Laurels

Best Divorce Lawyers
2022

The Best Divorce Lawyers
Here Are The Top Divorce Lawyers
Beattie Onorato

Beattie Onorato

Beattie Onorato is a family law practice serving the Chicago area. Its team helps clients navigate the divorce process, handling cases that involve high-value assets and same-sex couples. The attorneys locate hidden assets and partner with financial professionals when needed. They also advocate for the rights of clients facing issues regarding child custody and support. Firm partner Michelle Beattie, who was admitted to the bar in 2002, served as an assistant state attorney for Cook County.

Chicago, IL 60604

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Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley

Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley

The Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley is a downtown loop legal agency that specializes in family law, divorce, and child support. Other practice areas include estate planning, probate, and real estate law. The office’s founding attorney, Jennifer Guimond-Quigley, has been named a Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyer, and Rising Star multiple times . The office is a member of the Illinois and Chicago Bar Associations.

Chicago, IL 60602

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Law Offices of Jonathan Merel

Law Offices of Jonathan Merel

The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. is a top-rated Chicago law firm specializing in divorce and family law. The highly-respected firm represents clients in all aspects of family law including but not limited to divorce, child custody, property distribution, domestic violence, visitation, civil unions, and prenuptial agreements. With office locations in downtown Chicago, Skokie, and Highland Park, the firm serves clients in all Chicagoland counties.

Chicago, IL 60601

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A Cross Law Firm PLLC

A Cross Law Firm PLLC

A Cross Law Firm PLLC is a woman-owned and minority-owned legal practice serving Chicago individuals and families. It provides legal representation in the practice areas of family law and bankruptcy and business transactions. It handles cases involving simple divorce, separation of assets, and child support and custody. Firm owner Adriana C. Cross has extensive experience in representing clients in family law and divorce cases. As a federally licensed bankruptcy attorney, Cross has also filed more than 500 bankruptcies in less than two years.

Chicago, IL 60640

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Stern Perkoski Mendez

Stern Perkoski Mendez

Stern Perkoski Mendez is a divorce and family law firm serving Chicago. It represents individuals in divorce proceedings which includes out-of-court negotiations, in-court litigation, and mediation. The process encompasses different aspects such as taxes, alimony, life insurance, parental decision-making authority, and property and debts. Its legal team also handles high net worth divorce to manage high income, family gifts, and compensation structures. The firm's managing partner, Joshua E. Stern, is a contributor to publications like Divorce Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Your Tango.

Evanston, IL 60201

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Petrelli Previtera LLC

Petrelli Previtera LLC

Petrelli Previtera LLC is a family law firm in Chicago. It has attorneys in offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, and Virginia and represents clients in legal separation or divorce proceedings. The firm protects clients' interests during negotiations for child custody and support arrangements or spousal support. Attorneys help clients divide marital property and assets, secured and unsecured debts, or ongoing bills and obtain court orders indicating payment responsibilities and disposition of retirement funds.

Chicago, IL 60601

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Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg

Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg

Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg is a Chicago firm that has been representing clients in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties since 1996. The firm concentrates in family law. Practice areas include divorce, child custody, parenting time, child support, removal, relocation, orders of protection, paternity, visitation, prenuptial agreements and more. The firm offers free consultations to prospective clients. The firm has offices downtown Chicago and in Northfield, IL.

Chicago, IL 60602

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Hurst, Robin & Kay

Hurst, Robin & Kay

Hurst, Robin & Kay is a family law firm assisting clients in Chicago. Its lawyers offer personalized representation for spouses dealing with divorce matters. They help parties reach an agreement on issues concerning child custody and division of assets through negotiation and litigate cases if it becomes necessary. They help victims of domestic violence seek protection from the court and defend clients who have been issued orders based on false claims of abuse. Hurst, Robin & Kay was founded in 2007.

Chicago, IL 60602

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The Walters Law Group, Ltd.

The Walters Law Group, Ltd.

The Walters Law Group, Ltd., advocates for the rights of families and individuals in Chicago and nearby areas. It offers legal counsel to couples dealing with contested and uncontested divorce cases. The practice takes on matters involving domestic violence, alimony, child custody and support, and property division. It also serves parents who need solutions for stepparent adoption, parental relocations, guardianship, and visitation rights issues. The law office has been in operation for more than 10 years.

Palos Park, IL 60464

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Beermann LLP

Beermann LLP

Beermann LLP handles high-conflict divorce cases in Chicago and the surrounding areas. It helps clients navigate different family legal matters, such as asset division, child support and custody, parenting time, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. It also addresses the legal concerns of people in the LGBTQ community. Founder Benton Page focuses his practice on handling the financial issues in divorce and family law cases, including financial statement analysis, business valuation, and forensic accounting.

