Let Us Help You & Your Family
Legal cases can be complicated and frustrating. Legal cases that involve conflicts with your close family members can be downright stressful. When you are facing a family law issue that can’t go ignored any longer, come to the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. in Highland Park for comprehensive legal support.
Our law firm is committed entirely to family law cases and lawsuits, so we are not distracted by other case types. As soon as we begin working on your case, we will give it our full attention and care. We want to make sure that you feel at ease because we know there’s already plenty for you to think about. Let us show you the difference that compassionate legal counsel can make.
Family law is the term for legal issues that impact a family and that can be settled in family court. Overall, the topic of family law covers a wide variety of different case types and conflicts. Do you have to talk to many different law firms to find one that can help with your specific family law case? Not if you come to the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. We have extensive experience in many different family law disputes, so you can come to us with virtually any case or concern.
We can help clients with cases that involve:
- Annulment: If a marriage is ending but it never should have happened in the first place due to a legal issue, then an annulment can make it like the marriage never happened at all.
- Child custody and visitation: Fight to hold onto your parental rights after a divorce by letting us help with child custody and visitation disputes.
- Child support: A fairly created child support order helps ensure that your child remains happy and healthy, no matter what unfolds in your divorce.
- Divorce: Ending an unhappy marriage shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. We would be happy to show you the many benefits that a divorce can bring when it is handled correctly.
- Fathers’ rights: Family law courts sometimes and unfairly prefer to give mothers parental rights and support, even if it does not make sense for the specific case in question. We fight diligently to make sure your rights as a father are respected and upheld.
- Grandparent visitation: Grandparents should be allowed to keep seeing their grandchildren after divorce, which is where grandparent visitation rights can become so important.
- High net worth divorce: Deciding on a fair distribution of marital property in a divorce is a challenge, especially when the net worth of that property is significant. We can help you protect the most important items from being unjustly rewarded to your ex-spouse.
- Legal separation: If you and your spouse think time apart will be healthy but aren’t ready to commit to a divorce, then you should talk to our family lawyers about a legal separation.
- Military divorce: We know how to best progress a divorce case when one spouse is unavailable due to military service requirements or deployment.
- Orders of protection: When a family or household member has hurt you or made you feel unsafe, an order of protection might be necessary to keep them away from you. If you are in immediate danger of physical injury from a spouse, family member, or housemate, you should call 911 when it is safe to do so.
- Paternity: Paternity requests or orders are used to determine who is the biological father of a child when it is unclear for one reason or another. Establishing paternity sometimes coincides with deciding child custody orders.
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements: You can pre-decide how to handle certain aspects of divorce before or after you get married, even if you could never imagine ever wanting to leave your spouse.
- Property division: Illinois uses equitable distribution rules for property division, which splits marital assets based on what is fair. A fair division does not always mean an equal one.
- Same-sex divorce: Our firm proudly offers our legal services to same-sex couples, including same-sex spouses who are now looking for a divorce.
Do I need to hire a family law attorney?
Usually, you are not legally required to hire a family lawyer to represent you throughout your family law case. However, hiring a family law attorney is always a good idea. Hiring a lawyer for your case is similar to hiring a guide for a safari. They are there to help you stay out of trouble and show you the best path ahead.
How much does it cost to hire a family lawyer?
The cost of a family lawyer’s counsel will vary from case to case because the requirements to work on and complete each case are always different. We strive to keep our rates and attorney fees priced fairly. We will make sure you know our costs before you agree to hire us, too, so there are never any surprise fees.
How long will a family law case or lawsuit take?
Just as how the cost of hiring a family law attorney depends on the details of a case, so does the time required to complete a case. Some family law disputes can be settled in a matter of weeks or a few months. Others might take much longer, upwards of a year or years, if it is difficult to meet eye-to-eye with the other party. We always do our best to remove any unnecessary delays from a case, so you won’t feel like your case is dragging on.
Is a legal separation the same as a divorce?
No, a legal separation is not the same as getting a divorce. A divorce officially ends a marriage and decides each spouse’s property and responsibilities after. A legal separation does much of the same thing, but it does not end the marriage. Some people think of a legal separation as a “trial run” for divorce.
Will I have to pay spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is used when the spouse of lesser income will not be able to reasonably afford their lifestyle and take care of themselves after the divorce. Illinois considers each spouse’s income and earning capacity, medical and day-to-day needs, how long the marriage lasted, how each spouse contributed to the marriage, and the typical standard of living during the marriage when deciding if spousal maintenance should be ordered.
MerelFounder and Managing PrincipalJonathan Merel is an experienced attorney who advocates for his clients in all divorce and family law proceedings, including settlement negotiations and trials. Jonathan founded the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. in early 2009 after working for many ...
