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prenuptial agreement

Warning: The Wording in Your Prenuptial Agreement is Critical

Categorized as Prenuptial Agreements

Getting people to execute a prenuptial agreement is difficult. Then when a prenuptial agreement is executed, if the wording of the agreement isn’t clear, the person trying to avoid paying can still be stuck paying the ex-spouse. That is unfortunate and avoidable.

One such example of a spouse having to pay when he shouldn’t have had to was a recent case that was decided in the Woodrum case by the Appellate Court in McDonough County, Illinois.

In re Marriage of Woodrum – Prenuptial Fail

Greg and Jennifer planned to marry and executed a prenuptial agreement. The parties agreed that neither would have to pay the other maintenance should they divorce. Eight years later, Greg filed for divorce and the trial court granted Jennifer’s request for temporary maintenance. When parties agree that no maintenance would be paid, and the Court rules that they now have to pay, one cannot help wondering what went wrong.

  • What was the purpose of hiring the attorneys to draft the prenuptial agreement if the Court is going to grant maintenance anyway?
  • What went wrong? And why isn’t the agreement valid?

The Court did find that the prenuptial agreement was valid, but two words left Greg in a bad position and one that he hadn’t anticipated. His prenuptial agreement said the parties had only waived maintenance “upon dissolution”—not upon the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage. In the judge’s opinion, Greg wouldn’t pay maintenance to Jennifer once they were divorced, but he would pay maintenance to her while the divorce case was ongoing. Greg had to pay Jennifer $1,137.00 per month in temporary maintenance until the divorce was granted. I’m guessing that Jennifer was in no hurry to finalize the divorce. Two words, improperly drafted, now have caused Grey money and a lot of aggravation.

Wife Attempts to Invalidate the Prenuptial Agreement

Jennifer attempted to invalidate the prenuptial agreement when she argued that there was an undue hardship to her if she didn’t receive maintenance. Greg argued that the parties’ premarital agreement could not be circumvented because Jennifer could not prove that she was entitled to maintenance due to an undue hardship that was not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the execution of the premarital agreement, as required to negate the terms of the premarital agreement under section 7(b) of the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (Illinois Premarital Agreement Act). See 750 ILCS 10/7(b) (West 2016) (providing that if a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support that would cause a party “undue hardship in light of circumstances not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the execution of the agreement, a court, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid such hardship”).

Wife Argues for Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Jennifer argued that she should be awarded temporary maintenance pursuant to section 7(b) of the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act because eliminating temporary maintenance would cause her undue hardship in light of the unforeseen circumstance of Greg instructing her to leave his home as a result of her attending religious services as a Jehovah’s Witness. Jennifer claimed that an undue hardship would result because her client relationships and book of business related to selling insurance had lapsed with Greg’s knowledge and for his benefit of being able to help raise his children and take care of domestic duties.

In response to Jennifer’s petition, Greg indicated that he earned a substantially higher income than Jennifer because Jennifer was “unemployed by choice.” He denied Jennifer’s business relationships and book of business had lapsed “for his benefit” and denied that Jennifer had no way to support herself. Jennifer testified that she was selling insurance when she moved in with Greg in 2001. Jennifer was still selling insurance at the time of the parties’ marriage in 2007, but Jennifer had been decreasing her workload over time. Jennifer never specifically told Greg that she was going to quit selling insurance. Jennifer moved out of Greg’s home in 2015, and in early 2016 she had begun working part-time at a grocery store but quit after a few months and had not looked for another job.

Prenuptial Agreement Clause Regarding Maintenance

The parties’ prenuptial agreement stated:

“MAINTENANCE. In consideration of the promises and marriage of the Husband and Wife in this Agreement, the Husband and Wife hereby declare that each is currently self-supporting. Each party states to the other that their educational background and work experience have allowed them to acquire valuable and readily marketable employment skills and their separate assets, and that by virtue of those skills and assets both are able to support themselves through appropriate employment or business and are possessed of sufficient income, each to provide for their own support. Husband and Wife, therefore, hereby waive from the other all right to maintenance for themselves from the other under the laws of the State of Illinois or any other state in which either party may hereafter reside upon divorce or dissolution of the marriage contemplated by this Agreement. This waiver of maintenance shall be binding on each.”

The Premarital Agreement Act omits the prior common law requirement that an enforceable
agreement must also be fair and reasonable and must not result in an unforeseen condition of
penury for the party challenging the agreement. In re Marriage of Heinrich, 2014 IL App (2d)
121333. Thus, under the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act, a court cannot invalidate a
premarital agreement merely because the enforcement of the agreement would result in a
disproportionate allocation of assets to one of the parties.

