When attempting to gauge Illinois divorce costs, the final dollar amount often depends on whether you’re pursuing litigation, mediation, or a collaborative divorce. As with any, “How much does it cost?” question, the unsatisfying “It depends” answer doesn’t offer clients a ton of value.
Typically, traditional litigation presents the most expensive way to get a divorce. Secondly, Mediation tends to lessen costs. Thirdly, Collaborative Divorce resolves significant issues in a cost-effective manner.
Pre-Divorce Legal Counseling Saves on Illinois Divorce Costs
Before filing for divorce, couples need to gather all relevant financial information and understand the legal implications. This optional, yet pertinent step, minimizes the time later spent issuing discovery requests and dealing with pricey experts.
Prior to tallying up Illinois divorce costs, couples reserve the option to consult with an attorney. In doing so, they receive crucial insights into their rights and responsibilities before filing. Unfortunately, for those that gloss over this step, filing a pre-mature petition with the court usually increases the final bill by the end of the process.
Why Litigation Contributes to the Most Expensive Illinois Divorce Costs
By its very nature, litigation often creates an adversarial process. As attorneys, each lawyer prims their clients to fight. In addition, the courtroom combat may include competing experts. Last but not least, court hearings occur in front of a judge. This judge does not know you, your spouse, or your children. However, that same judge maintains the duty to make decisions that affect the future of everyone involved, financial and otherwise. Furthermore, judges carry numerous cases, leaving them with limited time devoted to each legal matter.
With so many parties involved, Illinois divorce costs quickly ramp up. But they don’t stop there. With each court appearance, court hearing, discovery request, and deposition, the charges compile further. When property is in the mix, the court may order that one party gets the house, but that party may not be able to afford the house, leading to foreclosure. While this scratches the surface of litigation, the key takeaway is that litigation is stressful, lengthy, and yes, expensive.
Pursuing Mediation as an Alternative Path to Litigation
Although many couples pursue the path of litigation, mediation offers a drastically scaled down, yet beneficial alternative. During the mediation process, a neutral third-party (the mediator) facilitates conversations regarding disagreements. Overall, the mediator assists both parties in reaching agreements, lessening Illinois divorce costs.
While the mediator undertook specific training for this line of work, they do not provide legal advice. For this reason, couples may opt to have an attorney present. Holistically, the mediator aids the two of you in finding common ground. Oftentimes, this route leads to mutually agreeable solutions.
Resolving Legal Disputes in a Cost-Effective Manner with Collaborative Divorce
Finally, collaborative divorce presents a gateway for couples to work together. In conjunction with their respective attorneys, couples act as a team to creatively resolve their issues. By forgoing the courtroom skirmish, the resolves significant issues and lowers Illinois divorce costs.
At the end of the day, increased conflict directly contributes to increased costs. However, mediation and collaborative divorce reflect affordable alternatives to litigation. For legal guidance with your divorce, contact the family law firm at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC.