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Distinguished Counsel, Uncompromising Ethics

Fellows of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) are recognized by judges, other attorneys and clients as the gold standard for family law. In addition to their individual practice, Fellows conduct legal education programs, lead community outreach and support philanthropic initiatives. They also lead the charge in shaping family law legislation and enacting legal reform.

Of the several thousand family law attorneys in the State of Illinois, 110 are Academy Fellows. To earn the distinction of Fellow, these remarkable lawyers, most with decades of experience in family law, have sustained the highest principles in their practice and passed a rigorous review process.

Renowned for providing outstanding service to their clients, Illinois Fellows raise the bar for the practice of family law. Not only do they advance the profession with their exceptional advocacy and uncompromising ethics, they also benefit their clients through expert guidance and protection.

AAML Fellows address myriad issues to achieve the best outcome for their clients, including

  • Divorce
    • Alimony
  • Children
    • Custody
    • Visitation
    • Support
  • Agreements
    • Prenuptial
    • Postnuptial
  • Valuation and division
    • Business
    • Property
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions
    • Mediation
    • Arbitration
    • Collaboration

Get to know. . .

What do you find most rewarding about family law?

My satisfaction comes from looking out for the child’s best interests. I dedicate 98% of my practice to serving as a child representative or guardian ad litem in highly contentious divorce cases.

Is there one piece of advice you have for parents when they divorce?

Put your children first. Do not include them when you fight with each other. Focus on how your words, actions and decisions affect your kids. I ask parents this question: Do you hate your former spouse more than you love your children?

Outside the office, what do you do for fun?

I cycle. And I collect baseball cards, specializing in old Cubs cards. I still have all the cards I had as a kid. One of my sons is really into card collecting too, so we go to shows together.

How did you get into family law in the first place?

My father was a divorce attorney, and I went to work with him straight out of law school. He was among the first Fellows when the Academy started in Chicago in 1962. I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Stuart G. Gelfman, first vice-president of the Illinois Chapter of the AAML, is a member, Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux LLC, with offices in Cook, Kane and Lake Counties. Reach him at s.gelfman@bhgafamlaw.com and 312-863-2800.

William Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students

The “AAML Illinois Chapter William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students” is the inaugural scholarship sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000.00 to two law students attending Illinois Law Schools during the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Matthew Locke

Jasmine Guerrier