Enforceability of the Premarital Agreement

Section 7 of the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act governs the enforceability of
premarital agreements, providing:
“(a) A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom
enforcement is sought proves that:

(1) that party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or
(2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before
execution of the agreement, that party:

(i) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the
property or financial obligations of the other party;
(ii) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to
disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party
beyond the disclosure provided; and
(iii) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate
knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.”1750 ILCS 10/7(a) (West 2016).

In this case, Jennifer acknowledged that she voluntarily signed the premarital
agreement. There was no issue as to whether Jennifer made a knowing waiver of her marital
rights. Consequently, the parties’ premarital agreement was enforceable unless Jennifer was able to prove, pursuant to section 7(a) of the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act, that the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and that, before execution, she was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of Greg’s property and financial obligations.

Disclosure of Property, Assets and Financial Obligations

There was no waiver by Jennifer, in writing, to her right to disclosure of the property or
financial obligations of Greg beyond the disclosure provided, even where she signed the
agreement without reading it. Under the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act, the only way that
Greg could have been relieved of his statutory obligation of providing a fair and reasonable
disclosure was by Jennifer “voluntarily and expressly waiving, in writing, any right to
disclosure of Greg’s property or financial obligations. Jennifer did not execute such a waiver.
One way that Jennifer sought to prove that she didn’t know the full extent of Greg’s assets, was to argue that Greg failed to provide a “fair and reasonable” disclosure where he
failed to disclose his 20% interest in Wayne Woodrum, Inc.; his 20% interest in Woodrum
Automotive; assets regarding Maedco, Northwestern Mutual Life, and Illinois Dealers Life
Insurance that had generated in excess of $10,000 of income in 2007 (as indicated on the parties’
2007 joint tax return); the value of his residence; the value of his investments with Edward
Jones; and the value and the acreage regarding his interest in the farmland.

Reasonable, Fair and Complete Disclosure Required

Greg argued that he did, in fact, provide a fair and reasonable disclosure where both
parties had acknowledged in the prenuptial agreement that they had made a “full and complete
disclosure” to each other. Greg additionally argues that the only asset that was not disclosed was
his ownership interest in the family automotive dealership, which “generated no actual income or
cash value other than his regular salary for managing.” He notes that although his 2014 tax return
showed reported income from a sale of land, he did not receive any proceeds of that sale. He also
contends that his failure to provide a value for his interest in the farmland was reasonable
because his interest in the Tallula farmland was a remainder interest that he had not yet received,
the value of a remainder interest was not easily able to be valued, and he did not know the value
of the farmland in Tallula or Macomb.

The Court did not agree with Greg. Putting in the agreement that the parties had made a “full and complete disclosure” did not make it so. The question was whether Greg did, in fact, make a full and complete disclosure, regardless of what the prenuptial agreement said. The Court said that Greg had a statutory obligation to provide at least a fair and reasonable disclosure (unless Jennifer waived her right to such a disclosure, in writing, or she had adequate knowledge of his property and financial obligations). See 750 ILCS 10/7(a)(2) (West 2016). The Court determined that it must look to the disclosure actually made, and not the language of the agreement, to determine whether the disclosure was fair and reasonable. The question now is, what is “fair and reasonable,” which can mean different things to different people.

“Fair and Reasonable” Disclosure Requirement

Under the law, Illinois does not require a “full” disclosure standard. See 750 ILCS 10/7(a) (West 2016). The law requires a “fair and reasonable” disclosure, which is less than a complete disclosure, and the failure to disclose any particular piece of property or financial obligation is not, in and of itself, fatal to the enforcement of the prenuptial agreement. Rather, the purpose of a disclosure is to ensure that each party has sufficient knowledge regarding the other party’s financial circumstances in order to understand the nature of the legal rights being waived, with the burden to inform being on the disclosing party. In other words, can the intelligently choose whether to release his or her rights and interests to that party’s property based on the disclosure? Although a fair and reasonable disclosure need not be precise or exact, the requirement of a fair and reasonable disclosure requires each party to provide a “general approximation” of his or her income, assets, and liabilities. Friezo, 914 A.2d at 550. Whether a disclosure is “fair and reasonable” depends on the facts and circumstances of each case, including the information that was actually disclosed (in writing or otherwise), the information that was not disclosed, and the relative size of the non-disclosed information in relation to the parties’ financial circumstances.

There is also no requirement under the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act that a party’s
disclosure be in writing or that it be attached to the premarital agreement. See 750 ILCS 10/1 et
seq. (West 2016). Although not required, it makes good business sense in my opinion to attach a written schedule of assets from each party to the agreement. Each party’s attachment should have as much information on it as possible, including the income and property interests of the parties at the time the agreement was executed. Since the two parties are employing separate attorneys, and there is typically good money being paid for the agreement, it just seems silly not to ensure its validity by attaching as much information as possible.

