One of the most common questions raised by a party contemplating or going through the divorce is who is responsible for the payment of attorney fees?
Although generally, attorneys fees are the responsibility of the party that incurs such fees, Section 501(c-1) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act does provide the Court legislative authority to award interim attorney’s fees and costs from one party to another in a divorce proceeding.
Under Section 501(c-1) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a party seeking an award of interim attorneys fees from the other party must demonstrate two things: 1) that the party seeking an award of interim attorneys fees has an inability to pay their attorney fees, and 2) that the party from whom interim attorneys fees are being sought has an ability to pay such interim attorneys fees.
The relevant factors a court may consider in its decision to either award or not award interim attorneys fees under Section 501(c-1) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are as follows:
- The income and property of each party, including alleged marital property within the sole control of one party and alleged non-marital property within access to a party;
- The needs of each party;
- The realistic earning capacity of each party;
- Any impairment to present earning capacity of either party, including age and physical and emotional health;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The degree of complexity of the issues, including custody (now known as allocation of parental responsibilities), valuation or division (or both) of closely-held businesses, and tax planning, as well as reasonable needs for expert investigations or expert witnesses, or both;
- Each party’s access to relevant information;
- The amount of the payment or payments made or reasonably expected to be made to the attorney for the other party; and
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.
Have a question about the payment of attorneys fees during your divorce proceedings? Contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. to request a consultation today!