Peoria, Pekin and Central Illinois Family Law Attorney

Meet Attorney Susan Butler

Attorney Susan H ButlerI have been a practicing attorney in Illinois for nearly 40 years. When I graduated from law school, there were very few women attorneys in private practice. For the first year of my career, I worked for a large firm representing insurance companies. I was the only woman attorney in the city at that time, and very soon, the firm started receiving calls for me to represent people going through a divorce. Since the firm had never handled anything but insurance defense cases, I had to convince the firm's partners that I should be allowed to practice family law!

From the first family law case I handled, I knew I wanted to concentrate exclusively in this area of law. Soon, I left the insurance defense firm behind. My husband and I married, and my children were born. When I became a parent, I experienced the depth of love and the incredible bond between a child and a parent. At that point, my interest in family law was transformed into a passion for it, and for helping people going through a breakdown of their family.

I have broad experience handling complex asset division, pension issues and spousal maintenance matters for both men and women. Clients seek my representation for complex cases and those involving professional practices, business interests and farm properties. I have expertise in handling difficult pension and retirement issues, including the drafting of qualified domestic relations orders and qualified orders for the division of military pensions. I have written appellate briefs and have argued cases before the Illinois Appellate Courts for both the Third and Fourth Districts while representing clients in the appellate process.

Today, a significant part of my practice consists of helping my clients, who include both men and women, maintain strong relationships with their children even though their family is no longer living together.

I have handled numerous contested child custody, visitation and interstate child removal cases. I also have experience in dealing with mental health issues, professional evaluators, and emotional and physical abuse of children and spouses. I have extensive training in mediation and employ those techniques regularly in my cases.

Education

Susan (Hickman) Butler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Memphis in 1974, where she was inducted into the Mortar Board Society honoring excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from The Law School of Drake University in 1977. At Drake, she served as Editor of the Drake Legal Research Service and as Research Assistant to Associate Dean Arthur K. Ryman. She was admitted to the Iowa State Bar Association in 1977, and practiced in Iowa until returning to her native Central Illinois where she was admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association in 1979. She is admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Memberships And Offices

  • Peoria and Tazewell County bar associations
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • President, Women in Management, Peoria Chapter

Honors And Awards:

  • Super Lawyer – 2005 to present
  • Outstanding Professional Achievement Award
  • Pekin YWCA
  • Woman of Achievement Award
  • Women in Management
  • Boss of the Year
  • Peoria Legal Secretaries Association

Biography

Susan and her husband are the parents of two adult children, and they are also blessed with four grandchildren.