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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Attorney Fees 

What attorney fees will I pay in divorce

Understanding Fees for Divorce and Family Law Cases

Attorneys are entitled to certain fees for their professional services. For a breakdown of how this works at Wakenight & Associates, P.C., see our breakdown below.

Each party usually pays their own fees – In the British legal system, the losing party pays the attorney's fees of the winning party. This creates an incentive to settle up and get out of court for a litigant who can foresee an imminent defeat. In the American legal system, however, each party generally pays their own fees.

Retainer Fee - Many cases will begin with a retainer, or a lump sum payment, to the attorney in advance of the attorney doing any legal work. This money is placed in trust until such time that the attorney has provided services against this amount. 

Contribution to fees – The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) allows a party to petition the court to order that your opponent pay some of your fees. The same criteria used in property division and in determining maintenance is applied in a contribution case.

Interim fees – Interim attorney's fees can be awarded after the court considers nine different factors, the last being "any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable." An interim fee award shall be deemed to be an advance payment of the final marital property award. Overpayment could result in repayment.

Contempt fees – Failure to comply with an order of court can result in a finding of contempt and an order for the winning party to have their fees and costs reimbursed by the losing party.

Statement of rights and responsibilities – The IMDMA includes a section which provides common sense guidelines to be followed by attorneys who represent clients in divorce and family law cases. This helps ensure that you are never over or undercharged.

Whether you are contemplating, initiating, or responding to a case involving attorney's fees, an Illinois family law attorney at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. can discuss your situation with you over the phone for free. Call us at 630-852-9700.

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  • West Suburban Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association




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