Anne Prenner Schmidt currently focuses her practice on collaborative law, mediation, employee benefits, ERISA and executive compensation. Anne is also a Lake County Child representative and Guardian ad Litem.
Anne works with individuals, as well as couples experiencing divorce, who seek the counsel of a family lawyer with expertise in ERISA and other laws affecting employee benefit plans and as well as health and welfare plans. By assuring best practices relating to these benefits, Anne is able to obtain the best financial outcome for her client, as retirement is often times the most valuable asset in a divorce. Anne understands the importance of retirement plans in association with divorce and helps clients navigate the multifaceted issues involved. Her previous experience designing qualified and non-qualified retirement plans at an AMLAW 100 Firm makes her uniquely qualified to handle the most intricate cases involving complex compensation issues. Anne works with clients to design and implement a strategy that best fits their needs. Anne is particularly qualified to draft and review Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDROs”) and Qualified Medical Support Orders (“QMSCOs”) because of her extensive training in ERISA. She is able to counsel on HIPAA, COBRA and the Affordable Care Act as they may relate to Family Law matters.
Anne’s experience in these areas is reinforced by her LL.M. in Employee Benefits, which she obtained while also working for the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration. During her time with the Department, Anne focused on Fiduciary correction matters and was responsible for auditing VFCP applications. She is an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School, teaching legal writing for employee benefits.
Anne Prenner Schmidt uses her extensive training and acute business acumen to guide individuals through the emotionally complex process of assigning retirement monies and deferred compensation during the dissolution of their marriage. The process by which the monies can be assigned, if at all, is contingent on the type of retirement plan and particular regulations of the IRS and Department of Labor. Anne is experienced in evaluating, and drafting the appropriate Order as required by law and regulations, for a flat fee. Anne's extensive training and knowledge covers qualified and non-qualified plans and plans covered by ERISA and those exempt from the statute.
Divorce can be one of the most difficult and emotional periods in life. Compounding that stress with needless and costly litigation only heightens emotion and can make divorce into an ugly process. Collaborative Practice, on the other hand, is structured to meet the emotional and financial needs of the family, without the time constraints and sometimes overwhelming procedures and paperwork of the litigation process. Collaborative Divorce is based on the following three principles:
The hallmark of the collaborative divorce is that the two attorneys representing the spouses agree to no longer work with the couple if they decide to proceed in court. From the beginning, the couple and attorneys are committed to settling the case, and all four have a financial incentive to do so.
Anne Prenner Schmidt is a certified Mediator and Attorney who draws on her legal and business expertise to work on personal relationships impacted by conflict. As a neutral facilitator, she helps parties develop options for resolution. These successful interactions serve her clients by helping them to preserve important relationships and accomplish their goals, while saving time and financial resources compared to litigation.
Anne received over 4o hours of mediation training with the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, (CCR) is an independent, not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization with a mission to work with individuals, communities, courts and other institutions to manage and resolve conflict. Domestic Relations Mediations help parties discuss initial parenting agreements, changes to parenting agreements for both divorced and never-married parents, as well as issues of child support and other divorce-related financial issues. The topics addressed in these mediations include communication, parenting time schedules, education decisions and expenses, child support, healthcare decisions and expenses, religious affiliation and extracurricular activities. Mediation allows the parties to resolve many disputes before they go to court and, in some cases, before a court case is even filed.
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