Welcome to Our NEW Home!

Masters Law Group opens its doors at a new downtown office space. 

Masters Law Group welcomes you to their new Chicago office located in the heart of downtown Chicago: 30 North Lasalle Street, Suite 2250, Chicago IL 60602.

Senior partners Erin E. Masters and Anthony G. Joseph have taken another step in their commitment to their clients.

“Moving into a brand-new office space is an exciting occasion for all the team at Masters Law Group, and our growth will allow us to help more clients facing family law and divorce issues. The expansion represents our various successes, especially the development of thriving practice areas such as high-stake Hague Convention, International Child Abduction cases and divorce mediation cases,” says Ms. Masters, “We’re also expanding our team of first-class attorneys and support staff, and created an environment to represent our firm.”

Erin Masters and Anthony Joseph have extensive experience in cases involving international child custody disputes in both courts located in the State of Illinois and the United States federal court system. Furthermore, Erin E. Masters has been approved as a Mediator for the Cook County Domestic Relations Division and offers private mediation services. Mr. Joseph is also on the list of approved Guardian Ad Litem/Child Representatives for the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

“We are quickly moving to meet the shifted expectations for office environments and we’re incredibly proud to welcome clients to the new and improved space.” says Mr. Joseph. He continues, “We’re excited to stay on a course that our clients can trust, while remaining focused on delivering solutions for families navigating a consistently challenging legal environment.”

Masters Law Group handles family law matters in Cook County and surrounding counties. The firm concentrates in areas of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support and related family matters.

Ms. Masters concludes, “We invite you to schedule a consultation to speak with us about your case and look forward to inviting you to our new office location.”

Contact Masters Law Group here today. 

The Process of Divorce Mediation in Illinois

Even when parting spouses disagree, a divorce doesn’t always have to be a big fight. Divorce mediation is a way of finding solutions to issues such as child custody and spousal support. It acts as an alternative to the formal process of litigation in divorce court.

In Illinois, divorce mediation is mandated by the court for couples disputing child custody and parental allocation plans.  Divorce mediation is also helpful when seeking to settle financial matters. Many family law attorneys in Illinois and across the United States provide divorce mediation services to help clients reach a fair divorce settlement, as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible.

In fact, Illinois family law courts actually require that couples attempt divorce mediation before their case can be scheduled for litigation in court. If you’re considering the mediation route with your ex-spouse, here’s a couple tips on how to find the right Divorce Mediator in Illinois.

Mediation and How it works

Mediation is considered an alternative dispute resolution process where an impartial or neutral mediator helps guide you and your spouse in settlement efforts – hopefully helping you reach a final agreement.  Unlike judges, a mediator has no authority to make decisions for you or your spouse. Their job is to keep you and your spouse’s focus on your needs and interests instead of fault and rights.

When a couple begins divorce mediation, they either choose the mediator in advance or one may be appointed by the court, with the court deciding how to split the costs.  Both spouses provide documentation to support their viewpoint regarding disputed issues, while the mediator works with both sides to find a resolution. The goal of the mediator is to reach an agreement between the two parties, therefore it is critically important to work with your divorce mediator attorney to ensure that the proposed solution is truly fair and equitable to you.

The Upsides of Mediation

There are many benefits to resolving your differences through the divorce mediation process.  Mediation can often save you time and money by leading to resolution and avoiding the costs associated with litigation. Divorce mediation is usually less adversarial than battling issues in court and is, therefore, less stressful. 

Mediation provides a means to reach an agreement on all issues quicker than litigating in court and is, therefore, less costly. Both parties are typically satisfied with the agreements since they both had input to the resolution. For parents, the process lays the foundation for cooperation in making important parenting decisions for their beloved children. If mediation is right for you, our lawyers develop a strategy for negotiating the best settlement possible.

Mediation Drawbacks

There are some disadvantages with mediation that you should also keep in mind. Divorce mediation can be a pointless exercise, if the parties are entrenched in a position and refuse to negotiate; a mediation will only be successful if the parties are committed to a resolution. What’s more, if the case is more about the principal than the recovery of money, mediation will not provide the desired resolution. If there are unresolved issues both parties will have to take on further costs and spend more time trying to finally get everything settled.

