When you are young people ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. My answer was a lawyer. Thirty six years later the answer is the same. My legal career began in 1984 in the areas of general practice and litigation. However, my interest, energy and skills became more and more concentrated on family law until it became my sole area of practice. I believe that as a family lawyer it is my role to guide people through what is one of the most traumatic and stressful times of their lives; their divorce or legal separation. It is a time when people do not necessarily think clearly and logically. I am there to listen and to advise people on what the law is, what their options are and the consequences of various courses of action that they may take so they may assess for themselves how this will impact their family. I am direct and to the point in my delivery of this information. It is ultimately up to the individual to decide how he/she will process this information and what decisions he/she will make.
Currently, my practice is primarily focused on providing mediation services to attorneys and their clients. Mediation is a confidential process which allows the parties to problem solve the issues particular to their family in a supportive environment. I firmly believe that allowing the parties to determine their own outcomes is preferable to having a Judge make their decisions for them. With 36 years of experience, I can offer multiple creative solutions that allow both parties to benefit and for their family to move forward in a positive way. I believe that children are our most precious resource and the family is our most enduring social structure. The work that I do in facilitating a separation into two separate households while maintaining stability and consistency for all involved is of the utmost importance to me.
I am frequently appointed by the Court to serve as an arbitrator, a special master, a mediator and a Guardian Ad Litem.
I believe both professionally and personally in giving back to our community. It is an integral part of the experience that I bring to the practice of law and provides me with a diversity of opinion that fosters creativity in crafting solutions for families. I have served in various capacities including as the Past President of the Waukesha Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Academy Governing Board, the Past President of the Waukesha Academy of Health Professionals Governing Board and am the current Chair of the City of Waukesha Police and Fire Commission.
Cheryl has been consistently recognized statewide as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer and nationally among the Best Lawyers in America.
Attorney Montiho provides zealous representation in criminal and family law matters. He clarifies each client’s objectives and gives expert recommendations to achieve those goals.
Attorney Montiho is a native of Waukesha, a 2000 graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and 2003 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.
At the Citadel Montiho was awarded the Dean’s List Medal, elected to the Honor Court, was an elected class representative, was an active member of Pi Sigma Alpha-The National Political Science Honor Society, and held numerous positions of cadet leadership. He also served as an intern at The White House in the Office of the Vice President.
While at The University of Wisconsin Law School he was a Judicial Intern for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, served as a law clerk for Madison’s City Attorney, and served as law clerk in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin.
Attorney Montiho is an elected member of the Board of Education for the School District of Waukesha and was elected to the Waukesha County Bar Association Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the Housing Action Coalition of Waukesha County.
Attorney Montiho also serves on the City of Waukesha’s Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, both by appointment of Mayor Shawn Reilly, and was Co-President of Summit View Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Corps and the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin.
Attorney Montiho enjoys spending time with his wife, a public school teacher, and two daughters who attend Waukesha public schools and are active in gymnastics and dance.
My grandfather was a tremendous influence upon me. He knew I wished to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and he steered me to the legal profession, which he believed presented the greatest opportunity to serve others. He also believed there was a need for integrity and compassion in the legal profession. I wish he were here to see the changes that have come about and how grateful I am that he helped me choose this path. Our clients experience both the best and worst of things that life can bring, and I strive to do the best possible job for every one of my clients, which I believe requires that I truly listen, that I am empathetic to their situations, that I educate them about options and consequences, and that I come up with solutions to resolve difficult matters. Being an advocate is one of the greatest privileges there is, and I am very honored to navigate my clients through trying and important times in their lives.
I started practicing law in 2000, litigating contract and complex tort cases in State and Federal trial and appellate courts. I most enjoyed working with children and families and their legal needs, so in 2009, I opened my own private practice to focus on three areas of the law: family matters (divorce, legal separation, paternity, post-judgment matters and the collaborative process); estate planning and probate (wills, trusts, and incapacitation planning); and business law (business formation, contract creation and litigation of disputes). In March of 2016, I was asked to join Phillips & Gemignani, LLC, and I continue to focus on those areas.
I was a Burke Scholar at Marquette University, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in writing-intensive English and in History and was named Marquette University’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Senior and the Association of Marquette University Women’s Senior Women Ignation Leader. I was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Nu and Sigma Tau Delta Honor Societies. My law degree is from Marquette University Law School, where I was awarded CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Business Law, Elder Law and Juvenile Law. I am a member of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin, the Society of Family Lawyers and the Waukesha Bar Association.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children, running and reading, and volunteering. Our oldest daughter was born with hearing loss, and we are fortunate to work with some of the organizations that have helped us along the way. In addition to working with child’s health care and special needs groups, I am active with the Women’s Center, SC Wave, the MACC Fund and other organizations. I would be honored to be your attorney.