127 East Calhoun Street
Woodstock, Illinois 60098

Office Hours: M-F, 8am-5pm
Evening and weekend hours available by appointment.

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Carl W. Gilmore

My name is Carl W. Gilmore, and my practice began in McHenry County in 1994 upon my swearing in as an attorney.

Lawyers exist as a service to clients. This may sound simple, but too many cases end up with clients receiving little practical benefit in relation to the cost. My goal is to maximize your benefit. Legal cases are rarely inexpensive, but they can be cost-effective.

I work primarily in family law and litigation. My trial experience includes divorce, custody, criminal visitation interference, adoption, juvenile court defense, landlord-tenant, small claims prosecution and defense, probate and guardianship trials, business disputes and arbitration. In addition to advocacy at the trial level, I argued before Illinois Second District Appellate Court and successfully prosecuted and defended appeals at the appellate court level.

Since becoming an attorney, I wrote the book Illinois Parentage Law, served as president of the McHenry County Bar Association, and was named Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year - Downstate for 2000-2001. I currently teach legal research and writing in the paralegal program at College of Lake County, and I taught litigation in summer 2006.

In addition to my book on paternity issues, I wrote the paternity chapter for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Causes of Action manual. I continue to work as an editor for the American Bar Association's "Family Advocate" magazine. One of my issues was a handbook for children in divorce.

Many of my cases currently involve acting as an attorney for children's interests. I am a certified guardian ad litem in Wisconsin courts as well as in the McHenry County court system, including adoptions and juvenile court. I represented children in both uncontested and contested adoptions, and I have lectured on juvenile and adoption court issues.

LICENSED in Illinois and Wisconsin.


University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Journalism 1987 and
University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.,J.D. 1994

Practice Areas

  • General civil practice, including litigation, real estate and other areas.

  • Concentration in family law, including adoption, divorce, custody and visitation, support, paternity determination and defense, and post-judgment enforcement.

  • Approved guardian ad litem, Wisconsin family court; approved child’s representative, 22d Judicial Circuit; approved arbitrator, 22d Judicial Circuit; approved divorce mediator, 22d Judicial Circuit.

Bar Activities

  • McHenry County Bar Association offices.

    President, 2000-2001.
    Also served as vice president, secretary, and treasurer, 1997-2000.
    President, MCBA Family Law Section, 2013 - 2014.

  • American Bar Association Family Law Section offices.

Family Advocate magazine editorial board.
Chair, Adoption Committee, 2008-2011, 2013 - 201, 2015 - present.
Secretary, Long-Range Planning Committee, 2013 - present.
Vice Chair, Adoption Committee, 2011-2013.
Vice Chair, Assisted Reproduction Technology Committee, 2011-2013.
Vice Chair, Family Courts committee, 2008-2013.
Liaison to Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2008-present.


  • Pro bono award, Prairie State Legal Services, 2013.
  • Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year, 2000.
  • George H. Young Award for Service to the Legal Community,
    University of Wisconsin 1993.

Community Activities

  • Member, Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 board of education, 2013 - present. President, 2016-present.
  • Treasurer, Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce board, February 2007-March 2008.
  • Instructor, College of Lake County paralegal program.2006-2008.
  • Woodstock Morning Rotary Club.
    Secretary 1999-2001.
    President, 2004-2005.
    Club Chair, 2010-2013.
    Community Chair, 2012-2013.
  • McHenry County American Cancer Society Board, 1998-2001.


  • Illinois Family Law, “Adoption“ and “Parentage“ chapters (Lexis 2015).

  • Illinois Parentage Law, Illinois State Bar Association, February 2002.

  • Illinois Causes of Action: Elements, Forms and Winning Tips: Parentage, January 2005, January 2008, January 2011, January 2014.

  • 1997 Wiley Family Update, Chapter 3, “ Deconstructing Leases: Method and Critique of Lease Valuation in Divorce Proceedings.”