Burden of Proof Falls on Party Seeking to Avoid Enforcement of the Premarital Agreement

Under the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act, Greg and Jennifer were required to disclose to each other their property and financial obligations, including their interests in real or personal property and their income and earnings. See 750 ILCS 10/2, 7(a) (West 2016). Furthermore, while Greg correctly argues that Jennifer cannot complain that she did not understand the premarital agreement or that she was misled by the terms of the premarital agreement where Jennifer never actually read the agreement (see In re Marriage of Kloster, 127 Ill. App. 3d 583 (1984)), his argument is irrelevant in determining whether his disclosure was fair and reasonable. Again, each party to a premarital agreement has a statutory obligation to disclose their property and financial obligations, which cannot be waived without an express waiver, in writing. See 750 ILCS 10/7(a)(2)(ii) (West 2016).

Even though each party had a statutory obligation to provide a fair and reasonable
disclosure, it is Jennifer who, as the party seeking to avoid enforcement of the premarital agreement, had the burden of proving that Greg’s disclosure was not fair and reasonable. The Court found that she failed in her burden. The evidence showed that Jennifer had been married twice before, and twice before, she had executed prenuptial agreements.

Jennifer’s last argument in an attempt to invalidate the prenuptial agreement was based on the theory of unconscionability. Under the Illinois Premarital Agreement Act, a premarital agreement is not enforceable if the agreement was “unconscionable” when it was executed. The timing is important because the unconscionability applies to when the document was executed, not at the time that the agreement will be enforced.

Wife Argued Agreement Procedurally Unconscionable

One interesting argument that Jennifer made about unconscionability was that the agreement was “procedurally” unconscionable because she did not know that she was represented by Weston, the attorney on record as having represented her during the prenuptial agreement. Jennifer testified that Greg selected Weston to be her attorney, the Woodrum family business paid Weston’s bill, and Weston did not have Greg’s written disclosure when he met with Jennifer. Procedural unconscionability is some impropriety during the process of forming the contract depriving a party of a meaningful choice. “Procedural unconscionability refers to a situation where a term is so difficult to find, read, or understand that the plaintiff cannot fairly be said to have been aware he was agreeing to it,” taking into consideration the disparity of bargaining power between the drafter of the contract and the party claiming unconscionability. Razor, 222 Ill. 2d at 100 (citing with approval Frank’s Maintenance, 86 Ill. App. 3d at 989).

Circumstances Surrounding the Execution of the Premarital Agreement

Here, all of the circumstances surrounding the execution of the premarital agreement
show that the parties had both previously been divorced twice and had children from their prior
relationships. In discussing getting married, Greg clearly indicated to Jennifer that he would not
get married again unless there was a premarital agreement in place. Jennifer had been licensed to
sell insurance in 1987 and was able to explain and sell insurance policies that could be
complicated, so that she was not incapable of understanding the terms of the contract. The
premarital agreement was drafted by Greg’s attorney, who advised that Jennifer be represented
by her own attorney. Greg testified that Weston had been hired to represent Jennifer because he
was a client of Woodrum Automotive and had a good reputation as an attorney. Jennifer met
with Weston twice and had months to review the premarital agreement before finally executing it
before a notary on June 13, 2007. In the premarital agreement, Jennifer and Greg acknowledged
that they were each represented by counsel, with Weston representing Jennifer and Tucker
representing Greg; they were each able to support themselves; and they were each waiving their
marital rights to the other’s property and to any maintenance.
The Court agreed with Grey that Jennifer could claim a lack of understanding of the agreement or that the agreement misled her where she did not read the agreement. The agreement clearly indicates that Jennifer was being represented by Weston, and therefore, she cannot claim a lack of understanding in relation to Weston’s representation. She also cannot claim that she did not understand that she would be receiving no property or maintenance from Greg. Before the agreement was executed, Jennifer had already decreased her work efforts in regard to her insurance sales but, nonetheless, executed the premarital agreement indicating that she was able to be self-supporting in the event of a dissolution of the parties’ marriage and that she was waiving her marital property rights and any right to receive maintenance.

Is the Agreement “Substantively Unconscionable”?

Jennifer also argued that the agreement was substantively unconscionable. Jennifer testified that the agreement made no provisions for her by way of property or support, even though she was already substantially financially dependent on Greg at the time she executed the premarital agreement. In support of her argument, Jennifer indicates that at the time the agreement was executed she was 53 years old; she only earned $7634 that year (in 2007) and that she was financially dependent upon Greg. She testified that Greg paid the bills, and that she had been out of the workforce for several years.

Substantive unconscionability refers to terms that are “inordinately one-sided in one
party’s favor.” Razor, 222 Ill. 2d at 100. Substantive unconscionability is based on the actual
terms of the contract in regard to the relative fairness of the obligations assumed and is concern
with whether the terms are harsh, oppressive, or so inordinately one-sided as to oppress or
unfairly surprise an innocent party and whether there is an overall imbalance in the obligations
and rights imposed by the bargain. Kinkel, 223 Ill. 2d at 28.

