Vanessa L. Hammer dedicates her practice exclusively to the area of family law, representing individuals in both litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Since joining the firm in 2008, Vanessa has gained significant experience handling complex financial divorce cases including sophisticated family estate plans, valuation issues, and forensic tracing. Vanessa also has a wealth of experience working with the unique compensation structures of business and financial sector executives, entrepreneurs, physicians, and other high-net worth professionals. In addition to her financial acumen, Vanessa has a significant record of success handling high conflict contested custody, visitation, and relocation cases in both state and federal court. Vanessa has prosecuted and defended matters involving international kidnapping and wrongful retention cases brought under The Hague Convention as well as interstate child custody litigation under the UCCJEA.
Avoiding needless, costly and counter-productive tactics, Vanessa's pragmatic, rational approach to resolving family law matters allows her to foster and maintain excellent and lasting working relationships with her clients and to shepherd them through the challenging process of divorce in a cost-effective and sensible manner. An additional benefit of Vanessa's practical approach is her well-deserved reputation among opposing counsel and the judiciary for, clarity, common sense and collegiality - all without a loss in her capacity for zealous advocacy. While Vanessa is a skilled trial lawyer with many years of litigation experience, she also encourages and utilizes, where appropriate, various forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and the collaborative/cooperative law processes.
Vanessa received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and is licensed to practice in Illinois and Texas and in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois and Southern District of Texas.
Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mexican-American Studies, thus enabling her to provide a unique perspective and ability to address the needs of international clients in a culturally sensitive manner. Vanessa is fluent in Spanish and able to assist Spanish-speaking clients in navigating the judicial process.
Vanessa was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2012 and 2013 and Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2017.
Vanessa is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association (Family Law Section), DuPage County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas (Family Law Section), Houston Bar Association, American Bar Association (Family Law and International Law Sections), and the Hispanic National Bar Association.