  • Lexis/Nexis Publishing: Disputed Parentage Proceedings editorial consultant, 2007-present.


  • “Develop a business privacy plan,”CIO Story (May 2015).

  • “Practicing Family Law in The Cloud,”37 Family Advocate 14 (Spring 2015).

  • “The Four-Way Settlement Conferennce,” 35 Family Advocate 23 (Summer 2012).

  • “The Child’s Attorney,” 35 Family Advocate 28 (Summer 2012).

  • “When ‘Daddy’ is Full of Doubt,”32 Family Advocate 12 (Summer 2009).

  • “Challenging DNA in Paternity Cases: Finding Weaknesses in an Evidentiary Goliath,” 90 Illinois Bar Journal 472 (September 2002).

  • “Understanding the Illinois Child’s Representative Statute,” 89 Illinois Bar Journal 458 (September 2001).

  • “Independent Evidence: A New Tool for Paternity Cases,” 86 Illinois Bar Journal 476  (September 1998).

  • “Post-Eckert Trends in Child Removal,” 84 Illinois Bar Journal 76 (February 1996).

  • “Valuation of Leases as Property in Divorce Proceedings,” 9 American Journal of Family Law 191 (Winter 1995).


  • Hanging Out Your Shingle, Family Advocate, Fall 2015.

  • The IT Lawyer, Family Advocate, Spring 2015.

  • Market Your Practice in the Digital Age, Family Advocate, Winter 2013.

  • Prepare for Key Events in Your Case, Family Advocate, Summer 2012.

  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Family Advocate, Fall 2011.

  • Some Client Nightmares Sneak Up On You, Family Advocate, Spring 2011.

  • Your Law Office Staff Manual, Family Advocate, Fall 2009.

  • You’ve Got Choices, Family Advocate, Summer 2009.

  • The 50+ Divorce, Family Advocate, Summer 2008.

  • Co-parenting After Divorce, Family Advocate, Summer 2007.

  • My Parents are Getting Divorced, Family Advocate, Summer 2006.

  • Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Clients, Family Advocate, Fall 2004.

  • What Your Children Need Now, Family Advocate, Summer 2003.

  • The Federalization of Family Law, Family Advocate, Spring 2001.

  • Collecting Your Fee, Family Advocate, Fall 1999.

  • Exotic Discovery, Family Advocate, Spring 1998.


  • American Bar Association, “ABCs of Adoption,” Producer, April 2012.

  • American Bar Association Family Advocate podcast, “Criminal Charges in a Divorce Case,” June 2011.

  • American Bar Association, “Red Flags and Antennae,” Fort Worth, Texas, October 2010.

  • Forensic Forum, “An ART History Lesson,”Chicago, March 2010.

  • American Bar Association, “Shortcuts and Safeguards in Adoption,”
    Producer, Spring 2010.

  • American Bar Association, “The Four Corners of the Adoption World,”
    Producer/Moderator, October 2009.

  • American Bar Association, “Hot Tips from the Experts.”
    The Adoption Tax Credit, July 2009.

  • Illinois State Bar Association
    Adoption Update: March 2003.

  • McHenry County Bar Association
    Legislation and Case Law Update: 1997.
    Independent Evidence in Paternity Cases: 1998.
    Overview of the New Juvenile Court Act: 1999.
    Attorney's Fees Under the Leveling the Playing Field Act: 2000.

  • Illinois State Bar Association Annual Meeting
    Family Law Update, Summer 1998: Independent Evidence in Paternity Cases.

  • University of Wisconsin Legal Assistance Program
    Summer 1999: Panelist, Family Law discussion.

  • McHenry County College
    Spring 1997: Paternity law series for the general public

Published Cases

In Re GLG, 718 N. E. 2d 360, 307 Ill.App.3d 953, 240 Ill.Dec. 879 (2d Dist. 1999).Overturned adverse trial ruling following an adoption trial.The appeals court held the ruling was “contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence” and the father was proved unfit by “ clear and convincing evidence.”