Paul L. Feinstein - Law Office of Paul L. Feinstein, Ltd.

Paul L. Feinstein

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2014
Phone: 312-346-6392

A well known and highly respected Chicago attorney, Paul L. Feinstein has practiced matrimonial and appellate law since 1980, having obtained his JD degree from Emory University (a  "Top 20"  Law School)  in Atlanta, Georgia. His undergraduate degree was a BA at Tulane University. He became a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 1991. He belongs to the Family Law Sections of the American, Illinois, and Georgia bar associations. He was admitted to the Appellate Lawyers Association in 2010. He is licensed to practice in Illinois and Georgia, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He has written about numerous matrimonial law subjects and is currently on the board of editors of the Matrimonial Strategist, a national publication. He has also lectured before several groups on many family law topics. He devotes a great deal of his practice to appellate and constitutional law and in 1993 was successful in overturning Illinois' automatic asset freeze law in the Supreme Court of Illinois. In 2004, he was successful in having the Supreme Court of Illinois declare the Illinois Child Representative Statute unconstitutional. He returned to the Supreme Court of Illinois in 2012 and was again successful, this time overturning an Appellate Court ruling concerning the definition of income for purposes of child support cases. He handles all litigation aspects of family law issues, including divorce, custody, domestic violence, premarital agreements, and parentage. He also is often called upon to consult in cases which may be going to trial.

While he practices primarily in Chicago, he has handled matters throughout Illinois. He has received Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory's highest attorney rating, "AV." Many of his cases involve complex procedural and substantive matters, and involve high-profile people. He routinely fields many calls from lawyers, who request his opinion on legal matters of first impression, and those who simply wish to know "what the law is" on a particular issue. Legislators and bar associations consult with Mr. Feinstein to obtain his opinions concerning proposed legislation. Paul Feinstein is on the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division's list of court-approved mediators for both financially related issues and custody related issues. He is also court-approved to be appointed as child representative, guardian ad litem and attorney for children in contested custody, removal  and visitation disputes. Paul Feinstein is also trained in Collaborative Divorce and is a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Notable Supreme Court of Illinois Cases and Results:   Messenger v. Edgar, 157 Ill.2d 162, 623 N.E.2d 310 (dissolution action stay held unconstitutional). In Re Marriage of Bates, 342 Ill. App.3d 207, 794 N.E.2d 868; affirmed, 212 Ill.2d 489, 819 N.E.2d 714 (child representative statute held unconstitutional). In Re Marriage of Best, 228 Ill.2d 107, 886 N.E.2d 939 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (holding that reviewing court may consider declaratory judgment order concerning premarital agreement in dissolution of marriage proceeding, even if entered before final dissolution order). Johnston v. Weil, 241 Ill.2d 169, 946 N.E.2d 329 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (court ordered mental evaluations held not privileged).    In Re Marriage of O'Brien, 2011 IL 109039, 958 N.E.2d 647 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (actual prejudice required to obtain substitution of judge for cause). In Re Marriage of McGrath, 2011 IL App (1st) 102119, 954 N.E.2d 842, reversed,  2012 IL 112792 (regular savings withdrawals held not income for purposes of child support). In Re Marriage of Earlywine, 2013 IL 114779 (Individual Amicus Brief). In Re Marriage of Eckersall, 2015 IL 117922 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers).