In this case, the terms of the premarital agreement were not so harsh, oppressive, or
inordinately one-sided to be substantively unconscionable where both parties acknowledged they
had the ability to be self-supporting and both released any claims to each other’s premarital and
after-acquired property and to any maintenance. The Illinois Premarital Agreement Act
authorizes parties to contract in regard to, among other things, the disposition of their property
upon dissolution and in regard to the elimination of maintenance and looks to whether the agreement was unconscionable at the time of execution, not at the time of the dissolution.

The agreement and the evidence indicated that Jennifer was able to support herself at the time she voluntarily executed the agreement, although she chose not to do so during the marriage, even in light of the terms of the agreement indicating that she would receive no property or maintenance from Greg in the event of dissolution of the marriage. The fact that after Jennifer voluntarily executed the premarital agreement, she chose to continue to rely on Greg for financial support throughout the marriage does not support a finding that the terms of the agreement were substantively unconscionable at the time the agreement was executed.

If you have questions about premarital agreements and protecting future assets in the event of divorce, it is important to get sound legal advice. Contact Anderson Boback & Marshall to speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys and learn what you need to know about prenuptial agreements.

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I have been working with Kim Anderson and the firm of Anderson & Boback for my legal needs surrounding a breakdown in the life of my family and me.I spoke with the senior partner Jen Spence a year ago for an hour. I needed knowledge to balance out the fear that was... consuming me. I received an open ear listening and acknowledging my mental emotional intellectual state. At that time there were no legal points or recommendations to be given. It was a caring dialogue, and a endeavor of understanding, helping me gain a sense of where I was.The entire team that I work with now, after meeting Kim a year later is exceptional. I came to the understanding from the prior helpful conversation that I needed active representation. What has become a very important and wonderful realization is that Kim, Rachel, Olivia, all of the other members communicate so well in supporting each other that they are really seamless. The also work to support me and my spouse and children all. I am their client and they are a team for me and my family together. They actively listen exchange well with each other abide by what I want, unless it goes against my best interest, and they have put their foot down when I have adamantly wanted to make a choice in their experience was not, you're my best interest. Kim and her entire team take care.The financial aspect of this is important also, and they have handled it with absolute decency. They work with me to minimize the hurtful financial impact of what is going on. They help me to Garner resources in the right direction as I'm burning through them.I can't say they are the right firm for everyone. I can say that I unequivocally could not in any way shape or form have chosen a better team to bring on board, and help me navigate something with respect and love. Something impossible to do without the caring assistance of this group.read more
Mark M
I had a highly contentious and difficult international relocation case. Kim Anderson won the case. Relocation cases are extremely difficult, particularly international relocation cases. This is the only lawyer in Chicago you will want to talk to on this. I read some of... her articles online and consulted with her and I was glad I did. Nobody else could have done what she did. She fought hard against various delays, twists and turns. She is ethical and fights back hard against anyone who is not! She stands up to abuse of power and using the legal system to bully her clients. I felt safe and taken care of within the legal system for the first time within my case. If you want someone who will fight for you then this is the person for you. She has the experience, the expertise and the fighting spirit that you need. She is also straight up and to the point and very easy to relate to and work with. She is responsive and you get the sense she cares about her clients. The team around her are fantastic too and seem to work day and night. International relocations can be won-don't waste your time and money on anyone else-call Kim Anderson and her success.read more
K M.
We could not have been happier with the services provided by Anderson and Boback. If it were not for there experience in the type of case my family was involved in, I am convinced the outcome would not have been a positive one for us. Janice knew exactly how to respond... and to what we were entitled to do, bring and discuss during the phone sessions. I am sure it is a lot harder to have cases decided without in person conversations, but that is a reality of today's world. They knew exactly how to handle the situation.Hopefully never would we have to, but would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them in the specialty line of work they are expert in.read more
Wendy Z.
I could not have asked for better representation for my divorce than Jessica Sindel. Jessica was hardworking, thorough, intelligent, and practical. She got me everything I wanted with my settlement. She was always responsive, gave me regular updates, and I always knew... I had an excellent advocate. When the other side was being difficult and unresponsive, she handled it and moved the case along. I would highly recommend Jessica Sindel as an attorney.read more
Mary P
