Matthew S. Schoettmer, Partner
I began my legal career with Van Valer Law Firm in 2008, while I was still a student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Except for a leave of absence for military service, I have been with Van Valer Law Firm ever since. I am currently an Associate Attorney and Registered Domestic Relations Mediator, with my primary focus on Family Law and Criminal Law.
My primary focus area is family law. I help clients with matters such as divorce (including divorces involving military service members), cases involving child custody and child support, paternity cases, guardianships, and adoptions. These types of cases can feel very difficult and confusing. One of the greatest benefits I provide to my clients is giving them the peace of mind of knowing that they do not have to go through it alone. I am there to explain the process, help them with all of the forms and documents, and to be by their side in Court and mediation.
As a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator, I am available to mediate all types of domestic relations cases, including divorces, paternity cases, child custody disputes, parenting time disputes, child support disputes, guardianships, and adoptions. My role as a mediator is to help the participants try to reach an agreement which resolves their differences, and avoids the need for them to argue in court.
My criminal practice focuses on defending people who have been charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. I ensure that my clients know the charges against them, understand the legal process, and protect their rights as I guide them through that process. I help clients with requesting diversion programs, negotiating plea deals, and representing them in jury trials.
I also focus on real estate matters. I have considerable experience in handling landlord-tenant disputes, including evictions, drafting leases, and lawsuits involving unpaid rent and property damage. I also handle a number of other real estate matters, such as property line disputes, adverse possession cases, land contracts (sometimes called “rent-to-own” or “lease-to-own” contracts), deeds, and the purchase and sale of real estate.
In addition to my legal career, I serve as a commissioned officer in the Indiana Army National Guard. My service began when I enlisted in 2002. During my military career, I have deployed overseas to Iraq twice (first in 2005, and then again in 2009-2010). If you come into my office (which my beautiful wife decorated), you can see a few of my photos from Iraq, as well as a display of my Bronze Star Medal and some of my other commendations. I am a proud Field Artilleryman, and have been inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara.