When faced with family issues such as divorce, child custody, child support, or adoption, hiring a family law attorney becomes essential. However, clients often ask how much does a family law attorney cost in Illinois? Understanding the factors that influence the cost can help you make informed decisions and plan your budget accordingly. In this article, we will explore the various factors that affect the cost of hiring a family law attorney.
Before reading this article it may be helpful for you to better understand the differences between Family Law vs Divorce in Illinois.
OTHER RELATED TOPICS:
Soon to be published: How Much Does A Divorce Lawyer Cost?
FACTORS THAT IMPACT FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY COST IN ILLINOIS
- Hourly Rates
- Complexity of Case
- Client’s Actions
- Additional Legal Fees
- Alternative Fee Structures
Most family law attorneys charge an hourly rate for their services. The specific hourly rates can vary significantly depending on factors such as the attorney’s experience, reputation, and location.
Lawyers and law firms with more experience and/or a good reputation in the local community typically have a higher hourly rate.
Attorneys in large cities typically charge higher rates than attorneys in smaller towns. This does not necessarily mean attorneys in bigger cities are better. In part, the higher rate accounts for a higher cost of living.
As of 2023, the hourly rates for family law attorneys can range from $150 to $1,000 or more, depending on these factors. Law firms typically raise their rates by about $10-$25 per year as well. In a city of roughly $130,000 people like Bloomington-Normal Illinois, experienced family law attorneys often charge between $300-$500 per hour.
Contrary to what many people may believe, the attorney’s hourly rate is NOT the #1 factor for determining family law attorney cost in Illinois.
Thus, when it comes to your family and your future, don’t choose an attorney based on just the hourly rate. If you choose an attorney because he/she is cheap, you might get what you pay for. However, just because an attorney charges a high hourly rate, doesn’t mean he/she is better than some of the less expensive lawyers.
There is not a perfect formula for selecting a good family law attorney to help you, so the best approach is to simply do some research first. Look at Google Reviews from past clients, look at the law firm’s website, and ask other people in the community about that law firm. Then meet with the attorney in-person to make sure you feel comfortable putting your family’s future in his/her hands.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY
You may want to consider contacting Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) if you are worried about how much a family law attorney cost in Illinois. PSLS has local offices in Bloomington, Peoria, and many other cities throughout northern and central Illinois. They handle divorce, custody, and child support cases, but PSLS does not typically represent individuals unless there is some type of alleged abuse or harassment involved. So if you are in a tough situation, it may be worth contacting PSLS to see if they can help you.
It is also possible to represent yourself in family court. While difficult, doing proper research and organizing your evidence can help. To learn more, check out our article “How to Represent Yourself in Family Court in Illinois.“
The cost of hiring a family law attorney in Illinois will be lower if your lawyer does these three things:
- Has the proper motivation
- Automates routing tasks
- Effectively uses paralegals
The extent to which a lawyer has/does these three things determines the family law attorney cost in Illinois more than any other factor within the lawyer’s control. There are certainly other factors outside of the lawyer’s control such as the complexity of the case and the client’s actions that can greatly contribute to the family law attorney cost in Illinois.
Bad Motivation: money, power, image, and comfort.
Good Motivation: faith, family, and friendship.
At Koth Gregory & Nieminski, faith, family, and friendship are our core values and we fight for Illinois families like it’s our own case because your family matters to us.
At Koth Gregory & Nieminski, we have software specifically for family law cases that automates many of the financial aspects of property division, alimony, and child support. We also have excellent case management software to organize and efficiently handle family law cases. Our use of automation and software lowers the number of hours our staff spends on cases, which lowers our attorney fees for the benefit of our clients.
Paralegals’ hourly rate is less than attorneys’ hourly rate. Thus, fees are lower the more often knowledgeable paralegals assist with a case. But the paralegals must be capable of doing tasks correctly and quickly, otherwise it may be better for the attorney to do them. At Koth Gregory & Nieminski, we have invested significant time, energy, money, and care into developing the paralegals who work at our firm. Our family law paralegals are meticulous and focus on providing high-quality service.