The general rule is that each party is responsible for payment of their own attorneys fees. However, Illinois law contains a “leveling the playing field” statute which allows a court to order one spouse to pay the other’s attorney’s fees. Fee awards under the leveling the playing field statute are called “interim fees” and are awarded based upon the ability to pay. The goal of the statute is to allow each side in a divorce case to have equal representation.
In addition to interim fees, the court can also order one spouse to pay the other’s fees at the conclusion of the case and also in post-decree proceedings.