Making A Difference For Dads
Our Chicago based law firm has a demonstrated record of success on behalf of fathers in custody disputes arising in divorce and paternity cases, in related matters such as domestic violence protection orders, and in post-decree matters such as child abduction, parent relocation and modification of child support orders.
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Jeffery M. Leving
Jeffery M. Leving


Chicago, IL



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

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
    • Juris Doctor - 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 Cases

  • In re Marriage of Steichen, 517 N.E.2d 645, 1987, Ill.App. 2 Dist., 1987154519

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