Registered Family Law Mediator
Parenting Time Coordinator

Attorney Melanie M. Sterba earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Michigan State University in 1975. She received her Juris Doctor Degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in May, 1983 and began practicing law June 3, 1983, having passed the Indiana Bar Exam in 1982.

Attorney Sterba opened her own practice in the Twin Towers in Merrillville, Indiana. She relocated to Schererville, Indiana in 1997. In 2007, Attorney Sterba partnered with Jill S. Swope to become the managing partner of Sterba & Swope, LLP.

Attorney Sterba has practiced exclusively in the area of family law for over 25 years.

Attorney Sterba has successfully completed Guardian Ad Litem training and has been appointed by the Courts and stipulated by parents to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem representing the interest of children in disputes between parents over custody and parenting time.

Attorney Sterba attended multi-day training offered through the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC), preparing her to serve as a Parenting Time Coordinator, working directly with parents and children to resolve conflicts within the family and assisting the family outside a courtroom atmosphere.

Attorney Sterba enrolled in and completed the first mediation training offered in Lake County in March, 1992. She is a certified family law mediator and continues to take advance training in this area.

Attorney Sterba is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association and the Lake County Bar Association, serving on the Board of Directors for the Lake County Bar Association from 1989 to 1992. Attorney Sterba served as the Treasurer of the Women Lawyers Association from 1986 through 1988 and continues to be a member of this association. Attorney Sterba is a Fellow with the Indiana Bar Association.

Attorney Sterba, while a member of the Family Law Section of the Lake County Bar Association, was instrumental in developing the Lake County Visitation Guidelines and in the implementation of the Child Support Guidelines. She continues to be a member of the Family Law Section.

Attorney Sterba has been a presenter at continuing legal education seminars in family law.

 

Certified Family Law Specialist
Family Law Certification Board
Registered Family Law Mediator
Parenting Time Coordinator

Attorney Swope earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Valparaiso University in 1992. Attorney Swope then attended Valparaiso University School of Law where she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society Executive Board, and participated as a team member in national moot court competitions across the country.

Attorney Swope began as a law clerk with her now-partner’s law firm during her first year of law school in 1993. She graduated Cum Laude from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1995, taking and passing both the Indiana and Illinois bar exams that same year.

Attorney Swope has practiced almost exclusively in the field of family law for most of her career. She successfully completed the rigorous application and testing process to become one of the first Certified Family Law Specialists, as certified by the Family Law Certification Board, in the State of Indiana in 2002, and one of only a handful in Lake County even now. With extensive experience in divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, adoption, name changes and appeals, Attorney Swope enjoys the opportunity to make a personal difference in the lives of her clients, making difficult times less stressful and easier to understand; including the lives of children that she frequently represents as Guardian Ad Litem appointed by the Lake and Porter County Courts to advocate for their best interest in juvenile or family law matters.

Attorney Swope has also completed multi-day training through the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC) in parenting coordination and has participated in annual continuing education in parenting coordination, using same to reduce harmful and continuous litigation on family law matters involving children. Because of this training, she frequently serves as a Parenting Time Coordinator in high conflict matters in both Lake and Porter Counties. 

Attorney Swope is a member of the Lake County Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Association, Inc. She served on the Board of Directors for the Lake County Bar Association from 2002 to 2004, and served as Recording Secretary of the Women Lawyers Association, Inc. for several years.

Attorney Swope has been a presenter of continuing legal education seminars in the area of family law and has authored successful appeals in family law matters in both the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court.