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Want to file for fairly simple, uncontested divorce in IL. Should I pay hourly or flat fee?Should I consider an online service?

Lake Bluff, IL |

I'm a 54 year old woman who has been a homemaker for almost all of my 30 year marriage. Husband lost job 7 months ago. He has no Retirement saved and no real savings. Home is in foreclosure, and bankruptcy (discharged) 2 years ago. I have worked part-time and seasonally for 6 years. I have small savings. 2 adult children. I would like to file for uncontested divorce in Illinois. Desire the following in settlement: Continuation of husband paying for my private medical coverage (policy with 2 grown sons) car insurance, remain as beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Not asking for maintenance while he is unemployed (is it possible to defer until such time he finds work?), car (I will continue making the payments) and personal effects/some furniture/household items. (Lake County, IL)

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You really should have an attorney prepare your paperwork if you want to be properly protected as this appears t be a long term marriage. Many attorneys will quote you a flat fee or a reasonable hourly fee for an uncontested divorce. However, most will want to meet you for a personal consultation to obtain complete information before quoting a fee. At that point it would be up to you to decide if you want the representation. Online services might seem easy and cheap but they will not give you matter the one-on-one attention you probably need. "Fill-in-the-blank" forms can lead to serious problems in the future. Maintenance can be "reserved" but you will want this drafted clearly in your settlement proposals by an attorney who will be able to enforce it later. Seek a consultation from one or more local attorneys. You will be glad you did.


Contact a divorce lawyer and try to get a flat fee. However, because the lawyer will not know whether your caes will realy be uncontested, he or she may be reluctant to work on a flat fee basis.

Do not, and I repeat, do not even consider an online sevice.


Please be very careful before you choose someone who promises to handle your divorce for a very low fee or flat fee, whether this is from an online service or from an advertisement. Often the advertisement will say something like "$199 Divorce" or something similar. What it does not tell you up front is that price does not get the case completed - it just gets it started. They then tack on extra fees for every little thing. People can end up paying $1,500 or $2,000 or more than expected by the time it is all done.
I know of many cases in which people were charged much more by so-called cheap divorce services than they would have been charged by a good lawyer who quoted them an honest fee. I would hate to see you get ripped off. Good luck to you.

Ms. Price's posting here on does not create an attorney-client relationship, and does not constitute legal advice. Each person should make his or her own decisions. In addition, the decision to hire an attorney should be based upon several factors, and not upon any single advertisement.

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