Ready to Help Your Family Through Legal Challenges
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. in Skokie, we are proud to be a law firm that locals trust with a variety of different family law cases and disputes. We know that going to court or entering a legal discussion with family members is stressful. Let us help by simplifying the legal processes, answering all of your questions, and making sure that your case is progressing correctly. Leave everything up to us, so you can focus on taking care of yourself, not busy legal work.
Family law is a practice area of law that is devoted to all matters that relate to family disputes, concerns, and legal conflicts. If a family law case goes to court, it will be handled by a family law court with a family law judge, which is different from a civil court or criminal court. When you have a family law dispute or case to settle, it is important to work with an attorney with a background in or focus on family law specifically. At our firm, we only work on family law and divorce cases, so we are not distracted by other case types like many other firms are.
Types of Family Law Cases We Handle
With family law spanning so many different types of cases, it can be a challenge to find a law firm that can handle your case. Although, there is an exception for families in Skokie. If you live in Skokie or the surrounding area, then you can count on our law firm for legal counsel, guidance, and representation for all types of family law cases. We are also proud to approach each case with true compassion, so you will feel morally supported while also getting great legal support.
Let us help you with cases that involve:
- Annulment: An annulment is like a divorce in that it ends a marriage, but it is unique in that it makes it as if the marriage never happened. For example, if someone unlawfully marries someone who is underaged, then the marriage can be annulled.
- Child custody and visitation: Do you want to keep raising and living with your children after divorce? You will have to win custody and visitation rights, which we can help you do.
- Child support: Child support is designed to keep your children happy and healthy after a divorce by making certain that both parents can afford to raise them.
- Divorce: If you want to end your marriage, come to our firm for an initial consultation. We can show you that divorce is not a bad thing. Indeed, divorce can be the start of happier days for both spouses.
- Fathers’ rights: Are you worried that the court might not value your parental rights as a father? Unfortunately, this is more common than you might realize. Work with our attorneys to ensure that your paternal rights are respected.
- Grandparent visitation: Grandparents can often feel alienated from their grandchildren after the parents of those children divorce. With grandparent visitation rights established through a petition, you can make certain that you will be able to still spend quality time with your grandchildren.
- High net worth divorce: When two spouses are divorcing, the marital property that they share must be fairly split. This process can become highly complicated when the total value of those assets is significant.
- Legal separation: You can separate from your spouse without ending your marriage by going through a legal separation. Depending on how it goes, you and your spouse can either decide to divorce, get back together, or indefinitely remain legally separated.
- Military divorce: Completing a divorce can be difficult if one of the spouses is deployed or on active duty at a military base across the state or country. Our attorneys know how to handle military divorces, so you do not feel like you have to stay in an unhappy marriage just because of military service.
- Orders of protection: Orders of protection are used to prevent abusive family or household members from getting near or interacting with the people that they have hurt. 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: If there is any reason to question who the biological father of a child is, then a paternity order can be issued to establish paternity through DNA testing.
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements: Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are used to decide what you should do in a divorce, just in case one ever happens. Making such an agreement does not mean that you want a divorce or think one will ever happen, though.
- Property division: In Illinois, there is an equitable distribution rule for property division, which means that marital property should be divided fairly, not necessarily equally.
- Same-sex divorce: Same-sex spouses can come to our firm for compassionate and supportive legal services, such as same-sex divorce when marriage no longer feels like the right situation.
Do I need to hire a family law attorney?
You can legally represent yourself in most family law cases. Although, it is not recommended. If your spouse or the other party has an attorney, then that attorney will most likely tell you to hire one for yourself, too. It is not worth risking the future of your family by trying to guess the legal parts of your case.
How long will a family law case take?
A family law case can take anywhere from several weeks to a year or longer to conclude. It all depends on the details of the case, the cooperativeness of each party involved, available court dates, and other unique factors.
Is hiring a family lawyer expensive?
At our firm, we do what we can to keep our attorney fees fair. Every case will have a different cost based on what work needs to go into it, though. We will not surprise you with hidden fees and costs. When you hire our firm, you will know what to expect with costs.
How is divorce different from a legal separation?
A divorce ends your marriage officially. A legal separation can decide certain things and set up various responsibilities like a divorce, but it does not actually end your marriage. You can think of a legal separation as a “trial” for divorce that lets you and your spouse decide better if you really want to end your marriage or not.
Who has to pay spousal maintenance?
Illinois has rules that determine when spousal maintenance is justified. It considers the income and financial needs of each parent, as well as how much each spouse contributed to the marriage and how long it lasted. You might be ordered to pay spousal support, be the one who receives it, or be in a divorce that does not require it.
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 ...
CaballeroManaging PartnerTo clients, Melissa Caballero 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 corner. ...
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 ...
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, ...
FormanekPartnerShay Formanek represents family law clients who require assistance with complex financial issues, division, and valuation of property, allocation of parental responsibilities , child support , relocation, spousal maintenance , and preparing and ...
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 ...
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 ...
DeSanaAssociateJackie 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 ...
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 ...
HubbardAssociateWith a passion for problem-solving and helping others in difficult situations, Caroline Hubbard was drawn to a legal career. By joining the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel in Chicago, she can use her talents for good. When people come to our firm with ...
KingAssociateMadelyn has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2012 and joined the firm in March of 2022. With a decade of experience, Madelyn understands not only the family law system and legal landscape but also the personal nuance of individual ...
NortonAssociateJosie 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 ...
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 ...
Melissa was such a positive, supportive lawyer who gave me strength to move forward
Every legal case or lawsuit can be stressful. However, family law cases often feel more stressful than average because they will directly impact the livelihoods of everyone in your family, one way or another. People come to our law firm for many reasons, but many are drawn to us by our honest and open personalities. We are here to make your case less stressful for you.
Of course, you can also depend on our firm to handle every technical aspect of your case. We know how to build a case or fill out a petition, file it with the right court, respond to inquiries and challenges, negotiate an agreement, represent you in litigation, and much more. The truth is that you can leave every part of your family law case up to our firm, and we would be happy to take care of it all on your behalf.
Find Out More – Contact Our Firm Now
Where should you begin when you need help with a family law case or divorce? Start by dialing (312) 487-2795 and connecting with the Skokie family lawyers of the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. We are here to support you from start to finish, answer all of your legal questions, and make any family law case far less stressful than it might feel right now.
To schedule an initial consultation with our family law firm, use an online contact form.