Chicago, IL 60601

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Expert Answers To Common Questions:

  1. What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?
  2. How much does it cost to get a divorce?
  3. How much does a divorce lawyer cost?
  4. How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?
  5. What is an uncontested divorce?
  6. Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?
  7. How long does it take to get a divorce?
  8. How to prepare for divorce?
  9. What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?
  10. What is divorce mediation?
Q: What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?
A:
The steps required to file for divorce depend heavily on whether the divorce is contested, if there are minor children or property issues at stake, and if there are disagreements over child support or alimony. The process may also differ from state to state, but generally parties must:
  • File the divorce petition
  • Hire a process server to give the other party divorce papers/respond to the original petitioner's filing
  • Request temporary orders covering issues such as custody/visitation, support, and exclusive property use
  • Make financial disclosures
  • Request discovery from your spouse
  • Propose and/or consider a possible settlement
  • Go to trial if necessary
  • Receive a signed judgment from the court indicating the divorce is final
  • Address post-divorce tasks such as transferring property titles and closing joint bank accounts
Q: How much does it cost to get a divorce?
A:
The cost of a divorce differs dramatically based on a litany of criteria, such as whether the divorce is contested, where the divorce petition is filed, and whether the divorce requires a professional intermediary or other legal expert. A simple, low-frills DIY divorce can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Add in mediation and the cost may jump to the mid-four figures and can easily reach $7,000 or more. Hire a lawyer and you may pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000+ if there are major custodial issue or complex financial concerns.
Q: How much does a divorce lawyer cost?
A:
Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and billing can vary dramatically. Some attorneys in more affordable markets and/or with less experience may charge as little as $75/hour. More experienced attorney or those who have large staffs, specialize in complex cases, or hold relevant certifications may charge premium rates in excess of $400/hour. Then there are the amount of hours invested; simple cases may be over in a matter of weeks while hotly contested divorces can drag on for years leading to lawyer's fees in the tens of thousands.
Q: How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?
A:
Divorce lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. It's important to find a lawyer whose skill set, experience, and resources align with the demands of each specific situation. For instance, some attorneys will push mediation while others are naturals in the courtroom.
  • Know your budget
  • Limit your search to lawyers experienced in family law
  • Zero in on lawyers or firms that can handle the complexities of divorce, especially any issues that may be specific to the current case
  • Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations, but remember that their situations and needs may not be the same
  • Conduct interviews to see who feels trustworthy and can spell out an approach that feels appropriate
  • Try to ignore ad campaigns and office décor and instead consider track record and skills
Q: What is an uncontested divorce?
A:
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on the major issues, such as custody of any minor children, child support, alimony, and how to divide any assets and/or debt. While uncontested divorces still require a judge to approve the terms of the divorcing couple's signed agreement, these relatively simple splits tend to move faster, cost less money, and are easier to execute without the help of a divorce lawyer. A divorce filing that goes unanswered by the non-petitioning party may also be considered uncontested.
Q: Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?
A:
It's possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, especially if the divorce is uncontested. Many states offer free divorce forms either online or at legal self-help centers located in or near family court. There are often dispute resolution resources available as well; mediation services can help iron out disputes over custody or financial support without involving lawyers. Still, a free consultation with a divorce lawyer can offer valuable insight, and contentious divorces, whether they go to trial or not, all but require legal representation.
Q: How long does it take to get a divorce?
A:
The length of a divorce is contingent on four things: each state's mandatory waiting period, whether the divorce is uncontested or contested, how quickly both sides can come to an agreement, and how quickly a judge is able to hear or review the case and sign off. The best-case scenario is an uncontested divorce in a state with a short waiting period which could see a divorce finalized in a matter of weeks. For divorces with highly combative parties, long discovery periods, and other complications, a decision could take months or even years.
Q: How to prepare for divorce?
A:
It's difficult to ever feel truly prepared for the rigors of divorce, but there are several steps that can make the process more bearable and allow for a more positive outcome:
  • Interview attorneys
  • Locate and make copies of important documents like mortgage and car titles, insurance policies, business licenses, financial records, bank statements, and income tax returns
  • Take inventory of valuable household items that should be considered later while splitting assets
  • Make a detailed list of monthly expenses, including utilities, rent or mortgage, childcare, kids' activities like sports or dance classes, school tuition, and insurance
  • Know what the respondent's income is, including any income from self-employment, stock dividends, and interest
  • Double-check credit history and evaluate both short- and long-term earning potential
  • Set goals for ideal custody arrangement, support amounts, and living arrangements
  • Get support from friends and family
Q: What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?
A:
Most courts follow state laws that consider an engagement ring to be the recipient's property once a wedding takes place, which means it remains that recipient's individual property even after a divorce. Other states categorize engagement rings as marital property and as such the ring is subject to the same division of assets as a house or art collection might be. For spouses who get to keep their jewelry, engagement rings can be sold, dismantled and repurposed, returned to the original buyer, or kept and handed down to any children the marriage may have produced.
Q: What is divorce mediation?
A:
When divorces get heated or even just have the potential to become messy, a neutral third party can help calm both parties and resolve issues without the need for a trial. This is called mediation. A great mediator is unbiased and invested in a balanced, fair outcome; they will ideally listen to both parties, encourage respectful discussions, and raise questions or concerns when appropriate. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare documents detailing the agreed-upon terms. Using a mediator only works if both sides are willing to meet and discuss a compromise, but doing so can save a considerable amount of time, money, emotional strain, and overall stress.