Boback/Anderson’s attorney Janice Boback was recommended And I do recommend her as one attorney who will adhere and work hard to serve the principles You believe in what ever the character of the opposing att. I strongly believe that family going through difficult... times should be served in a method respecting both sides with the least exposure possible to unnecessary painful processes.Att. Janice Boback esq. is the one you want ,who will persist on working in the utmost ethical manner to reach SETTLEMENTS and avoiding the un-needed processes that aim to serve interest of others than your family’s . She will explain to you your options what is legally possible and alternatives.When it comes to family issues, you will never regret choosing att Janice. She was and still is the best ethical and professional help during hard family times.read more
Isam H.
I recently worked with Jessica Marshall. She was informative, available, kind, and tough. I felt supported and she defintely knows what she is doing and how to get the job done. Highly recommend this firm.
Melyssa C.
Jan Boback was a great lawyer. She responded in a timely manner and answered all of my questions ( and there were a lot ). She's incredibly professional and takes her job seriously. I would definitely recommend her if you are in need of such services during a difficult... time.read more
Gurjot G.
Anderson and Boback have a professional, dedicated team who will fight for you and do everything in their power to help. They are kind, professional and kept be updated on my case. I VERY highly recommend their office. I worked with Genevieve Binnie on my latest case... and she went above and beyond!read more
Lisa S.
I had switched to Kim 6 mo into my case because I didn’t feel the firm at the time wasn’t very responsive, proactive and provided a good representation. Kim was a strong advocate for me in my case and fought like it’s her own battle. A great trial attorney. I was... awarded additional time as a result.read more
R. K
I worked with Alexandra Brinkmeier and she is a phenomenal lawyer and a great person as well. She cares about what she does and why she does it. I highly recommend her!!!
My lawyer was awesome!!! The situation was handle with such care. They were always readily available which was great to handle daily details and constant issues that arose. I will refer them to everyone I know for the rest of my life. That is how much I appreciated... them!!! Thanks, Lisread more
Lisa A.
Very professional law firm. I had to use them for many years for a child case. I can say I'm very pleased with the outcome and would highly recommend this law firm. They were always on top of anything that needed to be done. They did a better job than the opposing... council with arguments and making sure the judge had all the necessary paperwork to help us win our case. Thanks!read more
Josh N
I have used other law firms in the past, and I can honestly say that none of them compares to the work of Alexandra. I now understand how crucial it is to have the right counsel by your side.She is by far the best counsel I’ve ever had. She was on top of my case since... day one, pays close attention to details, and answered all my questions in a timely manner. Alexandra is deeply knowledgeable and with her experience, she has made my case get positive results.I will forever be grateful to Alexandra C. Brinkmeier. Alexandra Thank You!!!read more
Antonio R.
prior to finding and retaining Anderson & Boback, i had two previous lawyers. both of my prior attornies let the process drag on, and would not challenge opposing counsel. several issues surfaced during this time and my prior attornies were unwilling or unable to... address them.After an initial meeting with Kim Anderson, I did not hesitate to hire her as my now 3rd lawyer. Kim and Genevieve Binnie quickly familiarized themselves with the case. Kim and Genevieve are knowledgable, professional, and very confident. Kim and Genevieve gave me the impression that i was their only client. I was never told that they were too busy or had other important meetings to address my concerns, as my previous lawyers often did. just recently my case went to trial. although the judge has not made a ruling yet, i am confident in a favorable outcome for the case that Kim and Genevieve put on. i cannot thank them enough for their hard work. Both Kim and Genevieve are skilled, and excellent attornies. I highly recommend Anderson & Boback!read more
james B.
Highly recommend they helped me get a long over due child support modification. Props to Attorney Sindel for all her hard work and putting up with me.
Jason B.
Anderson & Boback was our 3rd Lawfirm for a family court issue. The others were mean, rude, disrespectful, & unresponsive. A & B was very courteous, respectful, & knowledgeable! They were great! They maintained their professionalism in very dicey situations.I’ll use... them again if needed!read more
Lorenzo L.
I will recommend Jessica Marshall as an excellent attorney for child custody and family law cases. From the moment she took on my case, she was determined to help me achieve my desired outcome (of course in the best interest of my son).Jessica worked diligently on my... case and showed compassion through out the year long custody battle. She has the knowledge, wit and compassion that it takes to represent and fight for a fathers rights.If you ever need or know someone in need of a family law attorney, Jessica is the one for you.read more
Solomon M.
i was involved in a very complicated custody battle. My attorney was Kim Anderson. She stepped up & took my case when 5 other law firms would not. Kim showed professionalisms, integrity & most importantly for me, heart. She diligently fought for almost 4 years to... make sure I had a positive outcome. Kim is not afraid to take on a challenge & give it all she’s got for her clients. I don’t know where my family would be today if not for Kim Anderson.read more
Peggy K.
