Gunnar J. Gitlin has exclusively practiced in divorce and family law cases for his 30-year career and has been a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1996. He is licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin and is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. In 2016 through 2021, Gunnar comprehensively rewrote the seminal treatise on Illinois divorce law: Gitlin on Divorce: A Guide to Illinois Family Law.
Mr. Gitlin’s practice has been limited to family law since his graduation in 1987 from Loyola University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Gitlin received his B.A. in English Literature from Kenyon College. He first worked for a family law firm in Chicago—Schiller, Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck. In 1989, Gunnar J. Gitlin became an associate of Gitlin & Burns and then became a partner of Gitlin & Gitlin. In 2002, he established his own firm, The Gitlin Law Firm, P.C.
Attorney Gunnar Gitlin is a frequent lecturer to family lawyers, both statewide and nationally. He was named by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education as one of five Illinois family lawyers for their 21st Century Master Teacher’s Program. In 2007 Attorney Gitlin was awarded the Michael S. Cohen award “for continuing commitment and contribution to the professional education of matrimonial lawyers.” That year, he was also given the President’s Special Recognition Award by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Gunnar Gitlin has been recognized by various organizations such as Leading Attorney Network (from 2003), by SuperLawyers,® and by Best Lawyers in America® (from 2007). He has received an AV peer review designation from Martindale Hubble®—their highest rating. AVVO provides Mr. Gitlin with its highest rating.*
Gitlin on Divorce: A Guide to Illinois Family LawGitlin on Divorce Book Details
- Author: Gitlin on Divorce: A Guide to Illinois Family Law, 4th Edition. Lexis Publishing.
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Child Custody Litigation HandbookPublication details
- “Settlement of the Child Custody Case: The Art of Custody Warfare.” 2004 Edition (updated 2006 and 2010)
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Illinois Family Law Practice Handbook’s – Property and Financial AspectsPublication details
- Chapter 5 – Business Valuations. 2000 and 2003 Editions (updated 2006 and 2010). Co-Author.
Co-author: Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Child Custody Litigation HandbookPublication details
- “The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Effecting Custody Cases.” 2006 and 2010.
“Appellate Review in Domestic Relations Cases: The Elusive Final and Appealable Order”Publication details
- Illinois Bar Journal, August 2000. Vol. 88, No. 8. Co-Author.
- Illinois Bar Journal, February 1996. Co-Author.
Contributing author to “Gitlin on Divorce — Case ReportsPublication details
- 1988-2002 and lead author 2016-17.
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Institute for Training New Lawyers – FacultyPresentations for the AAML's Institute
- 2003 Chicago Illinois Program: Pension Plans and Drafting of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; Business Valuation 101/102; Use of Spreadsheets and Other tools for the Family Lawyer.
- 2002, Chicago, Illinois Program: Pension Plans and Drafting of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. Co-chairman for 2002 program.
- 2001, Chicago, Illinois Program: Business Valuation 101/102 (a primer on business valuation issues in divorce cases). Co-chairman for 2001 program.
- 2000, Chicago, Illinois Program: Preparation for Trial Preparation: The Trial Notebook. Co-chairman for 2000 program.
- 1999, Fort Worth, Texas Program: Presentation for Trial Preparation: Preparing the Client for Mediation and Custody Evaluation
- 1997 – Chicago Program: Presentation for “Common Assets Program” Retirement Benefits and How to Effectively Draft QDROs” and “Business Valuation Primer.”
Illinois Family Support Enforcement AssociationPresentation
- Using QDROs to Collect Child Support. October 2012
Law Education Institute, National CLE Conferences – ColoradoPresentations for LEI
- “Settlement of the Child Custody Case.” January 2015, Conference – Vail, Colorado, January 8, 2015.
- “QDROs 102: A Primer on Advanced Issues Re QDROs – Drafting and Qualification” January 2003 Conference – Aspen, Colorado.
- “Business Valuation Premiums and Discounts.” January 2001 Conference, Vail, Colorado.
- “Preparing the Client for Mediation and the Custody Evaluation – Understanding How Psychologists Use the MMPI-2 in Custody Evaluations. January 1999 Conference, Vail, Colorado.
Illinois Attorney General SeminarPresentation
- May 10, 2007. Springfield, Illinois. Child Support Enforcement Issues Unique to Illinois Law.
- Advanced Divorce and Business Valuations Webinar: “Divorce and the Impact of Business Valuations on Support and Equitable Distribution.” May 12, 2015.
