Jeffery M. Leving

Jeffery M. Leving

Chicago, Illinois

Jeffery M. Leving has been named one of "America's Best Lawyers" by Forbes RadioTM and selected by his peers as one of Illinois' top attorneys. He received his Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1979 and he is licensed to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University in 1974.

His accomplishments include the co-authorship of the Illinois Joint Custody Law, Illinois Virtual Visitation, Right to DNA Testing Notice, and Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference Laws. He has also delivered testimony before both branches of the Illinois Legislature on Joint Custody, Grandparent's Visitation and Child Support Accountability bills.

Leving's work has extended beyond US borders. As a tireless advocate for forgotten fathers and their children, he has also helped fathers abroad seeking to reunite them with their children. In 1996 Mother Teresa supported and thanked Leving for his work helping those entrusted to his care.

He received international praise for his instrumental work in helping reunite a then 6-year-old Elián González with his father in Cuba, the most well-known international custody case to date. The State Department has referred many international custody cases to him and he continues to reunite other fathers with their children around the world.

Always seeking the best interest of children, Leving has been honored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children "in recognition of and appreciation for outstanding commitment to the protection of children and the knowledge of the Hague International Child Abduction issues." After Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, Slovakia minted a commemorative coin honoring Leving and his work to gain equality for fathers across the globe.

Leving was also honored with the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law for outstanding achievement in the legal profession and bringing distinction to himself as well as credit to the university. Additionally, Leving received the Recognition and Commendation Award for Meritorious Service to the Public and Legal Community from the Illinois State Bar Association and the coveted "Protection of the Family" award from the Illinois State Crime Commission.

He is a member of several professional associations including the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, the McHenry County Bar Association, the Kane County Bar Association, the LaSalle County Bar Association, the Federal Trial Bar, and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. His firm concentrates in Matrimonial and Family Law where he leads a team of highly skilled and leading litigators.

In addition to his legal practice, Leving has contributed to the field of family law by authoring several influential books including Fathers' Rights and Divorce Wars, and he is the publisher of Leving's Divorce Magazine. Leving's new book, How to Be a Good Divorced Dad has garnered praise from President Barack Obama and an endorsement from Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who said, "This is a pain-filled book that offers good advice about how to preserve a family born of a marriage that has failed. It's a book that is, unfortunately, more and more needed." Leving's groundbreaking works have become valuable resources for parents, legal professionals, and psychologists. He has contributed further to the field by lecturing locally and nationally on family law issues.

Chosen by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to provide expert input in the first Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families in Chicago, Leving was also afforded the opportunity to meet with President Obama several times and discussed critical legal and social issues facing the nation. President Barack Obama also awarded him the National Lifetime Call to Service Award.

The Illinois House of Representatives honored Leving by adopting Resolution No. 995 which reads, "for his work in safeguarding the rights of fathers and protecting the welfare of children and families in this State" and for his "hard work, integrity, and dedication for the people of the State of Illinois." The Illinois House of Representatives resolved that Leving be presented with a copy of this Resolution "as a symbol of our esteem and respect."

Leving's work over the decades has brought our society a new consciousness for the human rights of fathers and his work has led to great strides in both legal and social reform in America.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1979
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1979
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1979
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • B.S. - 1974

Published Works

  • Unfair to Divorced Fathers, Chicago Sun-Times, March, 1987
  • Wage Deductions and Child Support, Chicago Defender, February, 1989
  • New Joint Custody Law Puts Child First, Chicago Sun-Times, March, 1986
  • Men Also Victims of Domestic Violence, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 2, 1993
  • Illinois Joint Custody Law, (Co-Author), 1986
  • Fathers' Rights, Basic Books, 1997
  • "The Father's Custody Case" (Co-Author), Trial Magazine
  • House Bill #2232 (Ill. House of Representatives) Seeking Child Support Accountability
  • "In Defense of Deadbeat Dads", Parents' Magazine, 1997
  • House Bill #2213 (Ill. House of Representatives) Cited as the Husband Notification of Abortion Act, 1997

