Amanda McNelley, Counsel

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Biography

Amanda McNelley focuses her practice on dissolutions of marriage involving high-net-worth asset divisions, valuations of business interests, complex litigation, modifications, high-conflict custody disputes, paternity actions, adoptions and also acts as a Guardian ad Litem in St. Louis County. In practice for nearly 17 years, she joined the firm in 2012 after spending more than a decade honing her skills with two small, but highly-regarded St. Louis area family law firms.

Family Law – and issues directly affecting it – is an especially rapidly evolving area of law. For example, recently enacted changes in federal tax law eliminated a 75 year-old tax deduction on maintenance payments, a change that will significantly change the dynamics of many divorces. On the state level, a recently enacted Missouri law encourages 50-50 child custody. With the recognition of same-sex marriages throughout the United States the traditional definition of Family Law has broadened considerably.

Amanda has a proven track record of staying ahead of such changes and of rapidly becoming proficient in understanding the dynamics created by new laws. “Family law can be very emotional for clients,” Amanda says. “You have to understand not only new laws, but the emotional impact those changes can have on families who are often going through the most stressful periods of their lives.”

While laws change and society evolves, Amanda is firm in her belief that one of the principal concerns of Family Law remains unchanged. “Everyone wants to do what is best for their children. Litigants may have different definitions of what is best, but a good family law practitioner assists their client in meeting their needs reasonably, realistically, and with compassion.”

Amanda resides in Kirkwood with her husband and their three daughters. She is actively involved with St. Peter Parish & School and as a Girl Scout Leader. Free time means volleyball, softball and watching her daughters perform at Irish dance competitions.

Background

She is a member of the Missouri and Illinois Bar Association, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Women’s Lawyers Association of St. Louis, and a Founding Board Member of Lawyers for Equality.

As an Americorps National Service Member, Amanda completed over 1,700 hours of community service in the St. Louis area mentoring and teaching inner-city youths in public schools and was director of the Eco-Corps summer camp.

In 2001 and 2002 Amanda represented the State of Kansas in Child in Need of Care and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings in the Johnson County District Attorney’s office in Olathe, Kansas. She has also been selected to serve on the Board of Directors of Kids In The Middle, a non-profit organization, which provides counseling, education and support for children, parents and families during and after a divorce.

Amanda has been selected as a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2008, and has received an “AV Distinguished” Rating from Martindale-Hubbel based on reviews from her peers. She has also received an award for outstanding achievement in the field of employment laws from the American Bar Association.

Services

Industries

Coming soon.

Successes

Presentations

Amanda is often asked to lecture on Family Law matters for organizations and special groups, including delivering a presentation on Family law to the Missouri Bar Association.

Publications

Amanda is often asked to lecture on Family Law matters for organizations and special groups, including delivering a presentation on Family law to the Missouri Bar Association.

“Child Custody, Family Law Deskbook”, Chapter 9 author, 2011

BIOGRAPHY

Amanda recently joined the firm as counsel and brings with her 10 years of experience as a respected and sought-after Family Law attorney. Honing her skills at two smaller but venerated family law firms, Amanda specifically focuses on dissolutions of marriage involving high-net-worth asset divisions, modifications, high-conflict custody disputes, paternity actions, and also acts as a Guardian ad Litem in St. Louis County and St. Louis City.

The Family Law landscape has dramatically changed in recent years with more women than men in the U.S. workforce and child custody increasingly being shared between wife and husband. Along with the continued passage of same-sex marriage state laws and civil union statues throughout the United States, the traditional definition of Family Law has broadened considerably, evidenced by same-sex couples needing dissolutions of marriage and assistance with custody resolution upon dissolution. “You have to be able to deal with the changing “family” and adapt your practice to be creative in order to help people through those rough times.”

But Amanda quickly notes that one of the principal concerns of Family Law remains unchanged. “Everyone wants to do what is best for their children. Litigants may have different definitions of what is best, but a good family law practitioner assists their client in meeting their needs reasonably, realistically, and with compassion.”

Amanda resides in Kirkwood with her husband and their three daughters. She is actively involved with St. Peter Parish & School and as a Girl Scout Leader. Free time means volleyball, softball and watching her daughters perform at Irish dance competitions.

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