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Judge Michele Lowrance Bio


Hon. Michele F. Lowrance (Ret.) has 19 years of experience as a Domestic Relations Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County and was a Domestic Relations Attorney for 20 years prior to that. She is now a professional mediator at Jams Inc., and an author, commentator, and presenter on family law issues in Illinois and across the United States.

Judge Michele Lowrance’s approach to mediation encompasses the emotional and financial aspects of divorce, bringing her finely-honed problem-solving skills to even the most high-conflict cases. She recognizes that a successful breakup or divorce signals a changed relationship, not just a severed connection. Judge Lowrance speaks to or meets with all parties considering mediation in order to custom-tailor the best way to use the mediation process for each individual couple’s needs and sensitivities.

Lowrance, a child of divorce who was raised by her grandparents, is also divorced. She has devoted her professional life to helping those similarly situated.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Judge Lowrance is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Samuel S. Berger Award, which recognizes attorneys and judges who exemplify the highest standards of integrity, courtesy, knowledge of family law, and the extraordinary ability to solve human problems.
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  • Ranked Third, Top 10 Women ADR Neutrals in Illinois, Leading Lawyers, 2015
  • Board of Directors, Illinois Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2013-2015
  • Chair, Committee for On-line Parenting, Cook County
  • Advisory Board Member, Divorce Magazine, 2013-Present
  • Advisory Board Member, Family Lawyer Magazine, 2014-Present
  • Founding Member and Co-Chair, Divorce Attorneys Mentoring and Educational Group, 2012-present
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Illinois Judges Association
  • "Retired Judge Michele Lowrance," Attorney at Law, Judicial Profile, February 2015


Michele Lowrance co-authored the book “The New Love Deal” (2014). She is the author of the book, The Good Karma Divorce (2010) published by Harper Collins. She has presented The Good Karma Divorce and Good Karma Lawyering for Illinois Continuing Legal Education. Michele co-authored with Jill Egizzi Parental Alienation 911 Workbook, articles for Family Law Advocate, and Divorce Magazine. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and Visitation Guidelines for Cook County. She has received special honors by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Michele is on the Advisory Board of Divorce Magazine.
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Special Appearances (T.V.)

Michele Lowrance has also been a special guest and mediator on the MSNBC series Chained to My Ex, Good Morning America, NBC Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Court TV, Curb Your Enthusiasm panel discussion, EXTRA, and American Justice with Bill Kurtis; co-host of the radio program Family Matters on Syndicated; and producer and host of the talk radio show Your Health Matters on Infinity Broadcasting.


Judge Lowrance created and Teaches a Protocol for Mental Health Professionals to Minimize Trauma of the Divorcing Process. This program given to the Family Institute of Northwestern, Institute of Psychoanalysis, Forensic Forum, Chicago think tank, Hines Veterans Hospital 2014. She has been a guest lecturer at Chicago Divorce University, the Chicago Bar Association, the University of Chicago, De Paul Law School, Kent Law School, Northwestern University, the Forensic Forum and the Chicago Think Tank.
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  • 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

Alternative Dispute Resolution (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
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  • 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

Background and Education

Judge Lowrance has taken her Mediation Certification and Training at both Harvard Law School (2011) and De Paul Law School (2010). She has also taken The Harvard Program on Negotiation, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training (2013) and completed training at Northwestern Law School Mediation and Neuroscience (2013).
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  • 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