Representative Clients

  • Primarily Fathers involved in Custody Disputes
  • Manuel Gonzalez


  • Presenter - Illinois Fatherhood Summit, Hon. Co-Chairmen Mayor Daley, Gov. Ryan & U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, 1999
  • Testified: Proponent of House Bill #2232 (Ill. House of Representatives) Seeking Child Support Accountability, 1999
  • Guest: NBC Daytime, Channel 5, Chicago, Illinois, 1999
  • Guest, Judge and Jury, MSNBC, 1999
  • Guest, Equal Time on CNBC - Debated Against Attorney Gloria Allred, 1998
  • Guest, Debated Against one of Paula Jones' Attorneys and Former Federal Prosecutor in Support of President Clinton, MSNBC, 1998
  • Guest, All American Journal, WWTO-TV 35, 1998
  • Lecturer, Governor Roy Romer's 1998 Colorado Summit on Fatherhood, 1998
  • Guest, Morning Line, MSNBC, 1998
  • Guest Commentator Paternity, Court TV - "Legal Cafe", 1997
  • Guest, Debated Attorney Raoul Feider Concerning G.E. Executive’s Divorce Case, Newsfront on MSNBC, 1997
  • Guest, Newschat with John Gibson, 1997
  • Guest Lecurer, Fall Lecture Series, IIT/Chicago/Kent College of Law, 1997
  • Guest, Debated Rep. Paul E. Caron (Mass. House of Representatives), "Leeza" (Leeza Gibon's Show), 1997
  • Debate Against Gloria Allred, Equal Time (CNBC), 1997
  • Guest with Ona Fletcher, NBC News Channel 5, Chicago, Illinois, 1997
  • Testified, Divorce Law and Procedure, Illinois Senate Committee, 1996
  • Guest, Nightline with Ted Koppel, American Broadcast Center, 1995
  • Testified, United States Commission on Child and Family Welfare, Cleveland, Ohio, 1995
  • Speaker, Congressional Symposium, Hart Senate Building, Washington, D.C., 1995
  • Lecturer, Divorce Rights Program, Phoenix Group, St. Fabian's Church, 1995
  • Guest, America's Talking, CNBC's Cable Network, 1995
  • Guest, Talk Back Live, CNN, 1995
  • Guest, Chicago Tonight, WTTW, Channel 11, 1995
  • Guest, 20/20, ABC, 1995
  • Lecturer, The Father's Custody Case, Annual Convention, American Association for Justice, New York, 1995
  • Lecturer, The Rights of Men, College of Complexes, 1995
  • Guest, A.M. Philadelphia, ABC (Affiliate), 1995
  • Guest, Deadbeat Dads, The Montel Williams Show, 1994
  • Speaker, Men's Divorce Rights, Woodson Regional Library, Chicago, Illinois, 1994
  • Guest, Oprah Show, WLS-TV, 1994
  • Guest, Senator Berman's Forum, Cable Television Show, 1994
  • Speaker, Parents Without Partners, Discovery Zone, 1994
  • Lecturer, Aspects of Visitation Interference, Fathers Day/Father's Rights Seminar, Chicago Bar Association, 1994
  • Guest, Roundtable Discussion,, National Organization for Women, 1994
  • Lecturer, Men's Divorce Survival Techniques, Des Plaines Public Library, 1993
  • Lecturer, Divorce and Related Matters, Oakton Community College, 1993
  • Guest, Talking with Aaron Freeman, Child Support Television Special, Channel 50, 1993
  • Guest, Fatherhood in the 90's, Special Segment on 32 this Week, WFLD-TV: Fox 32, 1993
  • Keynote Speaker, Divorce Rights, St. Fabian Church, Phoenix Group, 1993
  • Keynote Speaker, Fathers Fighting Back,, National Congress for Men and Children's National Annual Convention,, 1993
  • Lecturer, Legal Rights and Emotional Needs, Forest Hospital, 1992
  • Lecturer, 12th Annual Convention, Detroit, Michigan, National Congress for Men and Children, 1992
  • Lecturer, Fathers, Men and Myths, Father's Rights, Galter Life Center, 1992
  • Lecturer, Defense of Parents Falsely Accused of Abuse, Illinois Institute for Parents and Children Working Together, 1992
  • Guest, Who Gets the Kids?, The Jenny Jones Show, 1991
  • Keynote Speaker, Young Single Parents Group, 1991
  • Guest, Coopers Corner, Talk Show, Channel 2, Cable TV in Highland Park, Illinois, 1991
  • Keynote Speaker, Father's Rights Seminar, Designer Cafe, Skokie, Illinois, 1991
  • Lecturer, Fathers and Divorce, East Bank Club in Chicago, 1991
  • Guest, 32 This Week, Father's Day Special, WFLD-TV, 1991
  • Lecturer, Children's Rights in Divorce, Thorek Hospital, Chicago, 1991
  • Dad's of Divorce, Television Show, Channel 19 Cable T.V., 1991
  • Guest, Chicago on Time, Radio Show, WWBZ, 1991
  • Guest, Father Custody Issues, 1450 AM WVON, 1991
  • Guest, Chicago Al Dia, WIND, 1991
  • Guest Small Talk, WVON- 1450 A.M., 1991
  • Guest, Sounds of Chicago, WJMK, 104.3 FM, 1991
  • Speaker, Don't Forget the Rights of Fathers, 13th Annual Phoenix Conference, Archdiocese of Chicago, 1991
  • Guest, The Aaron Freeman Show, WGBO Channel 50, T.V., 1991
  • Guest, Small Talk, WVON-AM, 1990
  • Guest, Man to Man, Talk Show, Channel 21 Cable T.V., 1990

Honors and Awards

  • Cert. of Award for Contributing to Drafting of IL Joint Custody Law
  • Certificate of Outstanding Achievement From Fathering Support Services
  • Illinois State Bar Association Recognition and Commendation Award for Meritorious Service to the Public and Legal Community
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Award of Merit

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Matrimonial Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • National Divorce Forum for Men, 1988 - Present
  • The National Congress for Fathers and Children, Member
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member, Committee on Matrimonial Law
  • Illinois State Bar, Member
  • American Association For Justice, Member
  • Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Member
  • Federal Trial Bar, Member


  • Delta Theta Phi