Attorney at Law
Serving Northwest Iowa
Shawna strives to attain the highest level of skill in the practice areas of family and juvenile law, as well as to improve the experience that each client receives while being involved in litigation.
Spirit Lake | Iowa
Shawna provides legal representation to clients in divorce proceedings which include the related issues of division of marital property, child custody and support, and alimony. Shawna also provides legal representation to unmarried parents in child custody, visitation and support proceedings.
Shawna offers the opportunity to clients to take control of their case by utilizing the Collaborative Law process. Collaborative Law is an alternative to the traditional litigation process. Instead of time and money spent on fighting in court, this process uses family-focused settlement meetings to resolve the case. Attorneys in this process support, guide and advise the parties by assisting clients to distinguish their goals from merely taking positions. This process allows both attorneys and the clients to focus on the best interests of the children while preserving relationships and focusing on the future.
As a mediator, Shawna provides an impartial setting for parties to discuss issues related to their family law case as well as facilitates discussion between the parties to enable them to make their own decisions to resolve their case. Sometimes mediation is the only chance parties have to talk directly to one another, and to be heard. By reaching an agreement, often money, time and stress are saved, and case finality can be achieved. Even when parties do not reach an agreement at mediation, parties often find themselves clearer on what to do next to be able to move forward in the case.
Representation of parents or children in Child in Need of Assistance abuse and neglect cases.
Shawna grew up in rural Northwest Iowa in a large family. After graduating from Okoboji High School, Shawna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Buena Vista University in 1999. Shawna continued her education at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 2003. Shawna opened her family law practice in Spirit Lake, Iowa, in 2006, after working in private practice in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.
In 2011, Shawna attended the Collaborative Family Law Training by Stuart Webb, J.D. and Ronald Ousky, J.D. Stuart Webb was a founding father of Collaborative Law in the Twin Cities, and opened his collaborative law practice in 1990.
The year of 2012 brought mediation into Shawna’s private practice. Shawna attended the 40 Hour Comprehensive Divorce & Family Mediation Training by Christine Crilley, J.D., an attorney who practices in Eastern Iowa in the areas of family law mediation and Collaborative Law. Shawna is a Mediator Participant in the Mediation Pilot Program in the Iowa Judicial District 3A.
Shawna is married with two sons.
- 2003 Minnesota Supreme Court
- 2006 Iowa Supreme Court
- Dickinson County Bar Association
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Northwest Iowa Collaborative Law Professionals
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- National Association of Counsel for Children