- Divorce and Business Valuations Webinar: “Navigating Complex Valuation Issues and Methodologies and Analyzing Valuation Impact on Support.” March 2012.
NIU Law Review Symposium: Current Issues in Child Custody LawPresentation
- Member Symposium Faculty: Panel Discussion: “Have Kids, Might Travel: A Guide to Successfully Litigating and Resolving Illinois Relocation Cases” March 24, 2005. DeKalb, Illinois. Other Members of Panel included: Joseph DuCanto, Steven Peskind, and Hon. Stephen Sullivan.
Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial LawyersPresentations
- Co-Chair for 13th Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2018. Presentation: “Collaborative Divorce: New Statutory Law and Supreme Court Rule.”
- Co-Chair for 12th Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2017.
- Co-Chair for 11th Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2016. Presentation: “Practice and Implementation of the IMDMA revisions: “How’s that working for you?”
- Co-Chair for 10th Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2015. Presentation: “Case Law Update 2015: Both Financial and Non-Financial Cases and the Impact of the Family Law Rewrites in 2016.”
- Co-Chair for Ninth Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2014.
- Columbus Day Eighth Annual Seminar: A View from Above – Case Law Update 2013
- Co-Chair for Sixth Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2011: Columbus Day 2011, Oak Brook, Illinois. Presentation: “New Supreme Court Rules and Case Law Update Involving Ethics Issues for 2011.”
- Co-Chair for Fifth Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2010: Columbus Day 2010, Oak Brook, Illinois. Presentation: “A View from Above: Case Law and Supreme Court Rule Update 2010.”
- Co-Chair for Fourth Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2009: Columbus Day 2009, Oak Brook, Illinois. Presentation: “A View from Above: Case Law Update 2009.”
- Co-Chair for Third Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2008: October 13, 2008, Oak Brook, Illinois. Presentation: Collaborative Divorce 101 and the Ethics of Collaborative Law.
- Chair for Second Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers 2006: October 9, 2006, Oak Brook, Illinois.
- Chair for First Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Family Lawyers 2005.
- Presentation: Statutory Update and Supreme Court Rules 2005 / Case Law Update October 10, 2005. Oak Brook, Illinois.
Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers / IICLE – Martin Luther King Day ProgramPresentations for MLK Seminar
- 2021, “Case Law Update.”
- 2020, “Maintenance Calculating Using Complex Tax Returns.” Monday, January 20, 2020 – Hyatt Schaumburg and Live Webcast.
- 2019, “Case Law Update.”
- January 2017, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce 2017: “Imputed Income in Depth: Business Valuation & Maintenance” – Recorded 16, 2017. See more at: http://www.iicle.com/business-valuation-financial-tax-issues-in-divorce#sthash.IfH4TJFe.dpuf
- 2016, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce 2016: Your In Depth Guide to Financial Aspects of the IMDMA Rewrite: “Business Related Non-Marital Property Issues.” Presentation with Don Schiller.
- 2015, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce 2015 – “Ethics: Financial Topics in Mediation & ADR.”
- 2014, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce 2014 – “Case Law Update 2014.”
- 2013, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2013 “Case Law Update 2012.”
- 2011, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2011: “Case Law Update 2010: A View from Above.”
- 2010, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2010: Panel Discussion: “Premarital Business Interests, Reimbursement Issues Involving non-Marital Businesses and the Retained Earnings.”
- 2009, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2009: “Valuation Discount Refresher. Control Premiums and Minority Discounts, Discounts for Lack of Marketability and Key Person Discounts.”
- 2005. Presenter for Judge’s Panel. “Business Valuation, Financial, and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce.” Deerfield, IL. Joint program with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the IICLE and Trenwith Valuation
- 2004, Deerfield, Illinois. Program: Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2004. Case Law Update Regarding Sophisticated Issues Regarding Property, Maintenance and Other Financial Issues in Divorce Cases. Program associated with the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
DuPage County Family Law SectionPresentation
- “The Revolution that Wasn’t — Leveling Two Years Later.” October 1999.
Kane County Bar AssociationKane County Bar Presentations
- Case Law Updates 2014: A View from Above. November 2014.
- “Identifying and Determining Income for the Purpose of Child Support and Maintenance.” May 2003.
Northwest Suburban Bar AssociationPresentations
- Written materials used for presentation on joint custody including updated article by Gunnar J. Gitlin reviewing each Illinois appellate court case involving an award of joint custody and joint parenting agreement of The Gitlin Law Firm – 2003.