In addition to understanding the pros and cons of mediation, it’s helpful to understand when mediation is the best choice for the particular situation you are faced with. Some of the kinds of cases that are suitable for mediation include:

  • Business disputes
  • Partnership disagreements
  • Contract issues
  • Leases
  • Will contests
  • Employment issues
  • Divorce and Allocation of Child Responsibilities

Divorce Mediation with Masters Law Group

Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with family disputes that lead to much happier, healthier results. At Masters Law Group, we provide an array of family law services including Divorce Mediation for our clients. Erin E. Masters has been approved as a Mediator for the Cook County Domestic Relations Division and offers private mediation services.

Whether you’re in need of mediation services or representation involved in mediation, our highly experienced family law attorneys offer skillful legal representation and negotiation throughout the divorce process. Get in touch with us here today to discuss and execute the best plan of action for you and your family.

 

Masters Law Group Named in ‘Best Law Firms 2022’ by The US News and World Report

Masters Law Group is proud to announce the firm has again been named in Best Law Firms 2022. 

Yesterday, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in America© issued the 2022 edition of their “Best Law Firms” rankings, and we are pleased to announce that Masters Law Group LLC has been recognized.

The annual rankings are determined after a rigorous evaluation that includes analysis of client and lawyer submissions, peer reviews from leading attorneys, and additional information provided by law firm candidates directly. Data is also collected from Best Lawyers ballots, which can only be completed by attorneys who are currently recognized by Best Lawyers.

On November 4, 2021, all the rankings, in all tiers, were published online at bestlawfirms.usnews.com. The National and Metro Tier 1 rankings were also published in print in their Twelfth Edition of “Best Law Firms”. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Firms that received a tier designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers and clients from the same communities and practice areas.

About Masters Law Group

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the firm handles family law matters in Cook County and surrounding counties. Masters Law Group concentrates in area of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support and related family matters.

About Erin E. Masters

Erin Masters is the principal of Masters Law Group, located in Chicago, Illinois. Masters Law Group concentrates in the area of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support and Hague Convention/ international child abduction matters.

Ms. Masters received her Juris Doctorate and Certificate in Child and Family Law from Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law, in May of 2004. She was admitted to the Illinois Bar in November 2004 and to the General Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2005 and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 2020. Ms. Masters was admitted to the United States Supreme Court in March 2009.

Throughout her career Ms. Masters has represented a variety of clients, both pre-decree and post-decree. Additionally she has prepared Prenuptial Agreements, drafted Marital Settlement Agreements and Final Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Orders, as well as prosecuted and defended Orders of Protection. Ms. Masters has also successfully litigated matters concerning modification and enforcement of child support, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

In addition to representing clients, Ms. Masters is also a court-appointed Child Representative and has experience advocating for children in these high-conflict matters. Further, she has also been appointed by the Circuit Court of Cook County to mediate complex family law cases. Since 2016, Ms. Masters has been named “Rising Star” by Illinois Super Lawyers and has been named as an “Emerging Lawyer” by Leading Lawyers. In 2020, Ms. Masters was named “Super Lawyer” by Illinois Super Lawyers, and in 2021 and now for in 2022, she has been recognized by Best Lawyers for her work in Family Law Mediation.

About Anthony G. Joseph

Anthony G. Joseph is an attorney at the firm of Masters Law Group, LLC. Mr. Joseph received his B.A. degree in Global Economic Relations from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.

He obtained both his J.D. degree and Certificate in Trial Advocacy from The John Marshall Law School. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in November 2010, the Federal General Bar and Trial Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2012 and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 2020. Mr. Joseph is an active trial lawyer. Mr. Joseph publishes in the area of civil litigation. Mr. Joseph has also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University. Mr. Joseph is “AV” Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, which is the highest peer review rating available and has been named a “Rising Star” by Illinois Super Lawyers in both 2019, 2020 and 2021. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in Family Law.

Mr. Joseph concentrates his practice in the area of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities and child support. Mr. Joseph has also successfully litigated matters concerning modification and enforcement of child support, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time as well as prosecuted and defended Orders of Protection. Ms. Joseph has also successfully litigated matters concerning modification and enforcement of child support. Mr. Joseph has also litigated cases in both state court and multiple United States Federal Courts involving The Hague Convention and international child abduction issues.

About Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession.

Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For four decades, their publications have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Their lists of outstanding lawyers are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. 

