Molshree A. Sharma

Top rated Family Law attorney in Chicago, Illinois

Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC
Molshree A. Sharma
Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC

Practice Areas: Family Law; view more

Licensed in Illinois since: 2004

Education: Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu

Selected to Rising Stars: 2013, 2016 - 2018

Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC

161 N Clark St
17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601 Visit website


Attorney Molshree A. Sharma is a partner with the law firm Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. Nationally recognized as among the top lawyers in the country and an emerging leader in her field, Ms. Sharma has more than 16 years of total legal experience, and she provides exceptional counsel and support to clients throughout Chicago and surrounding areas who have legal needs involving complex, high-profile family law matters.

As such, she has handled numerous divorce proceedings for lawyers, doctors, business owners, professional athletes and other high net worth clients. She has extensive experience handling complicated financial issues, such as considerable real estate holdings, business valuations, significant investment and retirement accounts, and more. In all cases, she works closely with her clients to develop the most effective strategy possible to help them achieve their goals as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, and she has also handled numerous highly contentious custody proceedings, including Hague Convention cases.

Honored for her outstanding professionalism and service, Ms. Sharma has earned designation as a Notable Minority Lawyer and a one of her area's Notable Women Lawyers from Crain's Chicago. She has also received designation as a Leading Lawyer and an Emerging Lawyer as well as the Top Women Attorneys of Illinois award in 2016 and the Chicago Bar Association Award in 2011.

A selfless attorney, she routinely volunteers her time and services throughout her community, and she has earned the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Distinguished Service Award and the Cook County Department of Corrections Volunteer Award. She is also heavily involved with various other civic and charitable organizations in her community.

Ms. Sharma is a fellow with the prestigious International Academy of Family Law Attorneys, and she is a member of the Asian American Bar Association, The Chicago Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association, among her other professional affiliations.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Illinois, Ms. Sharma obtained her Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2004. She has several publications to her credit, and she has conducted numerous lectures and seminars on a variety of legal topics related to child abduction, adult disabled children, maintenance and cohabitation, and other family law matters.

Practice areas

Family Law

Focus areas

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Law, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Same Sex Family Law

