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Best Divorce Lawyers in Arlington Heights

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A. Traub & Associates Attorneys at Law logo
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A. Traub & Associates Attorneys at Law

634 S. Arthur Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
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  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Divorce

Business Description

A. Traub & Associates, Attorneys at Law offers legal representation to clients in Arlington Heights. It helps clients going through the process of divorce and assists them with spousal maintenance, asset division, child support, and allocation of parental responsibility. It identifies all the legal issues that must be addressed and protects the clients' rights and interests. It uses mediation to negotiate and resolve contentions with the clients' ex-spouses and their lawyer. This all-female law firm was established in 2001.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (23)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (20)
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Andrea Heckman Law logo
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Andrea Heckman Law

3701 Algonquin Rd., Suite 350, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
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  • Child Support

Business Description

Andrea Heckman Law has been serving families in the Arlington Heights area for over 45 years. It guides clients through the legal process of marital separation. It settles relevant issues, including child support and custody, property and asset division, spousal support, and protection and paternity orders. In addition to divorce, the firm represents clients with modification and enforcement issues in circumstances that may arise, such as job loss, work schedule adjustments, and medical issues. Managing attorney Andrea N. Heckman is also licensed to practice in New York.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.7 / 5 (7)

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4.0
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Ann O’Connell Law, Ltd logo
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Ann O’Connell Law, Ltd

750 W. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
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  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

Ann O'Connell Law, Ltd., serves clients throughout Arlington Heights and its neighboring cities. It represents clients in family law cases, including contested and uncontested divorce. It works with clients in finding the solution that suits their situation and deals with related matters, such as child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and mediation. It also handles estate planning cases. Ann O'Connell, the principal of the firm, established her law office in 2005.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (25)

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5.0
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Buffalo Grove Law Offices logo
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Buffalo Grove Law Offices

3325 North Arlington Heights Road Suite 500, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
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  • Child Custody
  • Uncontested
  • Child Support
  • Contested
  • Divorce
  • Paternity

Business Description

Buffalo Grove Law Offices is a full-service law firm in Arlington Heights that focuses on family law matters. It represents divorcing clients in proceedings and other legal concerns such as property division, paternity rights, and spousal maintenance. Its other services include real estate closings, probate, and criminal law cases. The firm avoids unnecessary courtroom battles through mediation and arbitration. With over 31 years of legal experience, company attorney Angela E. Peters has extensive knowledge of Illinois law, providing her clients with favorable representation results. The

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

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Cohen Law LLC logo
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Cohen Law LLC

2720 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
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Business Description

Cohen Law LLC is a law firm led by a family lawyer near Arlington Heights who protects the rights of its clients. Attorney Debbie Cohen advocates for individuals in contested and uncontested divorces and helps settle the client's financial needs in property division, child support, and spousal maintenance matters. In addition to handling legal separations, Ms. Cohen drafts and negotiates prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Cohen Law also assists parents in devising a plan for child custody and visitation rights.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (26)

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4.0
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Family Law Solutions logo
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Family Law Solutions

125 S Wilke Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Family Law Solutions provides legal advice to clients in the Arlington Heights area. Its attorneys help families going through a divorce with matters like dividing properties and settling custody, child support, and alimony. They also assist spouses who have businesses and high net worth, along with handling the modification and enforcement of divorce decrees. Founder and lead counsel Janet Boyle has been practicing since 1978 and is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

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Gasior Law Office logo
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Gasior Law Office

3701 Algonquin Rd. Suite 720, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Gasior Law Office provides legal counsel to individuals and families in Arlington Heights with complex family law matters. This includes uncontested and contested divorce, child custody, division of civil unions, alimony, contempt proceedings, and orders of protection. The firm also handles the areas of real estate law and criminal defense. Michael T. Gasior has more than 15 years of legal experience. He is also a licensed Illinois real estate managing broker and community association manager.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.6 / 5 (18)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Jenet G. Pequeno, LLC logo
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Jenet G. Pequeno, LLC

215 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 104, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Jenét G. Pequeño, LLC, is a law firm serving clients in Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, and the surrounding areas. It handles various issues that arise during a divorce, such as property division, child custody, alimony, and child support. Its team of professionals helps clients understand the state of Illinois’ divorce laws and proposes different resolution methods for their cases. Principal Jenét Pequeño is a member of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. Her other practice areas include family law and domestic violence.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.5 / 5 (42)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Kulinsky & Associates Ltd logo
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Kulinsky & Associates Ltd

