $500 also suggest that the attorney fees shouldn’t be much more than $500. But do you really want a professional who is that cheap? Attorneys are highly trained professionals who understand how the legal system works and how best to advocate for their clients within it. That kind of expertise doesn’t come cheap - and if it is, it is not worth the cost.
When it comes to getting divorced, it pays to do your research and find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. A good attorney should have a thorough knowledge of the law, so they know how best to represent your interests. In other words, if someone is suggesting your divorce should be cheap, then they're not doing you any favors, either. An attorney knows the ins and outs of the law, and they help make your paperwork something that will stand the test of time.
Divorcing couples often need help determining who gets what property and assets, who pays which debts, and who will have parenting times. Lawyers do not give this advice away for free and cannot tell you what to write in your documents if you choose to represent yourself. Attorneys can help by making sure these decisions are fair and equitable for both parties involved in the divorce—something that can be difficult for people going through a divorce to do on their own due to emotional attachments or other personal biases they might have towards certain belongings or arrangements. An experienced attorney will also make sure all paperwork is filled out correctly so there are no hang-ups in court or drawn-out processes that could make things even more expensive down the line.
When it comes down to it, there's no such thing as a “cheap divorce" that is worth the money spent. Cheap divorces are worse than cheap haircuts and cheap clothes because the consequences could last for years and affect your financial future, as well as your future with your children. Having a knowledgeable lawyer help you handle all aspects of your case properly will save time (and therefore money) in the long run.
At the end of the day, hiring an experienced attorney is necessary when navigating a divorce—but don’t let anyone tell you that all divorces are super expensive either. There are plenty of affordable options out there if you know where to look; just make sure you ask questions about experience levels and rates before making any commitments.
Since I only handle uncontested, simple and agreed divorces, I can keep my prices lower. I know how long it will take me to draft your paperwork professionally, and you get my 19+ years of experience to help make sure that I have created something that will stand the test of time. If you are ready to take that step, reach out to my office or give me a call.