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Family Law

Our Practice

Pedersen's Family Law Practice is set apart from other Chicago-land area divorce law firms because we practice within a business law firm and, as a result, we take a business approach to resolving the financial issues incident to these matters. We have the knowledge and resources that are not available at most divorce law firms to help with family law matters that involve corporate, real estate, tax and estate planning issues. We understand complicated corporate structures, family trusts, and sophisticated real estate because our firm practices in those areas as well as in family law.

We are also dedicated to meeting the personal, as well as financial, needs of our clients. We never view our clients as one-time opportunities to generate legal fees. Our goal is to serve as a trusted advisor and resource, and we look to build client relationships that exist beyond the temporary disruption caused by dissolution or other family law-related matters.

Our lawyers are called upon to offer counsel and representation for clients facing the challenges of divorce, including child custody, child and spousal support, property valuation and division, and post-decree matters. We also help clients who need advice and representation before marriage to address and settle premarital financial matters.

We represent high-profile celebrities, athletes and prominent business, political and community leaders with a focus on guarding privacy, protecting income and assets and preventing windfalls to the other side. Many of Chicago's most prominent, high profile and high net worth individuals and their families retain our team to help protect their assets and interests. Solutions include:

  • Premarital and postmarital agreements
  • Classification of property
  • Valuation and division of businesses or professional practices
  • Favorable tax treatment
  • Defining net income for support purposes
  • Confidentiality and other protective, non-disclosure orders

We look for strategic settlement solutions that help clients avoid the expense of a trial. When a settlement is not feasible, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our lawyers have successfully tried numerous financially complex and emotionally charged divorce cases.

As staunch advocates when it comes to protecting the interests of children involved in a divorce, we also work to resolve challenging child custody, support, visitation and other parenting issues. For clients wishing to adopt, we provide exceptional representation in both in-state and out-of-state adoptions.

Our Experience

  • Obtained confidentiality, in camera (private judge's chambers), and other protective agreements and orders in cases where we have represented high-profile celebrities, athletes and prominent business, political and community leaders.
  • Helped "high-net income" earners obtain "below guideline" child support orders to protect income and assets and prevent windfalls to the child support recipient.
  • Protected our clients' assets, including businesses, inheritances, gifted and other types of assets from being classified as marital property and from being divided as part of the marital estate.
  • Obtained permanent maintenance awards and/or disproportionate property awards for non- and lower-income earning spouses.
  • Succeeded in obtaining appropriate valuations of closely-held businesses for use in settlement negotiations and at trial.
  • Represented the adoptive mother of a severely disabled child in a complex custody case. When her husband threatened to fight for sole custody of the child in order to gain a financial advantage in their divorce, we convinced the court to force him to voluntarily dismiss his petition.
  • Handled in-state and out-of-state adoptions.
  • Obtained successful results in numerous financially complex divorce and parentage cases.
  • Successfully brought a claim for supervised visitation and the appeal and successful verdict which prevented one spouse from indoctrinating the children in the Jehovah's Witness faith and alienating mother. For more information on this case, see http://www.isba.org/cases/illinois/appellate/2011/11/22/vorisvvoris.
  • Represented a spouse in Lake County and the appeal of the verdict upholding our successful custody ruling and disproportionate property award.