- “Removal Trends: An Analysis and Update of Original Illinois Bar Journal Article regarding Removal,” January 25, 1999.
Winnebago County Bar AssociationWinnebago Family Law Section Presentations
- “Child Support Presentation — New Legislation Re Child Support and Income Withholding” Joint Presentation with Dennis Casty of FinPlan, November 1999.
- “Trends in Maintenance Award: The Trend Toward Reviewable Maintenance and Permanent Maintenance” and “Trends in Custody Cases: A Comprehensive Analysis Joint Versus Sole Custody Awards,” April 1999.
- May 20, 2016 “Case Law Update 2015 / 2016 Focuses on Cases Relating to the Rewrite of Illinois’ Custody Laws.”
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Master Teacher’s Biannual ProgramPresentations for Master Teacher's Seminar
- 2021 Upcoming Master Teacher Program. Child Support and Maintenance 2021.
- 2019 Program Co-Chair: Drafting Marital Settlement Agreement Seminar and Child Support and Maintenance Master Teachers Seminar
- 2017 Presentation, “Think Tank Roundtable: The Future of Maintenance & Child Support,” May 18, 2017. Panel discussion including: Hon. Grace Dickler, Presiding Judge Domestic Relations Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago
Hon. Pamela Loza, Circuit Court of Cook County; Hon. Jeanne M. Reynolds, Circuit Court of Cook County, Skokie; Hon. Elizabeth Rochford, Circuit Court of Lake County, Waukegan.
- 2015 Master Teacher Program: “Chaos on the Homefront – Child Support and the New Illinois Laws on Maintenance Guidelines with Gunnar Gitlin”: April 2015 – UBS Tower & Conference Center.
- 2013 Master Teacher Program: “Gunnar Gitlin on Child Support and Maintenance Litigation 2013,” June 2013. UBS Tower & Conference Center, Chicago.
- 2011 Master Teacher Program: “Child Support and Maintenance Litigation 2011,” Chicago. April 2011.
- 2007 Master Teacher Program: “Child Support and Maintenance Litigation 2007,” Chicago and Peoria Illinois.
- 2004 Master Teacher Program: “Gunnar Gitlin on Child Support and Maintenance.” August 2004. Presented in Springfield and in Chicago.
- First Master Teacher Programs: “Child Support and Maintenance: Using the Law, the Facts and Savvy Planning to Get the Best Awards for Your Clients,” January 23, 2003, Chicago, Illinois. Full day program presented by Gunnar J. Gitlin – “Master Teacher.” Additional full day program presented in Champaign / Urbana in November 2002 and in Chicago in December 2002.
- One of five Illinois family lawyers selected as Master Teacher for the Twenty-First Century Master Teacher Project by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Educations – June 2000.
IICLE Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements Workshop Program ChairPresentations
- Drafting of Marital Settlement Agreements Workshop, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education:
- Chair for 9th Seminar (downstate): June 6, 2019.
- Program Chair for our Eight Seminar: September 25, 2018, Chicago.
- Program Chair for Seventh Seminar: November 2013, Chicago.
- Program Co-chair for Sixth Seminar: May 2012, Chicago.
- Program Chair for Fourth Seminar: Chicago, September 22, 2006; Urbana, September 15, 2006; Chicago, November 20, 2006.
- Third Chicago program – February 24, 2000.
- Springfield, Illinois program – March 25, 1999;
- Second Chicago program – February 26, 1999; and
- First Chicago Program – November 20, 1998.
Other IICLE ProgramsOther Presentations for IICLE
- “Cutting Edge Custody, Visitation and Grandparent Visitation Issues;” and “Clauses no Marital Settlement Agreement Should be Without.” Fifth Annual Family Law Conference, March 2006, Chicago, Illinois.
- “Clauses no Marital Settlement Agreement Should be Without.” Fifth Annual Family Law Conference, March 22, 2006, Springfield, Illinois.
- Annual Family Law Conference, 2005, “Attorneys’ Fees: An Analysis of Illinois Case Law Seven Years After the Leveling the Playing Field Amendments.” April 2005, Chicago and Urbana.
- Annual Family Law Conference, April 16, 2004, Springfield, Illinois and April 23, 2004, Chicago, Illinois, “The UCCJEA – A Solution to a 35 Year Old Problem.”
- April 4, 2003, Urbana, Illinois and April 9, 2003, Chicago – UBS Tower: “Jurisdictional Issues in Divorce – Jurisdiction and Venue; UCCJA/UCCJEA/PKPA; and Personal Jurisdiction Versus Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Divorce.”