  • 100% Family Law

First Admitted: 2004, Illinois

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Chair of Cyriac Kappil CVLS Pro Bono Clinic - Indo American Center at Devon and California (Servicing Immigrant Communities), 2010-2011
  • Co-Vice President for Pro Bono activities, Indian American Bar Association
  • Board of Chicago Legal Advocates for Incarcerated Mothers (2012-2013)
  • Co-chair of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services clinic at the Indo American Center, 2004
  • Junior Board of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Member of Chicago Bar Association
  • Member of Illinois Bar Association
  • Member of Women's Bar Association
  • Member of Asian American Bar Association
  • Served on Board of the Indian American Bar Association
  • Fellow of International Academy of Family Law Attorneys
  • Chair of Cyriac Kappil CVLS Pro Bono Clinic - Indo American Center at Devon and California (Servicing Immigrant Communities), 2010-2011
  • Crain's Notable Women In Law, 2022, Crain's Notable Women In Law, 2022,, 2022
  • , Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting Consulting and Law, Crains Chicago, 2022
  • Crain's Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting & Law, 2020, Crain's Chicago, 2020
  • Crain's Chicago Notable Women in Law, 2020, Crain's Chicago, 2020
  • Crain's Chicago Notable Minority Lawyer, 2019, Crain's Chicago, 2019
  • Leading Lawyer, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 , 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, Leading Lawyers, 2022
  • Crain's Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers, 2018. Recognized as legal industry leaders in the Chicago area who have served with distinction
  • Top Lawyers (Top Attorneys of Illinois), 2018. In Recognition for Excellence and Achievement by the Legal Community
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star Selectee, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Selected by Peer Recognition and Professional Achievement
  • Emerging Women Lawyers, 2017 and 2018. Selected by Peers
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Award, 2012. Distinguished Service Award for pro bono work in domestic violence and custody
  • Chicago Bar Association Award, 2011. Awarded for pro bono work with survivors of domestic violence
  • Cook County Department of Corrections Award, 2010. Awarded for pro bono work for incarcerated mothers
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • The practice of embryo cryopreservation has increased in the recent years. While initially a treatment provided to heterosexual couples with issues of infertility, it is now also an avenue for same sex couples to have families. As a result, Courts all over the world are grappling with multiple, new, and complex legal issues.  My paper shall compare the US Court’s jurisprudence with that of European Courts such as in the UK, France and Belgium, when adjudicating disputes regarding the legal treatment of embryos in the event of a dissolution or separation.  Additionally, I will discuss the potential issues regarding recognition of parental and custodial rights generally and specifically in the context of Article III (exercise of custody) challenges in countries that have acceded to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. Finally, my paper shall discuss the impact of the US Supreme Court case in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), 213 L.Ed.2d 545) on embryos and assisted reproductive technology given the Court reversed the constitutionally protected right of abortion and upholding a Mississippi abortion law’s 15 week ban which was before it. The Court explicitly stated that “potential life”  and “unborn human life” are unique and deserving of protection” as Embryos represent potential life. Therefore, issues of discard or donation of unused embryos may face scrutiny. While embryos have not yet been declared legal persons, some states in US such as Louisiana has statutes that provide that an embryo is a “biological human being”. , Presenter, The State, The Family, and The Individual: Reproductive Rights and the Implication on Divorce , ISFL, 2023
  • Over the years, one of the most rewarding parts of my career has been to see my clients, move on successfully with their lives after going through a divorce.  It’s indeed exciting to embark on new relationships and have the courage to share the journey ahead with a partner, whether it’s in their fifties, sixties, and beyond. These relationships can bring excitement, joy, and companionship, and they greatly enrich individuals’ lives.  The experience of COVID has amplified the need for connection, family, and each other, practically and emotionally.   Many of these couples’ question whether it makes sense to go through the formality of marriage. In this article, I will discuss the legal pros and cons of marriage versus cohabitation for people in their middle or later years. Below are some important issues to consider, both for the people contemplating which option works best for them and family law practitioners counseling their clients., Writer, New Beginnings: The Legal Implications of Remarriage versus Cohabitation , ABA Family Law Section Advocate Issue, 2023
  • This article will discuss the competing concerns that the courts have attempted to balance in implementing the Convention, review the previous split in the circuits and weight given to ameliorative measures, and summarize the ultimate decision in Golan v. Saada. Part I provides an overview concerning the Convention and the “grave risk” exception to return. Part II discusses the lower court proceedings in Golan v. Saada. Part III reviews the issues before the Supreme Court as presented in the certiorari petition and response. Part IV summarizes the circuit split that preceded the Golan decision. Part V reviews the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Narkis Golan, the mother and survivor of domestic violence who had asserted the “grave risk” defense in this case. Part VI discusses the proceedings on remand and Ms. Golan’s tragic death. The Conclusion considers the decision’s significance., Author, Golan v. Saada: Protecting Domestic Abuse Survivors in International Child Custody Disputes, ABA Family Law Quarterly, 2023
  • "How Court Hear Children":  The Hague Convention aims to expeditiously return children who have been unilaterally removed from their habitual residence by an abducting parent. But what happens when more mature children have their own preferences?, Author, How Courts Hear Children, ISBA, Family Law, 2021
  • "Protecting Your Client's Investments in the Face of Divorce", Family Lawyer Magazine, 2020
  • "Hindu Marriage & Divorce: Issues that Affect Dissolution Matters in the United States" Family Advocate, Fall 2019
  • Speaker at Gender, Inclusivity and Protecting the 21st Century Family Conference at the University of Westminster in London, July 2019
  • Speaker at ISFL Israel Regional Conference in December 2019
  • "All Over the Map", Illinois Bar Journal, 2018
  • "International Child Custody & the Hague Convention", Family Lawyer Magazine, 2018
  • Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction International Family Law, Brazil, 2017
  • "The Second Time Around: The Legal Implications of Marriage versus Cohabitation", ABA Section of Family Law - Family Advocate, 2017
  • "Maintenance and Cohabitation", Family Lawyer Magazine, 2017
  • "Inter-country Child Abduction - Indian Legal Response", Private International Law, 2017
  • Lectured at the Private International Law Journal Conference from the University of Aberdeen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2017
  • Managing Key Issues in Today's Family Law Case, Chapter 2 of Strategies for Family Law in Illinois, Thomson Reuters Aspatore, 2015
  • "Affidavits of Support: Another Option for Divorcing Immigrant Spouses", Illinois Bar Journal, 2015
  • "Support Awards for Adult Disabled Children in Illinois", Illinois Bar Journal, 2012
  • Panelist and Expert on the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and Protection
  • Panelist, conference in New Delhi, India on the Hague Convention on Child Custody
  • Organized Annual Conference in New Delhi India
  • Lectures on parental abduction at the Island Conference of Left Behind Parents in Washington D.C.
  • Lectured on Private International Law with a Focus on International Family Law in Ethiopia
  • Lectured at the US Ambassador's Home in India

Office location for Molshree A. Sharma

161 N Clark St
17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312-815-7038


4 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2013, 2016 - 2018

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