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Chicago Family Law Lawyer
Leving has steadily chipped away at the presumption that when parents split up, children belong with their mother. Thanks to Leving's persistence, overcoming this notion in Illinois courts is no longer the considerable uphill battle it once was - though it is often still a challenge that Leving is always prepared to meet. Leving recently won cases for a father whose child's mother died and the mother's extended family interfered with the father's right as the child's surviving parent to raise his child; and for a father falsely accused of abusing his child.
His accomplishments include the co-authorship of the Illinois Joint Custody Law, Illinois Virtual Visitation, Right to DNA Testing Notice, and Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference Laws. He has also delivered testimony before both branches of the Illinois Legislature on joint custody, grandparents' visitation and child support accountability bills.
Leving's work has extended beyond U.S. borders. As a tireless advocate for forgotten fathers and their children, he has helped fathers abroad seeking to reunite with their children. He has won cases in which he thwarted mothers who were attempting to flee the United States with a child, where had they been successful, the father would be unlikely to see his child ever again. He has also represented fathers in abductions where the mother did in fact abscond with the child, and using strong detective work and litigation, he reunited these dads and their kids. In 1996, Mother Teresa (now St. Teresa of Calcutta) supported and thanked Leving for his work helping those entrusted to his care.
Leving received international praise for his instrumental work in helping reunite a then 6-year-old Elián González with his father in Cuba. The State Department has referred many international custody cases to him.
Leving has been honored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children "in recognition of and appreciation for outstanding commitment to the protection of children and the knowledge of the Hague International Child Abduction issues."
Leving was honored with the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law for outstanding achievement in the legal profession and bringing distinction to himself as well as credit to the university. Additionally, Leving received the Recognition and Commendation Award for Meritorious Service to the Public and Legal Community from the Illinois State Bar Association and the coveted Protection of the Family award from the Illinois State Crime Commission.
Leving is the author of Fathers' Rights, Divorce Wars, and How to Be a Good Divorced Dad, the latter of which garnered praise from President Barack Obama and an endorsement from Cardinal Francis E. George, then the archbishop of Chicago, who said, "This is a pain-filled book that offers good advice about how to preserve a family born of a marriage that has failed. It's a book that is, unfortunately, more and more needed." He has contributed further to the field by lecturing locally and nationally on family law issues.
Leving served on President Obama's National Finance Committee, and met with the President many times to discuss critical legal and social issues facing the nation. He was chosen by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to provide expert input in the first Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families in Chicago.
Leving serves as the governor-appointed chairman of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, a state board dedicated to promoting the positive involvement of fathers in the upbringing of their children. As chairman, he convenes an annual symposium on fatherhood issues.
The Illinois House of Representatives honored Leving by adopting Resolution No. 995 which reads, "for his work in safeguarding the rights of fathers and protecting the welfare of children and families in this State" and for his "hard work, integrity, and dedication for the people of the State of Illinois." The Illinois House of Representatives resolved that Leving be presented with a copy of this Resolution "as a symbol of our esteem and respect."
Leving received his Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1979. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University in 1974.
Leving is licensed to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of several professional associations including the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Cook County Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, the McHenry County Bar Association, the Kane County Bar Association, the LaSalle County Bar Association, and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers.
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