Annette Fernholz

Chicago Family Law Counsel Skillfully Mediates, Collaborates and Litigates


Annette Fernholz photographed at Andrew Collings Photography studio, Chicago, IL. July 9, 2014. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Annette Fernholz concentrates her practice in the resolution of complex family law-related matters and family law appeals. She focuses her practice in the areas of paternity and divorcing couples, litigating parental responsibilities  and parenting  time issues (formerly custody and visitation), obtaining child support and spousal support, drafting prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, negotiating settlements and drafting appellate briefs.

Annette is trained in mediation and collaborative law. For clients who wish to privately resolve their issues, a form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or collaborative law may best meet their needs. Annette is on the Cook County ‘s court’s approved mediator’ list. For parties who cannot reach an amicable resolution of their issues, litigation is another means to attain resolution.

Annette is also an appointed Child Representative, guardian ad litem and child’s attorney in Cook County.

Annette has published several articles on topics relevant to Illinois family law. She prepared “Procedure Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act,” for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She authored a chapter on the Illinois Parentage Act for the ISBA Family Law Handbook and has written an article on the Hague Convention on Child Abduction for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. She co-presented “Parental Child Abduction: Before, During and After,” for the Chicago Bar Association and has lectured for the Chicago Bar Association on the proposed new child support law.


  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • B.A., University of Michigan

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1997
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2001
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2003

Additional Training

  • Divorce Mediation Program, Northwestern University, 2006
  • Fundamentals of Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, 2006
  • Mediation Training, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2012


Illinois State Bar Association

  • Women’s Bar Association Illinois
  • Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Forensic Forum
  • Illinois State Bar