- “Current Issues and Developments in Child Custody Jurisdiction: The UCCJEA is Coming!”, December 2003 (Chicago) Program: “Successfully Analyzing, Negotiating, and Trying Your Child Custody Cases.”
- “Case Law Update 2001-2002 and Trends in Illinois Family Law Cases.” April 2002, Chicago Illinois and Springfield Illinois for “First Annual Family Law Conference.”
- Moderator of Key Issues in Child Custody Seminar – Springfield and Chicago, Illinois programs. Lecturer: Preparing Your Client for Mediation and Custody Evaluation – March 1998.
- “The Shrinking of Child Custody Cases: The Use of Mental Health Experts – – Preparing Your Client for the Contested Custody Case,.” 1996. Springfield, Illinois program.
- Litigation Issues 1997 — Business Valuation Case Law Update, 1997.
DePaul University Graduate School of TaxationPresentation
- An Overview of Recent Business Valuation Cases and Issues in Divorce, February 17, 1997.
Illinois State Bar Association Family Law SectionISBA FLS Presentations
- 2021. UCCJEA, the Hague Convention, and Relocation of Children. February 2021.
- 2016 “The Revolution is Here – Do you know what has changed under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act?” June 2, 2016, Chicago, IL.
- 2015 Program, “”Attorney Education in Child Custody and Visitation Matters in 2015.” Presentation: “Removal and Custody Trends for 2015.” Chicago, IL.
- May 2014 Program, “”Attorney Education in Child Custody and Visitation Matters in 2014.” Presentation: “Removal and Custody Trends for 2014.” Carbondale, IL.
- March 19, 2010 ISBA Program, “Attorney Education in Child Custody and Visitation in 2010 and Beyond” Presentation: “Dealing with Other Jurisdictions and Allowing Children to be Removed from Illinois: Removal, the UCCJEA and the Hague Convention.” Chicago.
- Mid-year meeting 1997: “Leveling the Playing Field Legislation – Contribution Petitions and Final Fee Hearings.”
American Bar Association Family Law SectionPresentation
- Mid-year meeting 1997: Hot-Tips by the Experts program – “Key Books in Every Divorce Lawyer’s Library.”
Illinois Chapter American Association of Matrimonial LawyersIL Chapter AAML Presentations
- Program Chairman for First and Second Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Lawyers: 2006 and 2006 and co-chair for 2008 program.
- Case Law Update 2002. Presented in April, 2002.
- Case Law Update 2002. Presented in February, 2002.
- Financial Matters in Divorce 2002: January 2002 Program: “Business Valuation Discounts and Other Issues Affecting Valuation of Closely Held Businesses.”
- “Top Cases Year 2000,” November 7, 2000.
- “Treatment of Depreciation and Business Expenses in Determining Net Income According to the Child Support.”
- “Venue in Divorce Cases: What is Residency;” June 2, 1998.
- “Top Ten Cases 1998 – A Case Law Review 1998”
- “Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and the Department of Labor’s QDRO Handbook; Analysis of the Marriage of Wenc decision and Issues in Drafting QDROs regarding defined benefit plans.” May 5, 1998.
- “Joint Custody in Illinois / 1998 Tax Worksheets;” February 3, 1998.
- “Top 10 1997 Cases;” January 1998.
- “Maintenance and Property Spreadsheets: An Analysis of Illinois Case Law;” December 1997.
Member Planning Committee for Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues ProgramsPlanning Committee Details
- Member Planning Committee for 2017 through 2019 programs: Joint Programs with Illinois Chapter AAML, IICLE and Mazars
- Member Planning Committee for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 programs: Joint Programs with Illinois Chapter AAML, IICLE and Cohn-Reznick Group.
- Member Planning Committee for 2008 through 2014 programs: Joint Programs with Illinois Chapter AAML, IICLE and UHY Advisors
- Business Valuation, Financial, and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce. January 17, 2005. Deerfield, IL. Joint program with the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and Trenwith Valuation.
- Business Valuation, Financial, and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce. January 17, 2004. Deerfield, IL. Joint program with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the IICLE and Trenwith Valuation.
