Posted by Patrick
Dr. Neal Simon was the attorney that I hired for my divorce case. I found Ventrelli Simon Family & Divorce Law Firm through Avvo.com where I read many positive reviews about the firm. So I called and met with Dr. Simon. As of today, my case has already been completed with success. It was quite a *RELIEF* to have him on my side during this stressful and painful period of my life. Dr. Simon fully understood all the difficulties that I was experiencing as a client and made all his efforts to help me get out of that *BIG MESS*.
Dr. Simon is a senior attorney with many years of legal experience in family law in Illinois and a high level of professionalism as a legal counsel. He is extremely skillful in designing strategies which will work as anticipated. He is also instrumental in persuading the other party to accept proposed agreements. Thanks to his legal expertise, for my case, it took just a little bit over 1.5 months to reach an agreement with the other party and to have the marriage dissolution order entered. At the end of the litigation, he also prevented me from being *harmed* by several other unreasonable requests from the other party, which really helped me out.
Dr. Simon is an understanding person. During the course of my case, I mostly resided in another state about over 1,000 miles away from Illinois where the lawsuit was filed. Because it was a long distance lawsuit, I could not show up for most of the court hearings and was very concerned that the case would take forever to complete. Dr. Simon understood my concerns. He kept me well informed about the entire process in a timely manner, from each court order to each single E-mail communication with the other party. In addition, more importantly, he provided me with plenty of workable strategic advice on avoiding delays and expediting the litigation process.
Dr. Simon is detail-oriented. As is typical in a divorce case, there are so many details in the final judgement and agreement that even a very minor change in language/wording could have a deep impact on the client’s obligations under the order. As for my case, Dr. Simon was able to foresee each and every (even remote) chance which the other party could possibly take advantage of and he was always able to come up with a solution to prevent me from becoming vulnerable. Among others, two specific examples from just the final prove-up hearing: 1) He asked me to verbally and clearly recite to the other party my E-mail address in front of the judge to avoid ever being held responsible by the other party for not providing sufficient information to effectuate and fulfil one of the terms in the agreement; 2) He helped me document every item that I handed over to the other party and had the other party sign a receipt that he drafted spontaneously right after the hearing
Dr. Simon was conscientious (i.e., careful) about incurring attorney fees and was honest with me about how much was spent on what services. He would not incur fees unless the services were/would be necessary in bringing the case to completion in my favor. I was able to see the rationale/usefulness of each step he suggested. As a cost-sensitive person, I always carefully reviewed each invoice from him and compared the invoice items with what I had received: E-mails, letters, etc. I found they matched well. Each and every item listed in the invoice was justifiable by concrete evidences. So, I was never worried about being over-charged.
To sum up, Dr. Neal Simon is a veteran attorney with a high level of legal expertise, a great sense of compassion, and is a person of strong integrity. Because my divorce case went through smoothly, I had full confidence in his work throughout the entire litigation. I am very satisfied with the final results. Therefore, I strongly recommend Dr. Neal Simon to whoever is starting to feel the stress and pains from the divorce lawsuit. He will be able to protect you and help you get out of that big mess *FAST AND EASY*.
Posted by Jennifer
I was given Neal's name as a recommendation for a divorce lawyer. When I initially met with him, I was very unsure and nervous of what the process would be like. Neal was very knowledgeable, able to answer all my questions and offered input on things I didn't even think to ask. He genuinely seems like a nice person who wanted the best for me.
As the process went on, there was a lot of back and forth, and he was always able to answer my questions and reassure me when I felt unsure about anything.
At the court date, I felt prepared because Neal had called and walked me through everything that would happen. This did a lot to make the experience as painless as possible. When I saw the other lawyers in the room, I was glad Neal was representing me. He is very down to earth and comfortable to work with.
He maintained contact with me after court for the final few items needing to be dealt with, and I would not hesitate to contact him with any questions in the future.
I definitely would recommend Neal to others.
Posted by John
Neal from the start to the finish was extremely helpful and professional during a difficult time. He took the time to listen to my concerns and provided an excellent inital consultation which aloud me to fully understand the process. He took the time to help me see this difficult situation without emotion so that the best outcome could be obtained. He was very fair with his billing methods and was within pennies of what he had quoted as the total cost for my divorce. I can't thank him enough for his professionalism. I could not have asked for a better outcome during the most difficult time of my life.
Posted by Boris
I went through a divorce that was (like many I hear) supposed to take a couple months, and ended up taking a couple years. I had a different attorney prior to Neal, and after 9 months of very little movement and very high bills I switched to Neal. A few weeks after I hired him, the case started moving in the right direction. He built a constructive relationship with opposing counsel instead of antagonizing them, yet fought for every point that mattered to me, while always strategizing intelligently. In addition he was constantly focused on keeping things affordable. In the end he did 80% of the work on the case, and billed me 50% less than my initial attorney. Really a standout in a world populated by a lot of dishonest and/or incompetent people.
