Michael J. Cheerva


Indianapolis, IN






Michael Cheerva is an Indiana Certified Family Law Specialist (per the Family Law Certification Board) and a Registered Indiana Family Law Mediator. In addition to mediation, he offers arbitration, Guardian ad Litem, and Parenting Coordination services. Mr. Cheerva has been named an Indiana Super Lawyer every year since 2005 by Law and Politics Magazine. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell's coveted AV-Preeminent rating demonstrating the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. Cheerva has extensive trial, litigation, and appellate experience in all aspects of matrimonial law, including asset division, custody and parenting time, paternity, and jurisdictional disputes. His appellate practice began in 1987 and includes presentation of oral argument before the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

He is a member of the ABA Sections of Family Law, Alternate Dispute Resolution, and Law Practice Management, and the Family Law and Appellate Practice Sections of the Indiana State Bar Association. He is a past Chairman of the Family Law Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He is a frequent presenter of Continuing Legal Education for local organizations and the Indiana Bar. He participates in pro bono activities by providing family law services to low income clients.

Mr. Cheerva was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1960. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wabash College in 1982 and his Juris Doctorate from Indiana University-Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1985.

Areas Of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Trial
  • Litigation
  • Matrimonial Law
  • Asset Division
  • Custody and Parenting Time
  • Paternity
  • Jurisdictional Disputes

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Family Law Specialist, Family Law Certification Board, 2007

Bar Admissions

  • Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 1985


  • Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1985
  • Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana
    • B.A. - 00/1982
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Political Science

Representative Cases

  • Anderson v. Anderson, 870 N.E.2d 31 Unpublished Disposition, 2007, Ind.App.
  • Eye v. Eye, 849 N.E.2d 698, 2006, Ind.App.
  • Glover v. Torrence, 723 N.E. 2d 924, 2000, Ind. App., 2000055418
  • Randolph v. Randolph, 722 N.E. 2d 867, 2000, Ind. App., 2000040246
  • Glass v. Oeder, 716 N.E. 2d 413, 1999, Ind., 1999217816
  • In Re Marriage of Russell, 693 N.E. 2d 980, 1998, Ind. App., 1998094715
  • In Re Paternity of J.W.L., 693 N.E. 2d 959, 1998, Ind. App., 1998081385
  • In Re Marriage of Thomas, 688 N.E. 2d 197, 1997, Ind. App., 1997227515
  • Matter of Estate Lamey, 689 N.E. 2d 1265, 1997, Ind. App., 1997249104
  • In Re Paternity of J.W. L., 682 N.E. 2d 519, 1997, Ind. App., 1997137406
  • J.W.L. by J.L.M. v. A.J.P., 672 N.E. 2d 966, 1996, Ind. App., 1996253597
  • Johnson v. Nation, 615 N.E. 2d 141, 1993, Ind. App., 1993118797


  • Preventing Critical Financial Mistakes in Divorce, NBI, 2007 to 2007
  • Hot Topics in Custody and Parenting Time, Indianapolis Bar Association, 2007 to 2007
  • Shared Parenting in Indiana, NBI, 2004 to 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Indiana Super Lawyer
  • Martindale-Hubbell's Coveted AV-Preeminent Rating

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Indianapolis Bar Association, Family Law Section, Executive Committee, 1993 to 2000
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, Family Law Section, Past Chairman, 1997 to 1997
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Member, 1985
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 1985
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Member, Law Practice Management Committee, 2003 to 2005
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Member, State Legislation Committee, 2003 to 2005
  • Indiana Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2007
  • Indiana State Bar Association, ABA Sections of Family Law, Member
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Alternate Dispute Resolution, Member
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Marion County Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor, 1985 to 1987
  • Rucker & Cheerva, 1987 to 1990
  • Phelps & Fara, 1990 to 2003
I Default

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