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Steve Lake
Steve Lake knows what to do when good love goes bad.

For 30 years, the senior partner at Lake Toback in Chicago has represented a long list of celebrity clients — professional athletes and media stars and their spouses — in divorce and family law cases.

He’s been featured as a legal expert on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and Good Morning America. And he’s written two books: “Hearts & Dollars: How to Beat the High Cost of Fall In and Out of Love,” and “Rematch: Winning Legal Battles with Your Ex.”

Currently, Lake lives in Chicago’s River North neighborhood with his wife Jana, and their dog, Bacon.

You can follow his Chicago Family Law Blog at Email him at

Entries by Steve Lake

When the Vows Break: Why Pre-Nups Are Essential for Same-Sex Marriage

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 8:58 AM

I know what you're probably thinking.

Illinois finally legalizes same-sex marriage, and leave it to the divorce lawyer to bring up the elephant in the room -- the prenuptial agreement.

Trust me, I'm bringing it up for all the right reasons. And it is more important for same-sex...

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When the Vows Break: Celebrity Divorce Lists Offer Opportunity to Learn From Marriage Mistakes

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 3:41 PM

Every year, the tabloids take a look back at the worst celebrity breakups, most bitter divorces and brutal court fights over cash.

Take it from a divorce attorney, the circumstances of celebrity splits are more than gossipy fodder for bloggers. These very public breakups offer important cautionary tales...

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When the Vows Break: Divorce and Taxes

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 7:38 PM

Tax Day is upon us.

For divorce lawyers like me, it's the time of year when folks going through a divorce often struggle with the same question: What do we do about our income tax returns?

If that's you, here is a bit of obvious advice -- file an extension...

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When the Vows Break: A Valentine for Kim Kardashian

(3) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 2:58 PM

We're another day closer to Valentine's Day -- the commercialized holiday of romantic love traditionally celebrated with gifts of red roses, tasty chocolates and, well, other things that too often don't last.

You know, she says she'll call you tomorrow, he promises to be faithful and the whole 'til...

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When the Vows Break: Mexican Legislator Wants to Put Expiration on Your Marriage License

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 4:22 PM

From time to time, politicians think they can solve the problem of expensive, drawn-out divorces by creating new laws.

Some of these laws have been, for example, no-fault divorce, joint custody and automatically splitting community property 50/50. Trust me, those laws don't necessarily save you time or money if...

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When the Vows Break: Learn from Arnold -- Be Careful What You Ask For

(1) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 6:08 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger took some serious heat from the paparazzi press when he indicated on divorce papers that he did not want to pay spousal support to his soon-to-be ex-wife, Maria Shriver.

After the former California governor turned marriage "Terminator" got ripped in the tabloids, his lawyer quickly

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When the Vows Break: Elizabeth Taylor Taught Us How To Survive Divorce

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2011 | 5:30 PM

When Elizabeth Taylor died last month at age 79, movie critic Roger Ebert wrote, "No other actress commanded more attention for longer, for her work, her beauty, her private life."

And he's right.

The violet-eyed starlet starred in 50 movies, twice won the Academy Award for Best...

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When the Vows Break: Are Oscar-Winning Actresses Destined for Divorce?

(7) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 11:20 AM

I don't believe in curses.

The Cubs haven't won the World Series in more than a century for baseball reasons -- not because a certain Chicago tavern owner put a hex on them for not letting his goat inside Wrigley Field.

I feel the same way about the alleged hex...

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When the Vows Break: Hefner Engagement a Celebration of Life

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2011 | 2:47 PM

Everybody's bashing Hugh Hefner for getting engaged to a woman who could be his great-granddaughter.

And I know people expect the divorce lawyer to say that the future Mrs. Hefner, 24-year-old Crystal Harris, could be a gold digger. And Ol' Hef better get himself an iron clad pre-nup or he'll...

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When the Vows Break: Top Divorces (And Near Misses) of the Decade

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 12:14 PM

At the end of the year, or in this case the end of the decade, it's important to take a look back at the mile markers we've passed along the way.

For a divorce lawyer like me -- and a lot of you who follow celebrity love lives in...

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When the Vows Break: The Perfect Christmas Gift for Cheating Spouses

(11) Comments | Posted December 20, 2010 | 3:19 PM

Here's a bit of last minute Christmas shopping tip: If your think your spouse is cheating on you, buy him or her a fancy smartphone and put it under the tree.

Android, iPhone, BlackBerry - any one will do.

They're all perfect for catching a committed partner with a...

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When the Vows Break: 'Tis the Season for Long Lines in Divorce Court

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2010 | 9:56 AM

Just the other day, Mayor Daley flipped on the lights on Chicago's giant Christmas tree at Daley Plaza. Well, you know what that means -- long lines at divorce court.

At divorce law offices like mine, 'tis the season for couples arguing over who should get the kids for the...

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When the Vows Break: Will Certain Jobs Wreck Your Marriage?

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2010 | 5:45 PM

People are always asking me, "What's the chance I'll get divorced?"

I guess folks figure that because I'm a divorce attorney, I have an inside track on the odds a marriage will break up -- or that I keep a secret spreadsheet of the exact percentage of couples who will...

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When the Vows Break: How I Changed My Mind About Pet Custody

(11) Comments | Posted September 27, 2010 | 5:17 PM

When I heard Spencer and Heidi Pratt filed for divorce and were seeking joint custody of their dogs my first thought was, "Spencer and Heidi, who?"

Then someone told me they're a reality TV couple and, well, headlines over their joint dog custody started to make a...

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When the Vows Break: Kelsey Grammer, Poster Boy for a Pre-Nup

(8) Comments | Posted August 23, 2010 | 2:10 PM

Kelsey Grammer is getting divorced from his ex-Playboy bunny wife, Camille, and all celebrity-gossip bloggers can talk about is that that TV's Frasier didn't have a pre-nuptial agreement that might save him a lot of dough on the break-up of his third marriage.

The tabloids say Camille Grammer stands to...

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When the Vows Break: Tiger Woods and the Price of Silence

(4) Comments | Posted August 12, 2010 | 11:02 AM

Rumors about the terms of Tiger Wood's pending divorce settlement are running rampant -- details about child custody, how property will be divided and how much of Tiger's fortune will go to estranged wife, Elin Nordegren.

But one thing is certain in divorce court: It ain't over 'til it's over.

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When the Vows Break: Clinton Marriage and Legal Matters of Faith

(12) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 3:40 PM

The media dubbed it "America's Wedding" -- last week's glitzy, high profile nuptials of former President Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and her now husband, Mark Mezvinsky.

More than the bride's Vera Wang gowns, the reception's extravagant price tag and the big-name guest list, what really got people talking was that...

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When the Vows Break: Legal Realities of The Bachelorette

(1) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 2:45 PM

After more than 30 years of bachelorhood, I recently got married to my beautiful wife, Jana.
Now, people keep asking me, "How's married life?" -- an interesting question since I'm known as one of the premiere divorce attorneys in the country.

Well, for one thing, instead of coming...

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