- Family Law
Helen Ogar is one of the preeminent matrimonial attorneys in Central Illinois. Her practice has focused on family law, which includes divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, and maintenance. Helen’s experience and compassion for her clients enables her to creatively assist them as they focus on their present and future legal and financial needs.
Helen uses a balanced approach to custody disputes; she represents the interest of her client, but also maintains an ongoing concern for the best interest of the minor children. This results in often redirecting clients to ensure their minor children are kept out of the fray.
The minor children of a contested divorce often need an individual to serve their interests so they are not treated as pawns between warring parents. When she is not already representing one of the parties, Helen is often appointed by the Court as the minor child’s representative. In this capacity, Helen is only concerned for the best interest of the minor child and works diligently to insure the child’s voice is heard.
As a trial lawyer with over 35 years of experience, Helen has the ability to negotiate a property settlement between the parties, or, if no settlement is possible, prepare for and try property distribution and maintenance cases.
Helen is a strong advocate of the mediation process and, if applicable, guides her clients towards mediation with a certified mediator.
Helen has been admitted to the following Bars and Courts: Missouri (1985); U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (1985); Illinois (1986); U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois (1987); U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1991); Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (1991).
She is a 1985 graduate of the University of Missouri Law School.
Helen began her practice of law in 1985 as an associate in the law firm of Sherman, Wickens, Lysaught and Speck at Kansas City, Missouri. In 1986, she moved to Bloomington, Illinois, and joined the Dunn Law Firm where she later became a partner. In 1996, Helen joined her husband, Paul G. Lawrence, and his father, William B. Lawrence, at Lawrence Law firm. In 1998, Lawrence Law Firm moved to its current address at 108 W. Monroe St., Bloomington, Illinois, and became the firm of Lawrence, Moore & Ogar.
Helen is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, where she has served as a member of the Standing Committee for Public Relations and as a member of the School Law section council. She is also a member of the McLean County Bar Association, where she served as secretary. Helen is also a member of the Robert C. Underwood Inns of Court.
Helen is active in the Bloomington-Normal community. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Bloomington-Normal YMCA and the McLean County Family Visitation Center Board of Directors. She is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Bloomington, currently teaching Sunday School and LOGOS bible study. She has served as a board member of Victim Offender Reconciliation Program of McLean County, Planned Parenthood of Mid-Central Illinois, Prairie State Legal Services, Youth Services of Central Illinois, and the Salvation Army.
Helen is married to Paul G. Lawrence, an Associate Circuit Judge in McLean County. They reside in Bloomington where they have raised their five children.