Divorce has negative connotations, many of which are well-earned. Along with the emotional toll it takes and the effect it has on children, divorce is perceived as expensive. While there are ways to reduce the costliness of divorce, such as collaborative divorce, the sad fact is that divorce is an expensive prospect.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that, while the divorce rate went down in 2008 and 2009, when the recession was at its darkest, the rate rebounded in subsequent years when the economy began to recover. The experts at the National Marriage Project posited that the decrease in divorce during the recession signaled a strengthening of married couples’ resolve in the face of adversity, dubbing it a “silver lining” to the downturn.
Other experts, however, were more skeptical. Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin drew upon history to illustrate how the fall in divorce was not a sign of strengthening relationships, but of economic inability. "This is exactly what happened in the 1930s. The divorce rate dropped during the Great Depression not because people were happier with their marriages, but because they couldn't afford to get divorced." Cherlin went on to conclude that periodic economic disadvantage did not eliminate divorce, merely postponed it.
The Times went on to report instances in which family lawyers in California counseled potential clients, who then forewent divorce when they learned of the cost. Others opted to divorce, but to maintain their current living arrangements because they could not afford to live separately.
The Costs of Divorce
Divorce is not inexpensive, but it is important to remember that the cost is not gratuitous. Family law attorneys in Illinois are ethically and legally bound not to charge their clients on a contingency basis. This is to avoid protracted battles between spouses, who may have children. It also prevents an inordinately talented lawyer from cleaning out an opposing spouse to achieve a higher decree. This does mean, however, that family lawyers must charge a flat or hourly fee.
Further, the divorce may come relatively quickly, but orders for spousal maintenance and child support may go on for years. If circumstances change, those orders may have to be modified, which will have costs in court.
Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney
Though costly, sometimes divorce is the only way to sever ties with a part of your life you would rather forget. If you wish to divorce, an experienced attorney can make the process as painless as possible, while you focus on the next stage of living. Contact Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. for a consultation.