Joint McHenry County and Lake County Bar Association Family Law SectionsPresentation
- Basic and Advanced Training for Guardian ad Litems: “Custody Jurisdiction: A Primer on the UCCJEA and the Hague Convention.” March 2008
Collaborative Law Institute of IllinoisPresentation
- The Illinois Maintenance Guidelines: Legal, Emotional and Financial Implications For Collaborative Practice, November 20, 2014. Des Plaines, IL
McHenry County Bar Association Chair of Family Law Section 2014-2015Presentations for MCBA FLS
- “IRMO Solecki, Hard Lessons & Unexpected Consequences From Well-intentioned, Poorly-drafted MSAs.” October 13, 2020, Presentation co-presented with Judge Jeffrey Hirsch.
- Case Law Update 2019: “A Review of our 2019 Case Law Including Post-Decree Maintenance Review / Modification Cases. January 2020.
- Case Law updated 2018: “A Review of 2017 and 2018 Important Cases.
- “Impact of Case and Statutory Law on Proposed Local Rule Changes,” January 2012.
- Case and Statutory Law Update. October 30, 2009.
- Case Law Update 2009. April 2009.
- Case Law Update 2008. October 24, 2008.
- Caw Law Update 2007. April 13, 2007.
- Collaborative Practice 101for McHenry County lawyers in light of the new Supreme Court custody rules. 2006.
- Case Law Update. April 2005.
- “Leveling the Playing Field – Five Years Later – The Revolution that Wasn’t.” October 2002.
- Case law update 1997-1998: Review of Top Ten Cases 1997.
- Family Law Form Changes in Light of Amendments to the Supreme Court Rules, 1996.
- Tips re Drafting Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, 1994.
- Attorney’s Fees under §508 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1992.
- Family Law and Federal Taxation, 1990.
“Gitlin on Divorce” Family Law SeminarsPresentations for Gitlin on Divorce Seminars
- April 2008, Settlement of Your Child Custody Case. Chicago, Illinois. DePaul Univ. School of Law.
- “Case and Statutory Law Update 2007” for Gitlin on Divorce Family Law Seminar, April 25, 2007, Woodstock, Illinois
- “Case and Statutory Law Update 2006” for Gitlin on Divorce Family Law Seminar, July 21, 2006, Bull Valley Golf Club, Woodstock, Illinois
Webinar for National Child Support Enforcement AssociationPresentation
- February 27, 2013, Presenter Regarding Child Support Enforcement in a IV- D World: “Enforcement of Child Support and the Interplay with Bankruptcy Proceedings.”
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Illinois ChapterLeadership Roles for IL Chapter AAML
- Vice President of the Illinois Chapter (2008-2011)
- Board of Directors: 1997-2003; 2006 – 2007; 2011-12 and 2017-2019
- Chair: New Case Law Committee (1997-1998; 2001-2002)
- Chair: Continuing Legal Education Committee (2005-2007) ; Co-chair (2008 through 2011) and 2014 through 2019
- Chair: Web Site Committee (2008 to 2013)
- Program Chair: First and Second Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Matrimonial Lawyers (October 2005 and October 2006)
- Program co-chair October 2008 through 2011 and 2014 through 2018 programs: Annual Family Law Seminar for Experienced Matrimonial Lawyers (Columbus Day 2008 to 2011 and 2014 to 2018)
- Member: Continuing Legal Education Committee 1998-2001, 2012 and 2013; Legislation and Lobbying Committee, (1998-1999)
McHenry County Bar AssociationLeadership Roles for MCBA
- President Family Law Section 2014-2015.
- Non-mediator Member 22nd Judicial Circuit’s Family Mediation Advisory Council (2005-2011).
- Chairman, McHenry County Bar Association Legal Aid Committee (1993-1996).
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers NationalLeadership Role for AAML
- Dean of Institute for Matrimonial Law Associates (1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002).
ABA Family Law SectionLeadership Role
- Co-editor American Bar Association Family Law Section’s Fax News Update, 1999-2004
Collaborative Law Institute of IllinoisLeadership Roles
- Web-site committee chair. 2007-2012.
- Faculty and member of Training Committee for November 2011 Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Training. Chicago, Illinois.
Michael S. Cohen AwardAward
President’s Special Recognition AwardAward
Leading Lawyers Network and Super LawyersSelected
Selected by his peers to be named as an Illinois SuperLawyer® in the area of Family Law.
A-V – Martindale-Hubbell®Received
Best Lawyers in AmericaAward
- IRMO Hines, 356 Ill.App.3d 197 (2d Dist. 2005).
- IRMO Brackett, 309 Ill.App.3d 329 (2nd Dist. 1999). Case of first impression in Illinois prohibiting a maintenance award in lieu of a property interest in a pension plan. Also, significant case addressing issue of rehabilitative versus permanent maintenance.