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Michael C. Craven

also known as Michael Craven

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About me

Protecting You and Your Family's Bests Interests


I know what is most important to you as you navigate the stormy waters of divorce. You want a fresh start; in which your children are protected and your home and assets preserved.   I am passionately committed to my clients from start to finish, helping them see the big picture as related to their divorce; guiding them to make wise decisions. During your divorce it is important to stay calm, focused, and as rational as possible. What may seem like a beneficial solution today might not be the case down the road. With unwavering competence, integrity and compassion, I’ll help you understand the benefits and implications of all the various options, so that you can choose the path that puts you and your family first and protects your rights during and even after divorce. Together, we will work to make sure that your divorce does not destroy your life, relationships, and family.


A Reputation for Specialized Legal Excellence


I have been a lawyer since 1984 and am a Partner at the law firm of Harrison & Held, LLP, a leading Chicago law firm. Our office is located in downtown Chicago and I practice in Cook, Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Kane and Will Counties.

The outcome of your divorce will affect many aspects of your life -- for the rest of your life. You can rest assured that when you put your future in my hands, you will get an extremely skilled and dedicated divorce attorney who understands the trust you have put in me.  My practice is limited to divorce and family law; however, my legal experiences cover a broad range including accounting, tax, estate planning, real estate, and corporate law. Since success in divorce and family law requires extensive knowledge in these related areas, I am uniquely qualified to identify the many legal pitfalls easily overlooked and protect you from them.  I am also trained in Collaborative Law, which is a growing option when divorcing.


Focused on Negotiated Settlements, but Possessed With Tested and Proven Courtroom Skills


As an experienced negotiator, I’m driven to achieve the maximum out-of-court settlement for you. However, when an out-of-court settlement won't protect you and your family for the long-term, I have the proven ability to aggressively go to court to fight for you so that your legal rights are not compromised -- and your future is protected.


Legal Expertise to Handle Financially Complex Divorces


I have both the legal and financial expertise to handle the complex financial aspects of your divorce, including business valuations, finding assets, understanding corporate structures and protecting you from unexpected tax consequences. I have degrees in law, accounting, finance and economics. I am an attorney, CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and have a Masters Degree in Tax Law.


Notable Distinctions and Honors


Every year since 2009 I am recognized by the Leading Lawyers Network as being among the top lawyers in Illinoi.  I was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Illinois Super Lawyers are “considered among the best in their profession” and “represent the top 5% of the practicing attorneys in Illinois.” Under the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Rating System I received an AV Preeminent rating. I am honored to be a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which requires rigorous written and oral exams before acceptance.


Divorce is complex, but I know how to explain the law in a manner you will understand. As a result I have had the privilege of speaking to lay people in numerous settings such as The Lilac Tree, Chicago Public Library and The Chicago Council on Aging. Also for many years I taught the class “Divorce-Know Your Rights” at Oakton Community College and The Discovery Center - both in the Chicagoland area.


I am honored that other attorneys and judges recognize my expertise. I have spoken on an array of legal topics related to divorce law at Continuing Legal Education Programs around the State of Illinois.  My lectures were sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, North Suburban Bar Association and Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education.  I’ve written articles which have been published by the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Lake County Bar Association. The media has consulted me on family law issues, I have appeared on television and radio, and have been quoted in The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, North Shore Magazine and The Daily Herald. In addition, I have volunteered and worked with various Bar Associations to improve the practice of law for both lawyers and the public; and I have held leadership positions in the Illinois State Bar Association.


Let me put my years of experience and the skills developed during the course of my career to work protecting you and your family.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Family: 35%
  2. Divorce: 35%
  3. Child Custody: 30%



Hourly ($200-475/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

12 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Jason Lee Marcus Hurst

    I highly endorse this lawyer. Michael is thoughtful, detail-oriented and especially adept at tackling challenging financial issues due to his background in accounting.


    Jason Hurst Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer

  • Heather Jordan Rosen

    The best of the best. I wholeheartedly endorse Michael.


    Heather Rosen Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Harrison & Held, LLP