Caballero DunnManaging PartnerTo clients, Melissa Caballero Dunn is “the best” and a “rare” family attorney. To our firm, she is the engine that keeps us running a smooth operation. As Managing Partner, The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel relies on Melissa to know what's around every ...
DelgadoPartnerKatherine “Kat” Delgado counsels her family law clients with knowledge and compassion throughout their cases, including during settlement negotiations, in court, and in other adversarial settings throughout litigation. Her goal with every client is to ...
DeSanaPartnerJackie is a skilled and compassionate attorney who is dedicated to helping her clients navigate difficult situations. Jackie graduated from Wayne State University in 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Jackie continued her ...
FitzpatrickPartnerAurelija Fitzpatrick believes that a large part of her job is being a problem solver. She also understands that people are often misunderstood. Aurelija has a unique ability to collaborate with family law clients by listening to her client's concerns, ...
KayePartnerBrad Kaye is a divorce and family law attorney who knows how to win. His clients rave about his preparation and support as their divorce attorney . Brad gives his clients confidence in court, whether it's with a professional athlete, music industry ...
MargasonPartnerCharacterized by her ability to navigate the always diverse circumstances of family law cases, Ashley Margason is a trusted family law attorney with a reputation for extensive knowledge and efficiency. A client’s family law needs are unique. Every case is ...
McSurleyPartnerWilliam’s demonstrated ability to exploit all aspects of the legal process to his client’s advantage has helped divorce clients avoid costly litigation altogether, or prevail when such conflicts cannot be avoided. William places an emphasis on using his ...
NortonPartnerJosie graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology (2013). Josie continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2017), where she was named to the Dean’s List and earned a Certificate in ...
TararaPartnerAnnemarie Tarara is on the cutting edge of LGBTQ+ family law issues such as second-parent adoptions and the dissolution of same-sex marriages, civil unions, & domestic partnerships. She also represents clients in obtaining orders of protection and in ...
ZwaskaPartnerDavid Zwaska is an experienced litigator who makes the law digestible for family law clients every step of the way. Sure, Dave has the awards and resume that make him look like a great attorney to hire, including clerking for the Honorable Judge Raul Vega ...
BerndtAssociateKelsey graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with her Bachelor's in Social Relations & Policy and Women's & Gender Studies, where she found a passion for advocating on the behalf of those in need. Kelsey then attended Penn State Law, receiving ...
BroekemaAssociateMarleena graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Theory and Women’s Studies. Marleena continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2018, where she earned a certificate in ...
CashAssociateJeffrey Cash has focused his practice exclusively in the area of family law since 2014 and has represented individuals in all aspects of family law matters, including divorce , paternity, the allocation of parental responsibilities , parenting time, child ...
DeanAssociateMitchell graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Minor in Political Science. Thereafter, Mitchell attended DePaul University College of Law, graduating in May 2021 with a Certificate in Business Law. While ...
Hartrum IVAssociateLaude’s approach to family law is both comprehensive and client-centered. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2017 and DePaul University College of Law in 2020, Laude was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2021. During law school, Laude ...
LeeuwenburgAssociateCora attended Loyola University School of Law and practiced as a 711 student-attorney with the school’s Community Law Clinic where she gained experience as a Guardian ad Litem representing children in court. Cora has always been interested in family law ...
RyterskiAssociateBorn in Rochester, Michigan, Paige obtained her Paralegal Certificate and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in her hometown. By the time she was 21, Paige was finished with college and working as a Paralegal for a Criminal Defense firm in ...
TrabarisAssociateWill is devoted to guiding his clients through the difficult waters of divorce and other family law proceedings. Will knows that this process can be emotionally taxing and complex, so he prides himself on being a steady hand – as well as a clear head – ...
Melissa was a terrific advocate for me
It is no secret that a family law case can be stressful for the entire family. There will be many different things to consider and options to weigh. Also, the legal details that go into the average case can be as confusing as they are important.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. can help you with all parts of your family law case, though. When you hire our family law attorneys, we know that you will feel some of the stress of the situation roll right off your shoulders at once. With us by your side, you can get a full understanding of all the legalities of your case and what solutions might be available to you.
In addition to helping remove the stress from your family law case, we are here to take care of each step of it. From filing petitions to representing you in court, we can handle it all. We would be happy to do that for you and your family during this difficult time.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel Now
Have questions about a family law case that is weighing on you? Take a step in the right direction by arranging an initial consultation at our Highland Park office. We can sit down with you, discuss the key details of your case, and give you a good idea of what should happen next. From the start to finish, we will keep your best interests and that of your children in the center focus.