395 East Dundee Road, Suite 200, Wheeling, IL 60090
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  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., is a legal firm that has been providing divorce representation for the residents of Arlington Heights and nearby areas since 1983. It assists in every aspect of divorce, such marital asset and debt division, child support determination, domestic violence litigation, and child custody and visitation. The firm's other practice areas include estate planning, business, guardianship, probate, and real estate law. Its family lawyers have a combined experience of more than 20 years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (10)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Ronald Justin logo
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Law Office of Ronald Justin

121 South Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
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Business Description

Law Office of Ronald Justin is a law firm in Arlington Heights. Founding attorney Ronald Justin has over 8 years of experience in the field of divorce law and handles a range of cases, from those involving high net worth to simple uncontested cases. The firm also assists with other family law matters, such as child custody, as well as personal injury claims. Ronald Justin graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.3 / 5 (12)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Shawn McKenna logo
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Law Office of Shawn McKenna

1855 Rohlwing Rd Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of Shawn McKenna counsels Arlington Heights individuals and families regarding domestic problems. It represents couples in divorce matters, including issues involving pre-decrees and post-decrees, child support and custody, and visitation. Shawn McKenna guides clients in each process of the domestic-relation litigation, from pretrial conferences to trials and settlement negotiations. He also assists collaborative couples in creating signed agreements and filing them in court to finalize the divorce. McKenna has offices in Rolling Meadows and Chicago.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (18)
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Offices of Edward I. Stein logo
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Law Offices of Edward I. Stein

555 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, IL 60062
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Business Description

The Law Offices of Edward I. Stein is a law firm near Arlington Heights with a focus on divorce for over 40 years. Attorney Edward Stein represents complex divorce cases, including child custody and support, alimony, and property division. Mr. Stein assists spouses obtaining legal separations or annulments when divorce is against their religious beliefs or medical needs. The firm also represents grandparents who seek custody of their grandchildren.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Offices of Howard Peritz logo
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Law Offices of Howard Peritz

1121 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, IL 60015
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Business Description

Law Offices of Howard Peritz is owned and operated by a divorce lawyer near Arlington Heights. Attorney Peritz helps clients in resolving custody and visitation disputes. He works with both parties when negotiating alimony. The firm represents clients in pre and post-divorce proceedings for property distribution and parenting time, and it also handles matters involving a parent's contribution to college expenses. Other practice areas include civil litigation, construction law, and probate and estate administration.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (13)
Avvo
4.5 / 5 (7)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Offices of Kevin M. Rosner logo
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Law Offices of Kevin M. Rosner

707 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, IL 60062
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Business Description

Located near Arlington Heights, The Law Offices of Kevin M. Rosner helps individuals achieve a favorable resolution in various legal matters. As a sole practitioner, attorney Kevin Rosner handles all aspects of divorce proceedings, including spousal support, child custody, guardianship, and property division. Mr. Rosner can assist spouses with obtaining a restraining order for divorces that involve domestic violence. The firm also represents clients in post-divorce proceedings that address changes in child custody, alimony, and other legal modifications.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Law Offices of Stuart A. Reid P.C. logo
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Law Offices of Stuart A. Reid P.C.

1020 Milwaukee Ave Ste 270, Deerfield, IL 60015
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  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

The Law Offices of Stuart A. Reid P.C. offers individualized and collaborative legal assistance to clients in Arlington Heights. Stuart assists divorcing couples and helps them as they enter a new phase of their lives. He gets to know each client's wants and goals so he may work toward the desired result. The firm also offers support for child custody, alimony, college expenditure contribution, and child support modification and enforcement. Stuart has been practicing family law for over 20 years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (11)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Robert S. Thomas Attorney at Law logo
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Robert S. Thomas Attorney at Law

1655 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60004
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Robert S. Thomas, Attorney at Law handles the legal needs of clients in Arlington Heights. The law office focuses on the area of divorce law, taking on cases involving contested divorces, property division, child custody and support, and complex divorce litigation. Robert S. Thomas has been helping Illinois individuals navigate the legal system for more than 20 years. Before establishing his private practice, he worked in the office of the congressman representing the 13th Congressional District of Ohio in the US House of Representatives.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
4.2 / 5 (18)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (12)
Facebook
3.7 / 5 (3)

