Stuart G. Gelfman
Stuart Gelfman is a skilled and experienced family law attorney. He has a strong emphasis on representing the interests of children in divorce matters, including child custody and visitation rights, child support and maintenance. He is on the court-appointed Child Representative/Guardian Ad Litem list for domestic relations courts in both Cook and Lake counties, where he has gained extensive experience as a child representative and a guardian ad litem in highly contentious child custody matters. As part of his work in this area, Stuart also helps clients resolve parentage and paternity disputes. He brings exceptional commitment to ensuring the rights and best interests of children who otherwise would have no direct voice in family law cases.
As part of his divorce representation, Stuart also advises clients on securing, maintaining or modifying support and maintenance arrangements as needed. His experience with division of marital assets gives him useful insight for drafting and negotiating effective pre-nuptial agreements.
Clients respect Stuart for his more than 35 year record as a responsive lawyer and strong negotiator. He brings compassion and empathy to his guidance in emotional divorce proceedings, and takes the time truly to listen to personal concerns. His practice approach emphasizes reaching a satisfactory resolution of disagreements short of trial if possible, and acting as a vigorous advocate in court when necessary.
His thorough communication with clients and experience with the judicial system support Stuart’s reputation as a respected practitioner. He was selected by his family law peers for inclusion in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, whose restricted membership encompasses highly skilled negotiators and litigators representing individuals in all facets of family law. Since 2010 he has been selected by Illinois Leading Lawyers, another peer review honor that reflects his high standing and substantial experience in family law practice.
Stuart, a graduate of John Marshall Law School, has completed the 40-hour Basic Training Workshop in Domestic Relations Mediation sponsored by the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his training from the nationally renowned trainer Zena D. Zemuta, J.D. Stuart also has received professional training in collaborative family law. He was approved for placement on the Cook County Domestic Relations Division’s list of court-certified mediators for financially related and custody related issues. Stuart is also on the Cook County Domestic Relations Child Rep./GAL screening committee.
- Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- First Vice President of the Illinois Chapter of AAML
- Member, Illinois Leading Lawyers
Civic and Pro Bono
- Guardian ad litem as a pro bono child representative for domestic relations courts in Cook County and Lake County
- Pro bono Lake County Approved Family Mediator, 2014-2016
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
- Guest, “Un-Common Law,” WCPT 820 AM radio show with host Kurt Muller (discussing prior day’s verdict in State of Florida v. George Zimmerman), July 14, 2013
- John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1984
- University of Illinois, B.S., 1981
- Illinois, 1984