Vanessa R. Heim, Family Law Attorney
Vanessa has devoted a significant portion of her practice to helping families through the process of adoption. Often times, clients seeking to unify their families through step-parent or family member adoption, or growing their family through private adoption, are uncertain of the legal intricacies involved in this exciting journey. With experience, patience and shared excitement, Vanessa is eager to assist clients to understand the procedures and processes, while working with clients to accomplish the necessary requirements to finalize an adoption. Sometimes it is necessary to terminate the parental rights of a biological parent prior to beginning the adoption journey. Vanessa has assisted dozens of families navigate the difficult and complex procedure, working to terminate the parental rights of a parent who is no longer a part of a child’s life, or based on other circumstances should no longer have the right to be in the child’s life.
Circumstances also arise when clients seek to obtain guardianship over a minor family member or family friend, because one or both of the biological parents is unable or unwilling to provide the child with the stability and resources. Guardianship creates the legal authority to make education and health care decisions for that child, and will allow the guardian to seek resources like health insurance for the child. Guardianship is often pursued to offer stabilty for a child while allowing the parent(s) to maintain the option to terminate the guardianship at a time it is no longer necessary.
Vanessa consistently earns rave reviews from clients for her thorough, compassionate and patient handling of their needs. Vanessa serves as an Advisory Board Member for ARAG Legal Plans and is a member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. She has been recognized for her excellence by several legal organizations throughout the course of her career, including the American Institute of Legal Counsel, as well as being named an Elite Service Provider by ARAG Legal Plans.
Vanessa graduated from Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Arizona and went on to attend Northern Arizona University for her undergraduate degree. She pursued law school after three years of working in the corporate world and graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois in 2011. She returned to Arizona shortly after and began her legal career.
In her free time, Vanessa enjoys traveling, yoga, hiking and spending time with her family, friends and beloved dog, Simon.
Areas of Practice
- Termination of parental rights
- Arizona, 2012
- U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2012
- John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. – 2011
- Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
- B.S. – 2005
- Honors: Psychology
- Minor: Criminal Justice
Honors and Awards
- American Institute of Legal Counsel
- Elite Service Provider by ARAG Legal Plans
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of Arizona, Member
- Advisory Board Member, ARAG Legal Plans
- Arizona Women Lawyers Association
Pro Bono Activities
- “Wills for Heroes”