For years, I have been bombarded with bad-faith petitions by my daughter's biological father; Though we've lived in Florida since my daughter was 17 months old (she'll be 12 in a week), the jurisdiction has remained, sadly, in Illinois. Her father has an unlimited... amount of money to waste, and as a single mother of two, and a Florida educator, I do not; I have struggled to fly back and forth to Chicago from Florida, fighting Pro-Se because I've not been able to afford an attorney. I've had to incur costs to fly to Chicago, lose work time, lose time with my family, and simply continue to be harassed with no end in sight. Recently, after being bombarded again- now with 'emergency petitions' with no merit to them, but simply designed to ensure I am not able to fly within 24 hours from Florida to Chicago to defend myself, my family members said, "ENOUGH!". I was referred to Janice Boback from a dear family friend, and another family member loaned me the retainer fee, which is very reasonable. Janice, with only 36 hours to prepare for a hearing, was a ROCK STAR! It was the first time I felt that the 'little guy' won a victory! She was laser sharp, calm, and unrelenting - Everything was dismissed against me! My daughter's best interest was supported, and the Judge, because it was a hearing, was finally made aware of the facts. After almost two hours, the judge stated he finds me, "Completely credible, honest, and in no way attempting to interfere with [my] daughter's relationship with her biological father"... He went on to tell her father, "She is not responsible for 'spoon-feeding' you information about your daughter."... POETIC JUSTICE! Janice is my HERO - A Peaceful Warrior who is steady in a sea of chaos, ready to lift onto her shoulders those whose voice has been drowned out! Thank you!read more
Rosanne H.
Wonderful law firm! Jessica Marshall is a terrific attorney. Not only is she an expert in family law, she listens, she cares, and she gets to the bottom of the issues to protect the best interests of children involved and the client. She's aggressive and practical and... the one you want on your side. Everyone that I have worked with at this firm has been helpful, skilled, and extremely professional.read more
I have worked with Jan for several years after finding her through Google Reviews. She has been a tremendous asset to my case. She is always responsive and willing to help. She is extremely knowledgeable of the law and is always realistic about expectations.... Ultimately, I got the BEST possible outcome for my case due to Jan’s diligence. I am so glad she is on my side!read more
Krystal H.
Ms. Boback is an excellent legal resource. She collaborated with me on possible solutions for a mutual client concerning a complicated matter that implicated the laws of multiple states. She was knowledgeable, helpful, and practical. She certainly earned my highest... endorsement.read more
James L.
While looking to switch to a female attorney for a very contentious separation involving a child with an exe, I came across the law firm of Anderson & Boback. They were very prompt with the call-back response to my inquiry and connected me with Janice right away.... Janice took a substantial amount of time to speak with me, to better understand the complexities in my case, and she offered great insight.I found this firm to very compassionate and understanding in how to navigate the legal system in this matter and also in their understanding of the sort of individual I unfortunately have to deal with and the associated legal games separating parents may face.I would have absolutely sought Anderson & Boback’s council but there was a conflict and with my case already advanced, I chose another female attorney. Based on my initial experience, I would definitely recommend this firm!read more
Lucy M.
You get what you pay for... !After firing our first attorney because quite frankly he was in over his head with our case we hired Jessica Marshall from Anderson and Boback.Jessica was responsive, attentive, has a hyper attention to detail and of course, knows the... laws relating to the litigation of custody, child support, and parenting time inside and out. At no point did we feel Jessica was not ontop of our case and ready to see our case all the way through to a trial. She managed expectations. Under promised, over delivered!No trail, an agreement in place with the parenting time we wanted and a manageable child support order was the end result of a bitter child support and parenting time case.Hopefully we will not have to utilize Jessica’s services again but in the event that we need to, we have full confidence in her abilities. She did an outstanding job for us. Cannot say enough about how pleased we are as a result of Jessica’s services. Highly recommend!read more
Devere J.
I could not be more impressed or appreciative for this firm's work. Kimberly Anderson is professional, benefits from an exceptional reputation in the legal community, and understands how to make a difficult process easier. Her availability to answer questions and... strategize goes far beyond what I've experienced with other lawyers. I highly recommend her firm.read more
John D.
Kim Anderson is a fantastic attorney. I was very stressed and scared over possible outcome of my case. Kim successfully defended me and helped me move forward with my life. I can't honestly thank her enough.
Jason G.
I was in an existing parentage case that had been drawn out for about a year and a half with little being done, before I decided to switch firms to Anderson & Boback. Kim Anderson reached out to me immediately upon my inquiry and it was very clear to me that she was... interested in what I had to say, and genuine in her responses to my questions. In taking on my case, she showed strong support for the outcome I wanted, gave very reasonable advice to help me get there, and brought experience to the table to guide me in my own decision making. She kept things moving, and so within only a few months of bringing her on, we were able to wrap up the case with a great outcome. Couldn't be more pleased. Thank you so much Kim!read more
Suzanne P.
