Divorce lawyers are trained professionals and good ones are worth their weight in gold, but let’s face it: divorce is expensive. In the Chicago area, you can expect to pay anywhere between $300 upwards per hour on attorney’s fees. Different attorneys will charge slightly different rates, the cheapest usually not being the best. Depending on where you go, you will be quoted different retainers to take on the case and get your divorce started. It doesn’t matter because the real measure of how much a divorce is going to cost you depends in large part on the people getting divorced. Remember, you are probably being charged hourly (with perhaps the exception of divorces “by publication”) and so is your spouse. If you can agree on the terms of the divorce and avoid a long litigation, you will end up with more money in your pocket and the whole thing will be done sooner. The majority of Illinois divorce cases in ultimately “settle” and the sooner its done, the cheaper. Now his does NOT mean that you should try to hop on the fastest train to divorce-ville with blinders on, nor should you allow yourself to be taken advantage of by your spouse just because you are scared of what it is going to cost and want the process over with. No! Don't make the mistake of accepting an unfair outcome because it could cost you a lot more in the long run.
What it DOES mean is that you need to be really smart about how you go about things and identify:
- What is really important to you
- What might you be willing to compromise on, and
- How realistic your expectations are, given Illinois law and your unique set of circumstances
A good Chicago area divorce lawyer will help you understand your rights and evaluate your situation before you go down a particular path in the dark.
Can Mediation help lessen the cost of my divorce?
Oftentimes, mediation can significanlty reduce the number of hours that your attorney will have to work on your case, negotiating on your behalf and going to court to let the judge know that there is still no agreement. Mediation, in conjunction with having a lawyer to look out for you, can be an excellent way to pinpoint the areas that are going to be the most troublesome in terms of securing a divorce agreement and working on those areas in a controlled, professional setting. Those who are good candiates for mediation can save themselves thousands of dollars by deciding in advance to handle matters maturely and keep an open mind by going through the mediation process. If you are having trouble reaching an agreement or haven't started your divorce and want to learn about mediation options, call O’Connor Cadiz Law at 630 250-8813. Ms. Cadiz is a trained, experienced divorce mediator who would be happy to help.