One of the most common questions in any divorce or paternity action is “will he/she have to pay my fees?” The answer is, “maybe.” The court has wide discretion to order one party to contribute toward the litigation expenses of the other party.
A particularly frustrating situation arises when a party is forced to bring the opposing party back to court to enforce an Order. By way of example, one party may have failed to pay child support or maintenance in accordance with the Order or Judgment previously entered. The party that has done nothing to violate the Court’s Order is often times, and rightly so, upset by the inherent injustice of having to pay to enforce the Order.
Pursuant to Section 750 ILCS 5/508(b) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a party may recoup attorney’s fees and costs associated with the enforcement of orders. Specifically, Section 508(b) states in pertinent part that “in every proceeding for the enforcement of an order or judgment when the court finds that the failure to comply with the order or judgment was without compelling cause of justification, the court shall order the party against whom the proceeding is brought to pay promptly the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees of the prevailing party.”
This language may bring some solace to those who are calculating the cost-benefit analysis of bringing their opposing party back to court to enforce an order. If the Court finds that the party’s failure to abide by the order was without compelling cause of justification, then the Court will impose attorney’s fees and costs to that party. This provides a financial incentive to both parties to abide by the terms of the Court’s orders.
For more information about divorce, or to consult with a knowledgeable Lincolnwood, IL divorce attorney, call Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC at 312-605-4041.