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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Jacalyn Birnbaum
Jacalyn Birnbaum

Jacalyn Birnbaum


Divorce is a problem, not a death sentence.

Jacalyn Birnbaum has an unusual, refreshing approach to the practice of family law – an approach shared by the members of the law firm, Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma and Arnoux, LLC.

While each case presents inherent complications – financial, emotional, psychological and legal – it is Jackie’s mission and the mission of each member of the firm to help clients navigate these challenges to reach reasonable resolutions that open the door to the next chapter of their lives.

With a firm and energetic approach, Jacalyn enables clients to fear less so they can be fearless.

Well known for being colorful and down-to-earth, Jacalyn helps her clients – adults and children – move through and beyond uncertainty and pain to what will be a new beginning.

Jackie brings fundamental optimism to the practice. Having returned to law school in her late 30s, she has practiced domestic relations law for 20 years. Married since 1973 with a daughter and son in their 30s, Jackie is a grandmother of two. Jackie’s combined experience in and out of the courtroom has equipped her with a profound belief in the innate resilience of each individual client.

Highly regarded by her peers, Jacalyn is and has been an active member of the Family Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association (“ISBA”) since 2003 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) since 1998. She has been chosen as a Leading Lawyer and SuperLawyer each year since 2006 and voted one of Illinois SuperLawyers’ “Top 50 Women” in 2011.

Jacalyn has testified before the Judiciary Committees of both the Illinois House and Senate in connection with legislative initiatives passed into law. She speaks and writes on a variety of family law and child custody topics.

Professional Recognition

Professional Associations

  • Illinois State Bar Association, Family Law Section Council
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Publications and Presentations

  • Guest, “Un-Common Law,” WCPT 820 AM radio show with host Kurt Muller (discussing roles as guardian ad litem and child representative for children in divorce cases), July 28, 2013
  • Profiled, “Resilience, Humor, and a Little Magic,” Leading Lawyers Magazine — Women’s Edition for 2010


  • DePaul University Law School, J.D., 1992
  • George Washington University, B.A.,1972


  • Illinois, 1992
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