|Attorney Profiles - Child:Mike Alvarado|
Michael P. Alvarado
Michael Alvarado notes his accounting background has given him an advantage in the legal profession: "Not only am I well equipped to handle custody and child-related matters, but I also have a degree in accounting, which helps with tracing missing funds and non-marital assets, tax ramifications, valuations, transfers of property and asset allocation. This is especially helpful in discovering assets and income the other side is attempting to hide."
"Clients also appreciate how my creative solutions and problem-solving skills can resolve issues and move the case toward the ultimate goal of settlement," says Alvarado, a man of infectious enthusiasm and quick wit. "Some of those settlements may involve offering something else instead of cash." In one case, he represented a fashion retailer and the other attorney kept going back and forth about the money. "Finally, I suggested we pay his client with high-end merchandise from my client's shop. The other attorney's client was happy to accept those goods instead of cash and we settled the case."
"When my client and I are collaborating to determine what settlement will be acceptable, it sometimes helps to focus simply on the value of assets, because doing so can reduce the emotional involvement that comes with every case."
In discussing the emotional aspects of family law, Alvarado notes, "I always keep in mind how traumatic this time is for my client. I try to infuse humor when it is appropriate, and I think most clients appreciate that. Psychologists compare going through a divorce to losing a loved one. In both, you go through stages of denial, anger and acceptance."
Alvarado finds there are important facts most people don't know about divorce until they are in the middle of one, by which point it could be too late. "Divorce law is complicated," he says. "People often do not know what is considered their marital or non-martial property until they start to dissolve their marriage. They need to have all the facts before they make very important decisions. In addition to the letter of the law, there are other emotional considerations that can influence a settlement."
Alvarado also has the benefit of working with other lawyers at the firm to provide a thorough analysis of complex custody and financial matters. He stresses that just as every case is unique, every partner at Davis Friedman represents a unique combination of skills. "We have distinctive sets of skills and varying of experiences. The attorneys here are knowledgeable, as well as honest and trustworthy. And we truly have the goal of helping our clients."
Alvarado explains, "I've focused on family law since law school, when I clerked for a Cook County Judge in domestic relations and went on to receive my Certificate in Family Law. Practicing family law makes it possible for me to use my skills to help people through a very difficult time."
Admitted to the Bar
Illinois State University, B.S., Accounting, 2004
Chicago Bar Association
Accomplishments and Publications
Listed in Rising Stars, Super Lawyers