There are two main costs involved in a divorce: Court Fees and Attorney Fees. Of course, the more continuous the divorce, the more hours you should expect your attorney to work on your case. On the bright side, no matter how complicated your divorce is, court fees are the same for everyone.
Key court fees for residents of Cook County:
- $337 to file/open a new divorce case
- $206 to respond if your spouse files for divorce
- $60 to have the Sheriff serve your spouse
- $25 to attend FOCUS on Children
- $50 transcript fee
The cost of your divorce is directly related to the number of issues between spouses that need to be worked out. The biggest determinant of attorney fees is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested.
I offer a flat fee for an uncontested divorce which is a great way to keep costs down. For a divorce to qualify as uncontested, you and your spouse should able to settle everything (dividing money and property, for example) before hiring an attorney. In that case, the attorney’s role is guide you through the court process and assist with required paperwork and filings.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide property or who gets custody of kids, you have a contested divorce. In this situation, there is almost no way to know in advance how many hours your lawyer will be working on your case. Contested divorces can last years, but some can settle within a few months. As a rough guide, a contested divorce generally takes at least 10 hours, for which you will pay an hourly rate. This time estimate includes phone calls, emails, documents, filings, and court time.