Absolutely wonderful, are just some of the adjectives I can use to describe the wonderful women at Anderson and Boback. Kimberly Anderson is a tough hard-nosed lawyer who knows what she's doing and the direction she wants to go when it comes to fighting for her client.... Since the day I contacted this firm because of the deteriorating circumstances involving my ex-wife, she listened to me and gave sound advice. When it came time to fight in the courtroom, she was more than ready and communicative throughout the entire process with the first emergency order, which we won. This happened on two more occasions before our day in court and she still fought hard winning each time. The communication was excellent as she explained the possible outcomes and worst case scenarios before each case. I couldn't have come into contact with a better lawyer. Kim is outstanding and she stays abreast of current changes occurring within our legal system. In instances when Kim personally couldn't be there, Jessica Marshall stepped in her place and did a wonderful job. Our last victory was culminated with Kim still giving her all to fight for me, when she was dealing with her own health issue; that honestly meant a lot to me because she was not only displaying her passion to fight for her client but her dedication to obtaining best possible solution for a father who was being denied his parental rights. All I can say is, if you're contemplating on hiring these wonderful women at Anderson and Boback, DO IT! You will not regret your decision because they will fight for you and they are just wonderful from the paralegals, to the lawyers, and partners they're TOP NOTCH! Not only in the state of Illinois but I'd put them against any lawyer nationally.read more
Bruce J.
I just want to say that Kimberly Anderson is an amazing lawyer!! She is smart and easy to talk too. She is willing to listen to you and what you want. She helped me in more ways than she knows. She always answers your calls or emails and if you don’t understand... something she is more than willing to explain it . She also won’t sugar coat things and has your best interest in mind. I will recommend her to anyone that needs a divorce lawyer. Also the people who work with her are friendly and always willing to help in any way they can.read more
Kate G.
My sister had used thier services and I can actually say THEY ARE F***KING GOOD .. I seen them in action they WON. I can actually say I want them on my side..
Maria H.
Jan Boback represented me in a domestic order of protection case. Her expertise and performance in court was nothing but stellar! She knew every aspect of the law related to this issue and very clearly communicated the conforming facts of the case to the judge. The... judge, even though they have full discretion, could not argue with Jan's facts, how they conformed and her very calm presentation. She read the judge's body language which has a big factor in court when you are dealing with a judge you've never been before in the past.Jan is nothing but outstanding at her job.I've referred her to others and will continue to do so.Deanread more
Dean K.
I was very grateful to do business with Janice Boback.I am a strong believer in God, Justice, and “Janice”.She expressed extreme knowledge in the law pertaining to my case. Her winner attitude and great communication skills always kept my mind at peace.The trust... connection and bond between Janice and I was priceless.I always felt protected under her guidance with complete awareness of the status and all possible outcomes to my case.She was always available to answer or explain any questions or concerns I had.She is truly the attorney to have if the situation arises.read more
Larisa H.
Kim Anderson has a knack for staying 1-step ahead of me and my thought process. This is extremely helpful in those moments when I am stressed on legalities and not quite thinking straight. Kim also capably breaks the legal speak into everyday terms that I can... understand. Kim is an excellent attorney who is prompt, diligent and professional. The team at Anderson & Boback was invaluable in guiding me through my divorce as well as resettlement issues that I initiated after the divorce. Thanks for all your help Kim!read more
Michael C.
Jessica Marshall was amazing! My divorce should have been an easy process, since we didn't have any children or assets; however the opposing party was adamant on making it complicated. Jessica not only kept me informed of everything that was happening but advised me on... the best course of action to get divorced within a reasonable time-frame and without it costing me everything I owned. I couldn't thank her enough once it was all over. I can now move on with my life and it's because of her.read more
Jenny R.
Jessica is Amazing! She is kind, thoughtful, detailed oriented. She is quick in responding. She is knowledgeable. She fought for me in court and not afraid to speak up for her client. She has this confidence in return I feel confidence. She gives me good advices and... helping me to make right decisions. I am so very grateful she is my attorney.read more
Daranee A.
Jessica Marshall sat with me and supported me from the moment of our first consult to the final court appearance. No question went unanswered, no call/email left unreturned, and no doubt that she was on my side and ready to work. Jessica handled my case with confidence... and empathy, which I greatly appreciate given court can, often times, feel overwhelming. Cost was worth every penny and I know that every dollar was earned. I am grateful that the outcome was in my daughter’s favor and that she is now safe. My daughter will be forever thankful for finally having her voice heard in court, as Jessica suggested, through a child rep. I also want to acknowledge Gianna Carabez, Jessica’s paralegal, for always being kind and available to take my calls.read more
Sara G.
I have worked with lawyers in the past, Jan I feel really took care of me! She always had time for me, was very good at getting back to me when she was busy. In court I could see she handled her self confidently and was respected by other lawyers and also the judge. I... have recommended her to friends and family and will continue to do so!read more
Jim B.
This practice will go above and beyond! During a difficult time they were understanding and helpful.Very responsive! I received a fair and favorable outcome. I recommend contacting them immediately to get the ball rolling.
Antiwon S.
