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Magen J. Mertes

Partner/Family and Criminal Litigation Attorney

The Experienced Domestic Litigator

Attorney Magen Mertes has been a uniquely-skilled litigator since 2004. During her 20 years of practice, Attorney Magen Mertes has conducted hundreds of hearings before northern Illinois trial courts. She has argued several momentous cases before the Illinois Appellate Courts. Attorney Mertes is admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Magen Mertes is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyer's Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Whiteside County Bar Association. Magen is also a certified domestic mediator.

Unmatched experience and ability set Magen Mertes apart. During her career, Magen has conducted hearings in counties throughout northern Illinois

"Family separation is one of the hardest and saddest moments in a person's life," Mertes said. "It is impossible to take the emotion out of such a highly emotional experience," she added. "A domestic attorney's clients are best served with the calm and compassionate guidance of an experienced domestic lawyer," she explained. "Many of our clients are quite understandably very angry," she said. "Their anger is compounded by their worries," she said. "They worry about losing time with their children," she explained. "They worry about losing the things that they worked so hard for so many years to accumulate," she added. "Often times, they never even saw it coming," she remarked. "All of this combines to make the family separation experience extremely stressful," she explained. "We best serve our clients by ensuring that throughout the process, they are informed, they are protected, and they are understood," Mertes said.

"Honest legal advice is a crucial part of a successful relationship between a domestic attorney and her client," Mertes said. "We are always honest with our clients," Mertes added. "For example, in Illinois, the determination of child support is very clear and straightforward," she said. "Under Illinois law, a very precise mathematical formula is used to determine child support," she explained. "The child support formula does not care who is right and who is wrong," she said. "It doesn't care about who said or did what to whom," she added. "It considers the established income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the children and it produces a number," she said. "In the early moments of the divorce experience, that cold calculation of child support can be very hard for a parent to accept," she explained. "We take the time to explain the process and to ensure that our clients understand the law," she said. "That is such an important part of our service to our clients," Mertes added.

But child support and division of assets are not the hardest parts of the divorce process. "There is nothing harder than addressing the impacts of separation on the children," Mertes said. "Whenever children are involved, they are our highest priorities," she explained. "My most important job as a lawyer is to protect children from harm," Mertes explained. "Sadly, sometimes I must do that with an order of protection," Mertes said. "But thankfully, that need is more rare," she observed. "The best way to protect children from the harms of their parents' separation is to do everything within my power to keep the eyes of both parents on the ball," she said. "It isn't about getting even and it certainly isn't about who can hurt whom the most," Mertes remarked.

"One of the most important factors that Illinois judges consider in determining issues of parenting time and responsibility is this: which parent is most likely to promote a healthy relationship between the children and the other parent?" Mertes explained. "If one parent is doing everything that he or she can to keep the children out of it, while the other parent is doing everything that he or she can to bring the children into it, the determination of parenting time can be and often is actually based on that," she said.

"In the end, our clients are best served by being well protected and well informed by our law firm," Mertes said. "We devote ourselves each day to that mission," she added.

Attorney Magen Mertes can be contacted directly by e-mail at or by telephone at 815-626-1500.


Magen J. Mertes
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