Hon. Michele F. Lowrance (Ret.)

T: 312-655-0555
F:312-655-0644

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Available to hear cases nationwide.
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Hon. Michele F. Lowrance (Ret.) has over 39 years of experience as a lawyer, judge, and sought after commentator on family law issues in Illinois and nationally.  A child of divorce and divorced herself, Judge Lowrance brings special personal perspective to her family law matters.

Her approach is wholistic, encompassing the emotional and financial aspects of divorce.  Judge Lowrance brings unique problem solving skills to even the most high conflict cases, recognizing that successful breakup or divorce signals a changed relationship more often than simply an ended one.

Judge Lowrance has substantial litigation, judicial, and settlement experience in all aspects of family law including:

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Custody and parenting time
  • Special issues related to same-sex divorce and parenting
  • Property
    • College contribution
    • Contributions and reimbursements between marital and non-marital estates
    • Distribution of assets and debts
    • Family support and maintenance
    • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
    • Valuations and the use of forensic accounting in the valuation of real estate, businesses, art, and other assets

Representative Matters

  • Allocation of college expenses
  • Custody and care of children, including those with special needs
  • Dissolution of family partnerships and family corporations
  • Distribution of assets and debt from small estates overwhelmed with debt to very large estates with millions in assets
  • Grandparent custody and visitation
  • Grounds where one party objected to divorce for religious reasons
  • Negotiation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
  • Paternity cases involving DNA
  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuses of minors and young adults
  • Stock option division
  • Tax issues in divorce
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Trust and estate disputes; wills
  • Valuation of high asset estates
  • Validity of pre/postnuptial agreement
    • Alimony
    • Annulment
    • Child custody, support, and visitation
    • Enforcement of prenuptial agreements
    • Modifications of custody
    • Property division
    • Surrogate/in vitro cases
  • Use of experts relative to removal, custody, visitation, real estate appraisals, business valuation, life style, disability, and forensic accounting

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, Illinois Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2013-2015
  • Chair, Committee for On-line Parenting, Cook County
  • Board of Directors, Divorce Magazine, 2013-Present
  • Founding Member and Co-Chair, Divorce Attorneys Mentoring and Educational Group, 2012-present
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Illinois Judges Association
     
  • Presentations/Workshops
    • Creator and Teacher, Protocol for Mental Health Professionals to Minimize Trauma of the Divorcing Process; Workshop Given to the Family Institute of Northwestern University, The Institute of Psychoanalysis, The Forensic Forum, The Chicago Think Tank, and the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (forthcoming, 2014)
    • Speaker, Understanding Divorce Trauma for Mental Health Professionals, Urban Balance Mental Health Association, December 2013
    • Keynote Speaker, The Voices of Children, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National Conference, November 2013
    • Panelist, IL CLE Cutting Edge Child Custody Symposium, September, 2013
    • Trauma of the Divorcing Process, National Association of Social Workers Annual Conference, October 2012 and 2013
    • Keynote speaker, Conference of the National Association of Divorce Financial Planners Keynote, 2012
    • Keynote speaker, Annual Collaborative Law Conference, 2010
    • Chair, Script, and Production Committee, Focus on the Children, Film for Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
       

Background and Education

  • Judge, Domestic Relations Division, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois, 1995-2013
  • Certified Mediator, Harvard & DePaul Law Schools
  • Harvard Program on Negotiation, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training, 2013
  • Northwestern Law School, Mediation and Neuroscience, 2013
  • Law Office of Michelle F. Lowrance, 1975-1995
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1975
  • B.A., Sociology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, 1970