Rinella and Rinella, Ltd.

Rinella and Rinella, Ltd.

Chicago Family Law Attorneys

Firm Overview

The Oldest Family Law Firm In Illinois

The outcome of your divorce can impact the rest of your life. For some people, the impact is positive. They're able to use the family law courts to reach agreements they couldn't reach on their own. For other people, reaching agreements in divorce and custody matters is taxing, and at the end of the process, both parties are upset with the outcome.

No family law lawyer in Chicago can guarantee the outcome of a case. But when you find a firm with attorneys who have more than 100 years of combined experience, you know the attorneys there will have the experience to help you achieve your goals.

The Practice That Makes Perfect

We cannot guarantee that our clients' lives will be perfect after divorce. However, we strive to perfect everything we offer to our clients, and we hope that thoughtful representation will allow clients to move forward after their divorces are finalized.

We Treat All Cases The Same Way

Our firm has earned a reputation for offering CEOs, professional athletes and celebrities the representation they need during divorce. However, we handle more than just high-end divorce cases, and we treat all our clients the same. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients, regardless of the size of their assets.

Contact High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers Serving Winnetka And Chicago

If you are interested in working with an experienced divorce attorney, contact our firm. Whether you are looking for effective solutions to child custody, asset division or divorce matters, you can find the representation you need at Rinella and Rinella, Ltd. Schedule your initial consultation online or by calling 800-699-5181.

Main Office

Main Office
One North LaSalle Street, Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60602




Chicago Divorce, Civil Unions And Legal Separation Attorney

Divorce is the ending of a marriage or a civil union. Divorce laws are different state by state. The issues that are normally involved with divorce are child custody, child support, maintenance (formerly known as "alimony"), distribution of marital assets, including but not limited to real estate, pension plans, stock, IRAs and business interests. Further, marital debts may be allocated to each party. The court in determining the division of the marital estate will take into consideration the length of the marriage, employment history, earning capacity of each party, education of the parties and any disability a party may have.

In Illinois, the grounds for divorce are mental cruelty and irreconcilable differences. In order to obtain a divorce, the parties have to have lived separate and apart for a period of two years. However, if the parties agree, they may be divorced if they have been separated for a period of six months. To do so, the parties will sign a waiver of the two-year requirement.

Divorce is a major life change, which could cause stress. It may affect living arrangements and finances. Further, if the divorce involves the custody of children, the divorce may take years to complete.

In Illinois, the divorce must be presented to the judge for approval. If the parties are in agreement, they enter into a "Marital Settlement Agreement," which is incorporated into a "Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage." The judgment should settle custody, support and division of assets and debts.

Legal separation is available in Illinois but is rarely used. As with a divorce, a legal separation is a written agreement that must also be approved by a judge. The court may award support, may divide property and make custody and visitation decisions. A key difference between divorce and legal separation is that a party may not remain on the other party's health insurance if they are divorced. If the parties are legally separated, then a party may remain on the other party's health insurance. A couple who are legally separated may not remarry. Also, a couple may choose to legally separate for religious reasons as they are technically still married. A legal separation may be converted to a divorce if one party decides to pursue a divorce.

Bernard B. Rinella

Rinella and Rinella, Ltd.

Year Joined Firm

Areas of Practice
-Family Law

Litigation Percentage
-25% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties
-Family Law, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1962

Bar Admissions
-Illinois, 1961
-U.S. Supreme Court, 2009

-DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
J.D. - 1961
-University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A. - 1958
Honors: Vice President, Senior Class
Major: Pre Law

Published Works
-Hidden Assets, American Bar Association Family Law Advocate, Summer, 1989
-Antenuptial Agreements, American Journal of Family Law, Summer, 1988
-Child Custody, An Overview, Illinois Bar Journal, Fall, 1987
-Illinois Domestic Relations, (Co-Author: Richard Rinella), Butterworth Publication, 1989
-Legal Checklists, "Matrimonial Matters", 1983
-"Winning Cases Through Show and Tell", Family Advocate, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1983
-"Illinois Child Custody Law: An Overview", (Co-Author), Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 76, No. 1, Sept., 1987
-"Antenuptial Agreements and Malpractice: Is The Risk Worth the Reward?", American Journal of Family Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer, 1988
-Illinois Domestic Relations Forms, Aspen Publisher, 1989

-Northern Trust Bank
-Morgan Stanley

-Family Law Topics, Chicago Bar Association, 1970, 1980, 1990
-Family Law, Illinois State Bar Association
-Lecturer, Domestic Relations, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1965 - Present
-Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Illinois State Bar Association, 1965 - Present
-Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Chicago Bar Association, 1965 - Present
-Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Illinois American Journal of Family Law, 1965 - Present
-Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Continuing Legal Education, 1965 - Present
-Lecturer, Butterworth Publication, Illinois Domestic Relations, 1989
-Lecturer, Family Law in Illinois, Cambridge Institute, Chicago Bar Association, 1988 - 1989
-Guest Lecturer, Panelist, Illinois State Bar Association, 1967 - Present
-Guest Lecturer, Panelist, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1967 - Present

Honors and Awards
-Best Lawyers in America, 1982 - Present
-Best Lawyers in America, Town and Country Magazine, 1988
-2004 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer of the Year
-Best Lawyers in America, 1983 - Present
-Leading Lawyers in Illinois, 1999 - Present
-"America's Top Ten Divorce Lawyers", Town and Country magazine, 1998
-Chicago Sun Times: Chicago's Top Divorce Attorneys , 2000
-Super Lawyers, 2004 - Present
-Outstanding Service to DePaul University

Pro Bono Activities
-Allendale School for Boys and Girls, 1970 - Present
-Firm handles cases given to us by Legal Aid

Ancillary Businesses
-Limited Partner

-Phi Delta Theta
-Delta Theta Phi


DePaul University College of Law