Posted by Robert
I would have never anticipated it taking so long but it did and Neal was a big help through the process. To say the least I was frustrated and swayed by emotions and Neal did a fine job of keeping things on task, keeping an eye on the end goals, and moving things along. There were many times when compromise was not at all what I wanted but with emotions removed from the equation, Neal was able to rationalize the need for compromise and making progress.
The other attorney, Beth, was a far different personality that in our one face-to-face meeting behaved like Donald Trump during a debate, in the most condescending fashion and it frustrated or infuriated me. To Neal's credit he remained far more calm and unwavering and in the end benefited from her reckless behavior.
The process is costly, although when I compare it to what I've heard others paying, either Neal was very fair or my divorce actually went quite smoothly. My guess it is more the former.
I have never been through a divorce, wish I never had, and hope I never have a repeat of this ridiculous legal process. There are so many unknowns for the novice, and Neal did a nice job of explaining things and not making me feel foolish for not understanding.
No relationship is all good. If I have any negative comment, and I don't know how much is in Neal's control, is that the turn around time for drafts is very long. There are numerous people who are needing to interact and offer opinions, and everyone of us has a busy life. Even if I diligently responded in 24 hours, we might not have our finalized draft make to the opposing side for several weeks. That may sound terrible, but typically it was about half the time that it took to hear back from the other side. So in comparison, our response time was efficient. I did see in real time how and why this delay can take place. On the day of our appearance in court, Neal was tied up with my needs from easily 8:00 through possibly 3:00, if yo consider drive time, and I am sure there is some downloading of information that must still be done once back in the office, besides tracking billable hours. In the end, on that given day, Neal got virtually nothing accomplished for his other clients, and I am sure it is unlikely that his phone didn't ring, or emails didn't arrive, while he attended to my business.
I will take away two pieces of advice from Neal over the past three years. First, don't let the perfect get in the way of the good. Having our own agreement completed outside of court and not leaving it in the hands of a judge was vital to my outcome. Every now and then I needed to be reminded that neither of us was going to get the resolution to be perfect in our own mind, but getting a good result could be seen as a "victory". The other advice is that even if you didn't write your own prenuptial agreement, you have one - the one the State of Illinois wrote on your behalf, and frankly it sucks. If you, your son or daughter, a good friend, even a not so good friend is going to get married, advise them to write your own prenuptial agreement. Create fair terms for dealing with each other while you like and even love each other. Put in penalty clauses for infidelity or other transgressions. When the day comes that your world is torn apart and you are required to treat the guilty party fairly, like nothing ever happened and no one was harmed or hurt, it just causes that pain to burn even more deeply. A "good" divorce won't make everything fine, but it might eliminate feeling like you just got screwed again.
Neal was a good choice for me. My sense is he will be a good choice for you.
Posted by Eric
Without question, the past two years have been the most difficult of my life. However, Mr. Simon's knowledge, approach, and work ethic gave me an assurance that everything was going to be ok. His honesty in letting me know what was worth fighting for and was worth letting go saved me in time, money, and sanity. He always had my back. Working on weekends, holidays, late into the nights, I was always knew Neal was prepared in case of the unknown. I would highly recommend Neal and his firm to anyone who is looking for a professional, honest, and loyal family attorney.
Posted by Mohamed
As single father I recommend Neal but the whole staff was really helpful and really nice and the best thing about Neal and the law firm is they don't charge you arm and leg for anyone that's trying to get coutsdy of there kids the best law firm you can go to good people
Posted by Laura
Neal was well prepared for our court appearance. He presented the facts and supporting documentation in a effective and efficient manner. Most importantly, Neal is a fair and practical attorney. He stays focused on the core issues and does not stray. I would use Neal again and would recommend his services to others.
Posted by anonymous
Neal represented me in connection with a number of post-decree complaints filed by my ex-wife. The complaints related to child support matters, college expenses, 529 accounts and a request for fees.
I have a history of trying to accommodate my ex to avoid bringing negative energy into my days. In this instance, I again offered her concessions in order to settle her most recent grievances amicably, but she refused and filed a bunch of complaints against me.
I hired Neal to handle these matters; he quickly understood what was going on, and worked hard yet efficiently in pulling together our responses. I couldn't be happier to say that in each and every instance, each ruling the judge made I believe was 100% in my favor, and in all other matters the judge struck all the complaints against me. There is now nothing pending, everything that was decided was decided very favorably, and Neal's fees will likely cost me less than the amount I saved as a result of my ex rejecting my offer and forcing me into litigation.
The next time my ex goes off the rails, I will certainly not succumb any longer to threats; I will hire Neal again in a heartbeat. Thank you, Neal!
Posted by Serena
Neal is very personable and he takes his time explaining all of the possible scenarios that may occur, while representing you. He responded to all of my questions or concerns within a timely fashion. I also appreciated his overall concern of my emotional health throughout the process. He is VERY knowledgeable about the law and does an EXCELLENT job on ensuring that his client is protected throughout the process. I wholeheartedly RECOMMEND him to everyone that I know. He is one of the best and you will not be disappointed by him or his services.