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FAQs about Finances During a Chicago Divorce

Where do I get the funds to retain a lawyer and support myself during the divorce process?

How can I obtain temporary support and maintenance?

If my spouse refuses to help pay for my attorney, what can I do?

What aspects of my finances will a court look at?

Is it possible for an interim award to be less than what I'll have to pay?

What happens if the court decides that both parties can't pay attorney fees?


Q: Where do I get the funds to retain a lawyer and support myself during the divorce process?

A: If your spouse withholds financial support, it will place a financial burden on you until an application for temporary support and maintenance can be heard and decided by the court.

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Q: How can I obtain temporary support and maintenance?

A: Issues surrounding Illinois maintenance, also known as spousal support, can seem daunting at first. A Chicago family law attorney with extensive experience in handling maintenance and other financial matters surrounding divorce is your best bet at getting the financial support you need to proceed with your divorce. Contact Nottage and Ward, LLP today at (312) 332-2915 to discuss your family law matter.

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Q: If my spouse refuses to help pay for my attorney, what can I do?

A: You may want to consider seeking an "interim award", which is money appointed by the court to temporarily pay for short-term attorney fees and costs. In evaluating a request for an interim award, the court will assess all pertinent factors that may influence a person's finances to determine what is just and equitable.

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Q: What aspects of my finances will a court look at?

A: When evaluating whether you qualify for an interim award, the court will assess the income and property of each party, which includes alleged marital property under the sole control of one party and alleged non-marital property within access to a party. The court will also evaluate the needs of each party; the practical earning capacity of each party; any limitations or damages to current earning capacity of either party, which includes age, physical health, and emotional wellbeing; the standard of living established during the marriage; each party's access to appropriate information; and the amount of the payment or payments made or reasonable expected to be made to the attorney for the other party. The court will also look at the degree of complexity of the issues at hand, which often relates to child custody, property valuation or division (or both) of closely held businesses, tax planning, and a reasonable need for expert investigations or expert witnesses (or both).

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Q: Is it possible for an interim award to be less than what I'll have to pay?

A: Unless reasonable cause is demonstrated, an interim award for attorney fees and costs will not be less than payments made or reasonably expected to be made to the counsel for the other party. Interim awards may be less than the actual divorce attorneys fees incurred and you may need to apply for interim attorneys fees more than once. At the end of the case, your attorney may also file for contribution to the final fees incurred.

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Q: What happens if the court decides that both parties can't pay attorney fees?

A: When a court or hearing officer determines that both parties seeking a divorce in Chicago do not have the finances, access to assets, or access to income to pay for practical attorney fees and costs, an order will be entered to assign available funds for each party's counsel. This usually includes retainers or interim payments, or both, paid prior, in a way that establishes equality between the parties.

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Chicago Divorce Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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