After visiting with two other law firms, I selected Anderson & Boback. They are professional! The former office was bright and pleasant. The receptionists are professional. The attorney I was assigned listened to my story and then prepared a course of action. I am... glad I chose Anderson & Boback to handle my divorce case. I highly recommend them!read more
Richard P.
Kim came as a referral from a great friend of mine. This wasn't an easy process to go through, but Kim gave me great guidance and help along the way. Wouldn't have gotten the outcome I wanted without her and her team.
Meghan M.
In April of 2016, I had an urgent need for a family attorney to help me litigate some critical issues unresolved from my divorce decree ordered by the cook county family court in 2011. I interviewed 3 attorneys and ended up picking the last one I felt was the best out... of the three. What a mistake I made after two months of litigation and more than $10,000 legal fees. In July, I interviewed two more attorneys and I selected attorney Anderson to replace the previous attorney. What a switch I made! All the critical issues were litigated and resolved to my complete satisfaction. Attorney Andersen has a very simple way of serving her client: she will listen to my story and ask what legal outcome I am expecting to get, and she will recommend a course of action and get me the result in the most cost effective manner. In short, when you give your problems to attorney Anderson for solutions, you can go home and sleep well.read more
Dean C
Kim handled both of our adoptions for us and made the process so easy. When you’re overwhelmed with all of the legal details it’s so nice knowing you’ve got someone who will attend to them so you can focus on other things. Very professional and highly recommended!
Cd J.
Kim is very professional and cared about your case. Always there when you need her. Thanks for all your hard work.
Kim S.
Elizabeth Bailey
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I really appreciated Laura’s help on my case. She was professional, empathetic, knowledgeable, and very quick to respond. She made an unfortunate situation much more tolerable with her ability to move my case along quickly and easily. Highly recommend.
Audrey Tabon
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I’ve been working with Anderson and Boback since 2019 due to the unfortunate complexities of my case. It’s been exhausting and expensive but having this group of powerful attorneys has been pivotal in the success of my case.
Timothy Host
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Attorney Jessica's exceptional assistance and success in securing a proper visitation agreement and reuniting me with my daughter surpassed my expectations. Her prompt correspondence and attention to detail were remarkable, ensuring efficient communication and leaving no aspect of my case overlooked.
Paul Cavill
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Laura was my assigned Attorney and she was very professional and did an excellent job. Great advice and did everything as quickly and easily as possible. I couldn't of gone through the unfortunate process I had to and got the outcome I did without her. Highly recommend.
Dan Strickland
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Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Jessica Marshall and her team. As a father who was no longer present in the USA, I was facing a monumental task to get access to my daughter in the face of extreme hostility. She made the impossible happen, and I’ll forever be in her debt.
Kelly Olsen
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We never go into a marriage thinking I have a great divorce attorney if this doesn’t work out. However, Laura Darby is the attorney you want in your back pocket if you do have to go through a divorce! Laura is extremely knowledgeable, caring, and will advocate for her clients. She will provide realistic, clear, and yet supportive guidance to her clients.
Karen Mae
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If you’re looking for a smart, reliable divorce attorney, look no further. I was able to collect many years of back support with the assistance of this office. Jessica Marshall really knows what she is doing and I felt that my outcome was fair. You really do get what you pay for.
Rob Backeberg
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My experience with Anderson & Boback was nothing short of professional, efficient and caring. My lawyer, Jessica Marshall, provided a strong sense of guidance, reassurance and a human touch during a very difficult and complicated legal process. Highly recommend Jessica and her team.
Raza K.
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Jessica is a dedicated, intelligent and a skillful attorney. Her arguments are skillfully articulated. She helped me in getting my divorce finalized in 2018. She then helped in getting the past due child support from my X-spouse and then recently in getting the maintenance alimony payments settled. I would highly recommend their services.
Joanna Kieplin
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Jessica C. Marshall , partner at Anderson & Bobak is one of the best attorneys I had a pleasure to work with! I wish I had found her sooner in my divorce process. I had a post decree military pension issue and it was resolved quickly, efficiently and effectively. I didn’t even have to go to court or interact with my ex- spouse. The billing was also very straightforward and honest. Highly recommended attorney!

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    Chicago Downtown Office

    20 N. Clark Street, Suite 3300 Chicago, IL 60602

    Northbrook, IL Office

    5 Revere Drive, Suite 200 Northbrook, IL 60062

    Firm Overview
    Anderson Boback & Marshall

    Anderson Boback & Marshall is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation for divorce and other family law issues. With multiple offices in NorthBrook and Chicago Downtown, we make it easy for you to book an appointment in a location near you. Our family and divorce lawyers serve families in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County. Call Now 312-715-0870