333 West Wacker Drive
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL, 60606


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198405/11/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2016
Best LawyerBest Lawyers2016
Illinois Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2016
Best Lawyer, Family LawBest Lawyers in America2016
Best Lawyer, Family LawBest Lawyers in America2015
Illinois Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2015
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2015
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyer Network2014
Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2014
Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2013
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2013
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2012
Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2012
Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2011
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2011
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2010
AV® Preeminent™ ratingMartindale-Hubbell ® Lawyer Rating System2010
Super LawyerIllinois Super Lawyers2010
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2009
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2009
Leading LawyerLeading Lawyers Network2008
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerBeermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP2006 - 2014
PartnerCraven & Craven1995 - 2006
Association namePosition nameDuration
The Lilac TreeTreasurer2016 - Present
The Lilac TreeBoard Member2015 - Present
Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois, Domestic Relations DivisionApproved court-certified mediator2014 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter)Board of Directors2013 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter)Committee Member - Board of Managers2013 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter)Committee Member - Board of Examiners2013 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter)Committee Member - Public Relations and Advertising2013 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter)Co-Chair Finance Committee2013 - Present
North Suburban Bar AssociationSecretary2013 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial LawyersFellow2011 - Present
Illinois State Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
Chicago Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Illinois State Bar AssociationAssociate Editor-Family Law Section Newsletter2010 - 2011
Illinois State Bar AssociationCo-chair: Family Law Council Maintenance Guidelines Committee2008 - 2009
Illinois State Bar AssociationMember-Family Law Section Council2006 - 2010
Illinois State Bar AssociationChair-Standing Committee on Voluntary Fee Arbitration2002 - 2003
Illinois State Bar AssociationMember-Standing Committee On Voluntary Fee Arbitration1998 - 2004
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Divorce CaseChild Custody
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Chicago Daily Law BulletinThe Price of a Vacation for a Lawyer2016
Chicago Daily Law BulletinFour Tips for Success in Legal Marketing2016
Chicago Daily Law BulletinVolunteering is Great for You and Your Practice2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinIn a Crowded Field, How do you Stand Out2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinGrowing Older, Staying Relevant in the Profession2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinThe Formula for Success: One Size Doesn’t Fit All2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinIn This Business, Your Reputation is Everything2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinAre Lawyers Really All That Miserable?2015
Attorney at Law MagazineUpdates to Illinois’ IMDMA2015
Chicago Daily Law BulletinOne Marketing Plan Does Not Fit All Lawyers2014
Chicago Daily Law BulletinMarketing is a Journey, but a Rewarding One.2014
Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)Economic Issues & Other Concerns Impacting Illinois Family Law Attorneys & Their Clients2014
Divorce MagazineHow will this (cheating) affect my divorce case?2010
Illinois State Bar Association’s Family Law NewsletterTil death do us part, or sooner: The Family Law Attorney Meets Estate Planning2009
Illinois State Bar Association - The Corporate LawyerCorporations Can Pay Child Support Too2009
Chicago Bar Association - YLS JournalThe Spousal Remainder Trust - A Modern Income Shifting Device1985
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Collaborative Law Institute of IllinoisN/AInterdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training2010
John Marshall Law School, ChicagoLawLL.M - Master of Laws1989
John Marshall Law School, ChicagoLawJD - Juris Doctor1984
Northern Illinois UniversityAccounting & FinanceBS - Bachelor of Science1979
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Panel DiscussionThe New Divorce Act – What Do I Really Need to Know?2016
Moderator and Co-PresenterDivorce Math - Assets, Liabilities and Your Budget2016
The Lilac TreeDivorce University Moderator2015
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical CenterThe Legal Aspects of Medical Marijuana2015
Transition to Wellness• Medical Marijuana! The Legal & Medical Side2014
The Lilac TreeThe Nuts and Bolts of Divorce: Legal and Financial Issues2014
Steinberg Advisors, LTDWhat Every Accountant Needs to Know about Family Law2014
Divorce UniversityKnow Your Finances2014
Divorce UniversityLaw, Finance and Divorce2014
Annual 2014 Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationBusiness Valuation, Financial & Tax Issues in Divorce 20142014
Divorce UniversityThe Law, Your Finances, Your Family2013
“The Practice of Family Law: Best Practices for Your Practice” ADVANCED FAMILY LAW 2012“Effectively Marketing your Family Law Practice – two approaches that work”2012
The Practice of Family LawBest Practices For Your Practice2012
Divorce UniversityLegal Representative on Divorce University Panel2012
Divorce UniversityBeyond the Basics2011
Continuity of CareIs it a new trend, Grandparents raising grandchildren?2011
Business Valuation, Financial & Tax Issues 2011Planning Prevents Pitfalls: Do's and Don'ts for Financial Expert Cross Examination2011
Shared Parenting Support Group-Monthly Meet-UpResolving Complex Parenting Disputes2010
NASW Continuing Education Workshop For Social WorkersEthical & Legal Issues in Divorce2010
Resolving Family Law IssuesThe Danger of Boiler Plate Language in Marital Settlement Agreements2009
Illinois State Bar Association Mid Year MeetingFamily Law Essentials-Health Insurance for Children and Related Issues2009
Divorce UniversityKnow Your Finances-Beyond the Basics2009
52nd Annual Estate Planning Short CourseThe Estate Planner Meets the Family Law Practioner- A Fortuitous Union2009
The Nuts and Bolts of DivorceLegal and Financial2008
Getting Paid & Getting VisitationSuccessful Fee Agreements2008
Chicago Bar AssociationAsset Protection in Divorce Cases2008
Continuing Legal EducationComputer Spying on Spouses2007
Provider CouncilFamily Law Issues Affecting the Elderly1995
Elder Law CommitteeSpecial Problems Facing Older Adults in a Divorce1994
Law At The LibraryDivorce Law BasicN/A