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Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Rosenberg Wypych LLC logo
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Rosenberg Wypych LLC

3601 W Algonquin Rd, Suite 801, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
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  • Child Support

Business Description

Founded in 2006, Rosenberg Wypych LLC is a matrimonial law firm that caters to the people of Arlington Heights metro and the surrounding locations. The firm represents clients dealing with divorce cases. It also handles a wide variety of post-divorce disputes, including alimony, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, parental rights, and parenting plans. The firm's principal and founder, Russell Rosenberg, has been exclusively practicing matrimonial law for more than 29 years. He is a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
3.9 / 5 (28)
Yelp
2.5 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)
Saxe Law LLC logo
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Saxe Law LLC

121 South Wilke Road, Suite 301, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
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  • Child Custody
  • Uncontested
  • Contested
  • Divorce

Business Description

Saxe Law LLC is a boutique law office that serves clients in Arlington Heights and nearby areas. The company's founding lawyer, David Saxe, offers compassionate legal representation to individuals facing a divorce. He handles different types of divorces, including contested, uncontested, and collaborative. His legal team works with clients to protect their rights in matters related to child custody and support, parenting agreements, and property division. Prior to his law practice, Saxe worked as a psychologist and administrator for two school districts.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (17)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore, Ltd. logo
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The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore, Ltd.

600 Central Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035
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Business Description

The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore Ltd. has divorce attorneys to guide families through special needs divorces. The lawyers counsel parents of special needs children through the divorce process, explaining their legal options for child decision making, parenting time, care plans, and spousal support. They have a checklist of resources for the preparation of parenting and marital settlement agreements. The attorneys also assist with residential parenting designations, orders of protection, guardianship, and post-majority support.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Office of Cynthia L. Lazar logo
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The Law Office of Cynthia L. Lazar

611 S. Milwaukee Avenue Suite 12, Libertyville, IL 60048
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  • Mediation
  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

The Law Office of Cynthia L. Lazar handles divorce cases of spouses from Arlington Heights. It counsels couples planning to separate through litigation, mediation, and collaborative methods. The practice assists with other legal services, which include legal separation, spousal maintenance, property division, parenting plans, and child support. Founder Cynthia Lazar has been practicing law since 1981 and has over 25 years of experience in the area of family law. She is also a member of the Mediation Council of Illinois.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (72)
Google
4.8 / 5 (49)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Office of Roger W. Stelk logo
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The Law Office of Roger W. Stelk

1500 W Shure Dr #245, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
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  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of Roger W. Stelk has been providing legal services to clients in and around Arlington Heights since 1995. It represents individuals who are seeking to divorce their spouses. It also handles other family law matters, including child custody and visitation, child support, property division, spousal maintenance, and post-judgment modifications. The firm's other practice areas are probate administration, guardianships, and real estate transactions. Principal Roger Stelk has more than 30 years of legal experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (18)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (14)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Thomas W. Hunter, P.C. Attorney at Law logo
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Thomas W. Hunter, P.C. Attorney at Law

421 N. Hough Street, Barrington, IL 60010
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  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

Thomas W. Hunter, P.C., Attorney at Law, is a firm that focuses on divorce and family law cases in Arlington Heights and the surrounding metros. Its strategy is to educate clients on their legal rights and responsibilities to minimize emotional and personal dimensions that interfere with decision-making. Founder Thomas Hunter has been helping clients with their legal battles since 1974. He works closely with a team of family attorneys in divorce matters, like child custody and property division.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.2 / 5 (34)
Avvo
4.1 / 5 (22)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (9)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Zuleger Family Law logo
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Zuleger Family Law

121 South Wilke Road, Suite 301, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
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  • Contested
  • Uncontested

Business Description

Zuleger Family Law helps couples and families in Arlington Heights deal with divorce-related matters. It handles divorce and collaborative divorce cases, alimony, custody, visitation, and litigation matters. Zuleger Family Law is an LGBTQ-friendly firm that guides and supports clients in the community with dignity, respect, and understanding. Owner and main lawyer Margaret Zuleger has been practicing family law exclusively since 1992. She was a co-chair of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Women’s Law Committee in 2016.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Avvo
4.3 / 5 (11)
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?

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

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

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.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost?

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.

How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?

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

What is an uncontested divorce?

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.

Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?

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.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

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.

How to prepare for divorce?

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

What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?

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.

What is divorce mediation?

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.

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