312 – 319 – 8751
Appellate and Family Attorney
Throughout my years of practice, I have successfully represented clients in all areas of family law including divorce, child custody and support, allocation of parental time, relocation, maintenance, property division, pre and post nuptial agreements, and paternity. I have also handled numerous appeals for family law cases and other civil appeals.
For both appellate and family law cases, my primary focus is to pursue justice on your behalf without participating in the destruction that these legal processes could potentially bring. A civil case does not have to ruin your life or your reputation, and an appeal gives you another opportunity for justice. A family law issue does not have to tear your life apart or destroy your relationships. Pursuing your case can allow you to craft rational and reasonable solutions, to support a fulfilling future for your entire family.
Why I became an Appellate and Family Attorney
As an attorney, I strongly believe that no one should be pushed to take actions they should not take or to spend money they should not spend. I will never recommend a doomed or extraneous course of action to make more money.
In fact, I have counselled clients with a potential appeal that they had such a small chance of winning that they’d be better served to accept the judgment and move on with their lives. In those circumstances, it was more important to stop the financial and emotional bleeding in their conflict, so that they could move forward.
I have also occasionally told clients who came to me for a divorce that they didn’t seem ready for that step. Rather, I advised them to talk with their spouses or seek counseling and come back to me if and when they were ready to move forward.
I have had numerous potential clients reach out to me and thank me for not pushing them to file for divorce. I have had many clients thank me for not pursuing a legal course of action that would merely drain them of their financial resources. And, I have had referral sources tell me they are comfortable sending me family members and friends because they know I won’t rile them up, take their money, and push them into a course of action they’re not ready for.
What it is like being an Appellate and Family Attorney
I have always believed in the value and importance of family and that belief has helped me work passionately and tirelessly for my clients. That belief has helped me secure victories for my clients at the appellate level and in the Illinois Supreme Court.
In one of my appeals, In re Marriage of Bhati, 397 Ill. App. 3d 53 (1st Dist. 2010), I prevailed on behalf of a mom trying to move to North Carolina to live with her second spouse. This relocation would have allowed her and her child a much better standard of living and give her the opportunity to be a stay-at-home parent. On appeal, I was able to clarify the legal standards of relocation, and the court reversed the previous decision allowing mom to move out of state with her child.
Additionally, in In re Marriage of Prusak, 2020 IL App (3d) 190688, I represented a very involved father in challenging the trial court’s decision allowing his ex-wife to move their children out of state just to spite him. On appeal, the decision permitting the mother to move was reversed, and our efforts allowed my client to have the majority of parenting time with his children.
A case I’m extremely proud to have been a part of was representing a father who wanted to preserve his father/son relationship after a divorce. When he entered the marriage, the woman was in the process of adopting a child. For all intents and purposes, he was the child’s father (he was there for the birth, the child was named after my client’s own father, and he raised the child). Unfortunately, my client had never completed the final step of the adoption process for his son, never dreaming that his family might later fall apart. After years of litigation, including a trip to the Illinois Supreme Court, the courts found my client did not have the ability to assert parental rights to his son. Losing that case will be the greatest regret of my career, but I am proud to have worked so hard for so many years to preserve that father/son relationship.
Oftentimes family law can feel like anti family law because this area of practice can wreak great destruction. It is extremely important to me not to participate in that destruction, but to protect relationships and help my clients successfully navigate their future and work within their new familial structure.
Who I am outside of being an Appellate and Family Attorney
Aside from being an appellate and family attorney, I am a wife and the mother of three young children. I am on the local School Board in my community and happily play the role of room mom in each of my three kids’ classes.
I am a huge reader and, at times, even walk down the street reading books. I am a loyal friend and a dog lover (don’t worry, I will still take you as a client if you are more of a cat person). I also like to sing and bake.