I have previously blogged about obtaining interim and prospective attorney’s fees and costs in a case in Illinois and the reasons why a Court may or may not award these fees during the pendency of a case. Many parties don’t realize that if they are denied interim and/or prospective attorney’s fees and costs they may have the ability to request final contribution to attorney’s fees and costs at the end of their case, even if they have otherwise stipulated to all other terms.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act a Court in Illinois has discretion to award final contribution to the attorney’s fees and costs of one party or another based upon the relevant factors. At the end of the case the Court can look at how the property was awarded to the parties and who has the larger ability to pay based upon same. Sometimes Courts will consider things that went on during the trial in making a final fee award as well, such as who filed motions, how many motions were filed, if there were discovery issues, etc. The primary basis for the fee award is based upon ability to pay but other factors can sometimes be considered. Even if a party is denied interim and/or prospective fees, the final fee contribution is available as a request, although not commonly used in your average divorce case.
Finally, just a final note not relevant to the rest of this blog, but Tuesday, April 14, 2015 is National “Be Kind to Lawyers Day”. Make sure that you are extra kind to your lawyers on said date!