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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Richard A. Karner




Richard A. Karner, Jr. earned his Juris Doctor degree from UIC John Marshall Law School. He also holds an MBA from Dominican University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business/Marketing from Saint Xavier University. Richard brings years of experience practicing family law to the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd. As a divorced dad himself who went through a very difficult custody battle, Richard is a passionate advocate for our clients who want to be fully active in their children’s lives.
Before attending law school, Richard worked as a financial planner and financial advisor for many years. Due to Richard’s depth of knowledge and experience in the financial world, he skillfully handles high asset and financially complex divorces to protect clients’ and their children’s financial futures.


• During a hotly contested divorce proceeding, Richard sought and obtained three court orders holding the adverse party in contempt of court for failure to comply with financial discovery. Richard took the case to trial, and passionately and skillfully argued for his client’s position. Richard won. At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge awarded everything that the client asked for, including sole custody of the children, maintenance, child support, 75% of the proceeds of the sale of the marital home, 401k and retirement plan assets, and an additional $80,000 of the marital assets. Moreover, the Judge ruled that the adverse party was obligated to pay all of the marital debt in the amount of $160,000.

• Richard represented a loving father of five children who was the primary breadwinner for his family and always supported the children. In the divorce proceeding, dad sought joint custody while the mother wanted sole custody awarded to her. Moreover, the mother claimed that Richard’s client owed her over three years of back child support, despite the fact that dad lived with and supported the children during the time for which the mother claimed he owed child support. Richard was successful.  Over the mother’s objections, the Court awarded dad 50/50 parenting time and joint custody pursuant to the successor Illinois Joint Custody Law that Jeffery Leving co-authored.  Moreover, the Court correctly found that dad always financially supported his children and therefore rejected the mother’s claims to back child support.

• In a post decree matter, Richard’s client, a loving dad of four grown children, was served with a Petition for college expenses in which the adverse party alleged that she was owed $400,000 for their children’s college costs and expenses. Their divorce decree stated that both parents were responsible 50/50 for college expenses. The adverse party waited to pursue this claim until after all of their children graduated from college. On behalf of his client, Richard sought and obtained from the adverse party a detailed accounting and documentation of the various colleges’ invoice statements, and the adverse party’s bank records, checks and receipts of all of the expenses that she claimed she had paid. Richard’s thorough analysis of all of the financial records revealed that, in fact, the adverse party was not even entitled to most of the expenses she claimed. For example, she attempted to get Richard’s client to reimburse her for items that she never even paid for. Moreover, she inflated the amount that she said dad owed by submitting duplicate and triplicate receipts for the same item. Through Richard’s skillful analysis and argument, the Court was convinced that his client was only responsible for a small fraction of the $400,000 in expenses that the adverse party had claimed was due from Richard’s client.

Areas Of Practice

  • Family Law

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D.
  • Dominican University Brennan School of Business
    • M.B.A.
  • Saint Xavier University
    • B.A.
    • Major: Business/Marketing

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)