Petroff Law Offices, LLC

Petroff Law Offices, LLC

Firm Overview

Main Office

Petroff Law Offices, LLC
140 East Town Street, Ste 1070
Columbus OH 43215


(614) 222-4288




Petroff Law Offices, LLC is a statewide domestic relations and juvenile practice. Our attorneys are well known for successfully handling complex contested domestic relations cases.

Practice Areas Include: Divorce, Dissolution, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Support issues, Adoption, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO's), Marital Settlement Agreements and Equitable Property Divisions and child support review and enforcement.


What are your firm's strengths and style?

When searching for a Columbus Ohio divorce attorney or child custody attorney, you will find that our team is dedicated, goal-oriented, and our results and reputation in the community speak for themselves. We understand the emotional and financial hurdles divorce presents to you and your family. Our team will work with you each step of the way to achieve a fair and equitable result. You need an attorney you can rely on and a strategy that will work.

Choosing the right family law attorney and team is a critical decision that impacts the outcome of your matter. Our clients expect a legal team that is empathetic, hyper-communicative and, most of all, results-driven. At Petroff Law Offices, we deliver those qualities (and many more) from the very beginning.

No matter which attorney takes the lead on your case, you have access to our entire team’s knowledge, experience, and unparalleled expertise. Our firm can also connect you with a myriad of other professionals you may need throughout the duration of your matter-including financial and real estate experts. We ensure that you have a top-notch team behind you, giving you peace of mind and assurance.

Erika Smitherman

Petroff Law Offices, LLC

Erika M. Smitherman was born in Norwalk, Ohio and graduated from Norwalk High School in 1993. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University, with minors in both English and Philosophy. Ms. Smitherman remains active in the Ohio State Alumni Association. After graduating from Ohio State, Ms. Smitherman furthered her studies at Capital University Law School. After graduating from Capital in May 2000, she was sworn into the Ohio Bar in November 2000.

Ms. Smitherman began employment at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer Protection Section and later, she simultaneously worked in the Chief Counsel’s Staff. As an Assistant Attorney General, she investigated consumer complaints, effectively mediated settlements, litigated against companies accused of statutory violations and prepared confidential court papers, legal memoranda, and briefs for trial and appellate proceedings.

Ms. Smitherman became an Assistant Chief Legal Counsel in the Auditor of State’s Office, focusing on the Cleveland and Youngstown regions.

€‹After a few years in a small solo practice, Ms. Smitherman became a child advocacy attorney for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Franklin County. At CASA, she represented the best interests of children who were found by the court to be abused, neglected and/or dependent. She also provided training to volunteers who were appointed by the court to serve as Guardians ad Litem.

€‹It was through Ms. Smitherman'€™s involvement with CASA that she met Judge Elizabeth Gill of the Franklin County Domestic and Juvenile Court and subsequently accepted the invitation to become her staff attorney. During her time with Judge Gill, Ms. Smitherman developed an interest in the private practice of family law and appreciates the opportunity she had to learn from such a fine mentor.

Ms. Smitherman is a member of the Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations and Women Lawyers of Franklin County. She is admitted to practice in all state and local courts in Ohio and in the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. Ms. Smitherman serves her community as a Trustee at her church.

In 2018, Ms. Smitherman was selected by Capital University Law School as the recipient of the 2018 Alumni Outstanding Service Award, an honor given to graduates who performed significant voluntary service, beyond the call of business or professional duty, to his/her community and/or Capital University Law School.

Ms. Smitherman resides in New Albany with her husband Troy, who is a firefighter/paramedic for Madison Township, and their three children. Ms. Smitherman and her family enjoy spending time together during family movie nights, swimming, traveling, spending days at Apple Valley Lake, volunteering at community and charity events, and spending time with family and friends.


Bar Number: 0072383
Ohio, 2000


The Ohio State University
Bachelor of Arts,

Capital University
J.D, 2000

Chris Trolinger

Petroff Law Offices, LLC

Chris L. Trolinger was born in Springdale, Arkansas. He attended and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude, having been awarded the Harold Hantz scholarship given to the most outstanding philosophy student in the Philosophy Department. He received his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2008 and awarded the Arthur James Seelye Small Business Law Award for excellence in business law. During law school, he served as Chief Symposium Editor on the Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal and was a member of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team. Mr. Trolinger earned a CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Business Associations and Appellate Advocacy for perfect scores in those classes.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Trolinger practiced in a general practice law firm for eight years. During those eight years, Mr. Trolinger practiced in the areas of family law, criminal defense, employment law, real estate, and general civil litigation. Mr. Trolinger has successfully represented clients in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Court of Claims, several state appellate courts, and numerous county courts across the State of Ohio. Mr. Trolinger has been rated by Super Lawyers as a rising star each year since 2014.

Mr. Trolinger is admitted to practice in front of all state courts and agencies in the State of Ohio, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Mr. Trolinger focuses his practice in the area of family law.

Mr. Trolinger resides in Hilliard and in his free time enjoys music, golf, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Mr. Trolinger has served as the Family Law Section Chair on the board of trustees of the Ohio Association for Justice. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, Central Ohio Association for Justice, and the Union County Bar Association.


Bar Number: 0084027
Ohio, 2008


University of Arkansas
Bachelor of Arts,

The Ohio State University
J.D, 2008

Michelle Meis

Petroff Law Offices, LLC

Michelle J. Askins was born and raised in Lima, Ohio, a small city in Northwestern Ohio. During her junior year at Lima Central Catholic High School, Ms. Askins attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., which kick started her desire to attend law school. During the summer between her junior and senior years, she worked as a part-time secretary for a local probate attorney which only served to reinforce her aspirations of law school.

After graduating as her high school’s class valedictorian in 2006, Ms. Askins attended The Ohio State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology in 2010. That fall, Ms. Askins began law school at Capital University, during which she clerked for a solo practitioner in the field of family law. This clerkship lead her to discover that her true passion lay in the field of domestic relations. During her final year of law school, Ms. Askins was a legal intern with the Capital University Law School Legal Clinic, working on cases for the underprivileged, including divorces, custody matters, civil protection orders, and Guardian ad Litem matters. Ms. Askins also received a CALI Award of Excellence in adoption law for receiving the highest score in the class.

Ms. Askins earned her Juris Doctor, with a concentration in Children and Family Law, in May 2013. She was subsequently admitted to the Ohio bar in November 2013. Since that time she has worked strictly in the field of domestic relations. Ms. Askins is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, and is a member of their respective family law committees.

Ms. Askins resides in Dublin with her fiancé, Andrew, a Criminal Defense Attorney, and their dog, Luna. As an alumna, she is an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan and spends each fall and winter zealously cheering on their football and basketball teams. She also enjoys running, swimming, and traveling around the United States as often as possible.


Bar Number: 0090517
Ohio, 2013


The Ohio State Univeristy
Bachelor of Arts,

Capital University
J.D, 2013