Myth: Refusing to pay attorney’s fees to or on behalf of my spouse is a good strategy because it will freeze him or her out and give me a leg up.
In Illinois, the response is no. Illinois has a statute that allows for temporary fees to be awarded from the spouse who is financially advantaged in favor of the spouse who doesn’t have the financial resources. The principle is called leveling of the playing field, and a court does not hesitate to award temporary attorney’s fees once, twice, or a half a dozen times during the pendency of the case. Most judges will not allow the inability of one spouse to access money to pay for his or her attorney’s fees to be outcome determinative. The amount of fees that are advanced are considered a credit towards that spouse’s share of marital property.