Petitions for interim attorney fees typically arise when one spouse has control of the marital money and the other spouse is left with few resources to pay for legal representation in a divorce. The purpose of interim attorney fee awards is to level the playing field so to speak, so an economically disadvantaged spouse can adequately participate in litigation against a spouse who possesses greater assets. Attorney fees can be pursued to cover reasonable fees and costs already incurred and to be incurred and it is certainly advisable to get the ball rolling sooner than later.
Whether one spouse should be responsible for the attorney fees of the other is determined by the court after considering a number of factors such as the income and property of each party; the needs of each party; whether either party has an impairment or limited earning capacity; allocation of parenting responsibility if children are involved and any other relevant information needed to make a fair determination.
If you are facing divorce and do not have the means to hire an attorney because your spouse controls the money, which is typical of many stay at home parents, you should discuss this with an experienced family law attorney who can help you pursue attorney fees and costs. Sometimes economically disadvantaged spouses believe that they just have to go along with what is decided, when in fact, they should act aggressively to get the highest reasonable amount of support, including attorney fees, so they can emerge from a divorce on the best footing possible.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, making sure that your ex pays his or her fair share whether it is attorney fees, the division of marital property or spousal maintenance. A good lawyer will likely suggest things you have not thought of like requiring a spouse to keep you on his or her health insurance policy to making arrangements to pay for a child’s college tuition. Having access to knowledgeable and experienced legal representation can make all the difference in a divorce and the fact that you are at a disadvantage financially compared to your spouse should not be a barrier to getting the help you need.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney
Tell us about your financial situation or other concerns and we will take aggressive action to pursue your objectives and protect your rights. Contact the Libertyville, Illinois family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates to schedule your consultation today at 847-495-6000.