Published Legal Writing:  Board of Editors, Matrimonial Strategist (Mat Strat), 1995 to Present. Legal Publications: Author, Chapter in, Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in Illinois, Book Published 2010 by Aspatore Books; “Social Security Benefits in Divorce Cases, ” Mat Strat, October 2015;  "Stop and Look Before You Listen!  Wiretap and Eavesdropping Laws, " Mat Strat, December 2014;  "Defining Income for Child Support Purposes: Recent Developments," Matrimonial Strategist, December 2012. "The Enforcement of Jewish Marriage Contracts by Civil Courts," Matrimonial Strategist, April 2012; "Family Lawyers in Trouble; Recent Ethics Decisions," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2011; "College Expense Issues in Domestic Relations Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, January 2011; "Automatic Restraining Orders in Domestic Relations Cases: Constitutional Challenges," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2010; "Current Trends in Long-Arm Jurisdiction", Matrimonial Strategist, January, 2010; "Perplexing Problems Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act", Matrimonial Strategist, June and July, 2009; "Making an Appealing Record on Appeal", Matrimonial Strategist, December, 2008; "Update on Parental Alienation Syndrome," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2008; "Real Estate Minority Interest Discounts In Divorce Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, February 2008; "Taking the Fifth: Pros and Cons," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2007; "Prenuptial Agreements: Recent Trends from State to State," Matrimonial Strategist, December 2006;  "Use and Abuse Of Experts In Matrimonial Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, November 2005 "Defining Income For Child Support Purposes," Matrimonial Strategist, February 2005; "Do You Know Your Federal Law? Conflicts of Law Affect Retirement Plan and Life Insurance Benefits," Matrimonial Strategist, June 2004; "Term Life Insurance in Divorce Cases: A New Deal," Matrimonial Strategist, November 2003; "A Case in Point," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2003; "Beyond DNA: Equitable Parentage," Matrimonial Strategist, May 2003; "How Matrimonial Lawyers Can Avoid Disqualification Due to Conflicts of Interest," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2000; "Creative Remedies for Problems Of Short-Term High-Income Earners," Matrimonial Strategist, May 1999; "Tenancy by The Entirety: A Means Of Protecting a Debtor Spouse," Matrimonial Strategist, January 1998; "State's Highest Court Says Workers' Comp Awards are Marital," Matrimonial Strategist, October 1996; "When are Workers' Comp/Personal Injury Awards Marital Property?", Matrimonial Strategist, July 1996; "Piercing the Corporate Veil in Matrimonial Proceedings," Matrimonial Strategist, March 1995; "Ramifications of Asserting the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination," Matrimonial Strategist, December 1994; "Interstate Custody Disputes: Deciphering the Statutory Maze," Matrimonial Strategist, January 1994; "Final Obituary for Percentage Child Support Orders," FairShare Magazine, December 1993; "The Automatic Dissolution Stay--Rest in Peace," Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Newsletter, November 1993; "Citations to Discover Assets," Illinois Family Law Report, September 1989. Legal Lectures:  Speaker on Illinois Domestic Violence Act and Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act for Chicago Bar Association, 1982 to 1986. Speaker, Matrimonial Law Skills Course for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1987. Speaker, Estate Planning Skills Course for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1989, 1990. Speaker, Child Custody Seminar, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2003, 2005. Speaker, Cook County Child Representative training session, 2003. Speaker, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers meeting, 2004, 2005. Speaker, Advanced Evidence Seminar, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2008. Speaker, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce Seminar, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013.

Tulane UniversityBA 1977Emory UniversityJ.D. 1980
American Academy of Matrimonial LawyersAppellate Lawyers AssociationIllinois State Bar AssociationAmerican Bar AssociationState Bar of Georgia

Case History

Messenger v. Edgar — This was an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. I  was successful in having the dissolution action stay declared unconstitutional. The statute imposed an automatic restraint on all divorce litigants' assets, involving signigficant due process concerns.
In Re Marriage of Bates — This was an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. I was successful in having the  child representative statute declared unconstitutional on due process grounds. Court appointed representatives for children in custody cases  had been allowed to issue reports without being cross examined.
In Re Marriage of McGrath — This was an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. I successfully overturned trial court and Appellate Court rulings determining money regularly withdrawn by an non custodial parent to be income for child support purposes. This was a case of first impression.

Client Comments

"Paul Feinstein handled my divorce in 2004 and did a great job. I have recommended him to several people since that time."

"Paul Feinstein took care of my divorce in 2007 and is an excellent attorney. His knowledge, communication skills and caring nature make him simply the best! I would recommend him to anyone."

"Paul Feinstein handled my family law case with the highest degree of decorum. He is one of the foremost experts in this field and was especially sensitive to the financial needs of my young child. I highly recommend Paul for any family law matter."

"After six years of court for a complicated divorce, I finally found the right attorney, and that was Paul Feinstein. Paul's knowledge and expertise in Family Law was beyond impressive. I also found Paul to be ethical and a man of much integrity, which was a breath of fresh air. I feel forever grateful to have had Paul for my attorney, and I highly recommend him."

"Paul Feinstein is a brilliant, ethical, and unassuming gentleman. His high standards and knowledge of the law make him stand out from the other lawyers. Paul's concern for family and children is genuine. His ability to make a very difficult process more tolerable is incredibly helpful. You cannot find a better family law lawyer than Mr. Paul Feinstein. The best reason to hire Paul over other lawyers would be because you would not want him to be representing your spouse. "

"I've worked with Paul Feinstein on a series of custody-related matters over several years regarding my son. He is always professional, informed, balanced, concise with his comments, and strategic in the creation and execution of a plan to achieve a desired outcome. I've recommended Paul to several friends who've needed family law help, and he's always come through with a positive experience for them. "

-Bill gentry
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"I feel very fortunate to have found Paul Feinstein to represent my needs and those of my child. Paul's tremendous knowledge and experience in family law, together with his responsiveness and respect for me as a client, helped guide my divorce process to a comprehensive and enduring agreement. As my advocate, Paul Feinstein changed my life through his wisdom and fine work. If you seek exceptional counsel, I highly recommend Paul Feinstein. "

Office Location

10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1420
Chicago, IL 60603
United States


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Practice Areas

Family Law (Appellate, Consulting, Custody and Other Children’s Issues, Domestic Relations, Equitable Division, Litigation, Mediation)

Other Information

Gender: Male