Best Lawyers use a voting system to choose their candidates. If the votes for a lawyer are positive enough for recognition in Best Lawyers, that lawyer must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain in each edition. 

Work with the Best

With a long history of awarded recognitions in Family Law, Masters Law Group LLC has a unique depth of knowledge, experience and talent in the Family Law and Divorce field. Schedule a consultation here to speak with an attorney regarding your family law matter today.

Top 5 Family Law Issues Over the Holidays

The holidays are often spent with family. For some people, this is an exciting time of the year. For others, it is a source of stress. For divorced couples, how do you share custody during the holidays? Can you change a custody agreement in Illinois? What about grandparent visitation rights? Read on to learn more about the most common family law issues during the holidays and some potential solutions.

The holidays can be a difficult time for a lot of people. Some grapple with the loss of a loved one over holidays. Some couples put off their divorces until after the holiday season. Some people struggle to spend a lot of time with their families.

While the holidays can be a wonderful time, they can also come with a lot of tension. If you are struggling during the holiday season, you are not alone. Here are the top 5 family law issues that occur during the holidays.

  1. Couples Putting off Divorce

Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience in someone’s life. Unfortunately, it’s common for couples who wish to get a divorce to hold off until after the holidays. They tend to do so for the sake of the kids and other family members, but it can be hard to keep a brave face with an impending divorce looming as soon as the holiday magic is gone. It is important to know that this is something many couples struggle with.

  1. Rushed Proposals

Proposals are a common occurrence during the holiday season. In fact, Christmas Day is the most popular day to propose. Because of the excitement of the holidays, many people rush into proposals without considering all the legal issues to take into account. For example, do you know if you want your partner to sign a prenuptial agreement?

Legally, an engagement ring is considered a “conditional gift” based on the marriage taking place and the ring goes back to the purchaser if the engagement is broken, regardless of who ends it. But rings given on Christmas, Valentine’s Day or birthdays are typically classified as more traditional gifts, and the majority of courts have allowed the receiver to keep them. 

  1. Making a Holiday Parenting Plan/Schedule

When it comes down to it, the most difficult aspect of child custody during the holidays is figuring out who will be where and when. The next hardest component is making that schedule happen. Be realistic with the holiday itinerary and consider input from the children, if possible. Be proactive and create a Holiday Parenting Plan. Here are some considerations:

  1. Identify the specific holidays that are important to you and your family.
  2. Be specific about the times that define the holiday.
  3. Consider whether or not the holiday may or will involve travel. It is important to build this into your holiday plan even if you do not plan to travel every year.
  4. Consider whether or not the holiday can be incorporated into the regular parenting time plan.
  5. Consider whether or not it is possible to have the holiday included. For example, some holidays are during the school day (Halloween) and if you decide you want to split the holiday, how will that happen once the children are in school? Dividing this time means that one parent is transporting the children during prime trick or treating time. Is this really what you want for your children?

4. Changes to custody agreements

Often, divorced couples with children wish to change their custody agreements as the holidays roll around. When seeking a modification, a motion to modify custody must be filed. The motion must be filed in the county where the original custody order was signed. If the child no longer lives in that county, it may be possible to have the case transferred. This can be difficult to do at the last minute, so you should contact our firm to discuss your options. If you are facing an issue where your child has been taken overseas by the other parent, you could be entitled to file legal action under the Hague Convention for international parental child abduction. 

  1. Questions about visitation

Many families have questions about custody and visitation rights. What rights do grandparents have to see their grandkids over the holidays? Unfortunately for the state of Illinois, it does not provide for any visitation to grandparents or other non-parents by default. Unless it’s proven to harm the child, parents are given the discretion to choose who their child has a relationship with or not. 

In the event a grandparent is trying to petition for visitation rights, they must show that a relationship existed with the children before a divorce. In other words, a court may help restore an existing relationship but will not help build a new one.

Final Thoughts

Holiday parenting time issues are extremely common.  They often create strong emotional responses from each parent because not only is it their parenting time, but also it frequently includes extended family members visiting or who have traveled to see the children. In the event of battling with an ex over visitation schedules, or any other family law issue such as divorce or even post-divorce disputes: Remember, if you’re facing any of these issues you aren’t alone. We’ve seen and heard it all and are here to serve and guide you through this season.

Get in touch with our award-winning Masters Law Group Attorneys today for help figuring out a solution to your problem.