Petersen Law and QDROs LLC: Navigating the Financial Complexities of Divorce with Comprehensive Legal Expertise

20 Leading Companies to Watch in 2024

Divorce presents many challenges, often extending beyond emotional well-being and into the complexities of financial planning. Moreover, financial security, particularly regarding retirement plans, becomes paramount during this period. Petersen Law and QDROs LLC recognizes the critical need for specialized legal expertise when navigating the division of retirement assets during a divorce settlement. 

An Inspiring Establishment History

In 2020, Cynthia L Petersen (Owner/Manager) established the firm, recognizing the critical need for specialized legal expertise. Before attending law school, Cynthia worked as a customer service representative. She believes practicing law is the epitome of customer service, as her clients have emotions and desires, not just legal needs. Cynthia prioritizes listening to her clients’ narratives before delving into legal counsel, recognizing that many attorneys may overlook the genuine needs of their clients. Her mission revolves around making the world a better place for everyone in her community or group. This ethos guides her actions as both a lawyer and a business owner, as well as in her role as President of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Cynthia established Petersen Law and QDROs LLC on April 20, 2020, during the COVID-19 restrictions. Recognizing the need for safety, the company offered electronic intakes, e-signatures, and remote consultations via Zoom or phone. While Cynthia appreciates in-person meetings, the company has continued to provide these electronic and remote services for client convenience.

Based in the charming town of Stockton, Illinois, Cynthia serves as the company president, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur. She relocated her family to this area, seeking diversification, which she has successfully achieved. Cynthia leads Petersen Law and QDROs LLC, the only full-service law firm in town. Additionally, she manages an Airbnb above the office space, co-owns an escape room business in the same building with her husband, and showcases her original photography, artwork, jewelry, and crafts alongside her husband’s leather and woodcraft creations at a local store. Cynthia finds deep satisfaction in all her ventures, including her legal practice, where she  concentrates her practice in a unique niche – division of retirement plans in divorce, a service offered by very few attorneys in Illinois. Cynthia is the only attorney at her firm with only one part-time assistant. As the primary leader, her roles at the firm encompass everything from going to court to taking out the trash.

Wide Range of  Offerings

In her small town, Cynthia is widely recognized as “the lawyer,” where practicing in just one area of law is impractical. She has handled numerous real estate transactions and estate planning matters for local clientele, along with addressing various contract disputes. However, her primary focus lies in dividing retirement plans in divorce cases. She adeptly drafts these orders, known as “Qualified Domestic Relations Orders” (QDROs), and other related documents for attorneys within Illinois and legal practitioners nationwide. Cynthia herself submits some of these orders in Illinois cases. Additionally, she serves as an expert witness in retirement plan division matters within Illinois and extends her assistance to attorneys nationwide to ensure optimal outcomes for their clients. Furthermore, Cynthia provides specific information about the language used in settlement documents to accurately reflect the division of retirement plans.

Tailoring Unique Services for Clients

Before delving into law studies, Cynthia worked as a customer service representative in a retirement plan call center at a benefit consulting firm near Chicago, IL. Her genuine concern for clients prompted her to apply her customer service expertise to her legal practice. She believes that providing clients with information tailored to their specific circumstances only after sharing their stories and needs is crucial for ensuring their understanding of the process and satisfaction with her services. For instance, when she receives a settlement offer, Cynthia explains to her clients that she is ethically bound to present any offer from the opposing party. She encourages them to share their thoughts and assures them they are not obliged to accept the offer; instead, they are the one to decide how to proceed.

Empowering Clients During Legal Processes

In cases like divorce, clients frequently experience feelings of powerlessness, perceiving that everything is beyond their influence. Cynthia collaborates closely with her clients, engaging them in the progression of their cases by assigning them “homework” tasks, providing them with a sense of agency. Additionally, she endeavors to apprise them of the worst-case scenario in their situation, enabling them to comprehend the risks and potential benefits of litigating matters. This equips them with the capacity to evaluate settlement options versus pursuing litigation throughout the case.

Transparent and Clear Communication with Clients

Effective communication is crucial in legal matters. For Cynthia, online communication is paramount for ensuring prompt responses and maintaining a comprehensive record of conversations. It is a vital conduit for acquiring client information through a secure electronic intake form. This streamlined process not only affords clients the convenience of managing their lives without needing in-person visits but also assures them that their affairs are being competently managed. Clients can entrust their situation to Cynthia, allowing her to take the reins and handle matters on their behalf, freeing them to focus on other priorities.

The Future Vision

Cynthia is presently focused on promoting her QDRO drafting services on a national scale. Apart from processing orders, she assists attorneys and their clients across the United States regarding retirement plan division inquiries, negotiation support, and drafting services. Additionally, she provides QDROs for attorneys to submit in their respective cases.

Since relocating to a miniature town nestled amidst resort destinations, Cynthia has noticed that her community often gets overlooked as travelers venture towards nearby adventures. To address this, she has established an Airbnb and an escape room business, with plans for potentially launching another enterprise to attract tourists to her locale. Cynthia firmly believes in the potential for small towns to flourish with persistent dedication from business proprietors and the local community. As the President of the Chamber of Commerce, she possesses a distinctive vantage point enabling her to identify areas requiring assistance and to endeavor towards solutions proactively.

On Being One of the Leading Companies of 2024

Cynthia’s dedication to customer satisfaction ensures that the community and beyond benefit from valuable expertise and assistance. By extending her advertising efforts nationally, she aims to broaden this influence. She aims to enhance her contributions to making the community a desirable destination for tourists and others who appreciate the town’s charm.

Cynthia envisions expanding her businesses to complement her law practice, allowing people to perceive her as a relatable figure rather than solely a legal advisor focused on drafting Wills. Establishing recognition as a community leader across various domains is essential, transcending the role of being known simply as “the lawyer” in town.


“I feel that giving my clients information about their situation only after they have told me their story and their needs is the best way to ensure they understand the process and are satisfied with my work.”

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