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Best Family Lawyers in Ann Arbor

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DAWN logo
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DAWN

32400 Telegraph Rd. Suite 100, Bingham Farms, MI 48025
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  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

DAWN is a family law firm that represents women in Ann Arbor. Its lawyers handle trials, arbitration, and mediation on different family law-related cases, including divorce, domestic abuse, property division, alimony, restraining orders, and post-judgment modifications. The firm also covers disputes involving child support, custody, visitation rights, annulment, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. David Caplan, its founder, has been practicing family law for over four decades, with more than half of that time entirely devoted to the representation of women.

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Kitchen Sharkey logo
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Kitchen Sharkey

3011 Miller Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Kitchen Sharkey responds to the legal needs of those facing family law-related disputes in Ann Arbor and its surrounding areas. The firm exclusively practices family law, handling a wide range of cases from pre-and post-nuptial agreements, child custody, and spousal support to legal separation, divorce, and parenting visitation rights. Managing partners Elizabeth Kitchen-Troop and Katherine M. Sharkey leverage over 16 years of combined experience to advocate for the client's rights in litigation, arbitration, or mediation. They also serve as guardian ad litems and parenting coordinators.

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Law Office of Sarah Dinsmore Riggs, PLLC logo
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Law Office of Sarah Dinsmore Riggs, PLLC

496 W. Ann Arbor Trail Suite 205, Plymouth, MI 48170
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  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Sarah Dinsmore Riggs, PLLC, serves the Ann Arbor area. Since 2010, founder Sarah Dinsmore Riggs has been dedicating her private practice to providing legal assistance for various family law claims, such as spousal support, divorce, child custody, annulment, and post-judgment modification. She helps clients reach agreements through mediation methods but is also prepared to take these matters to court. Riggs also represents those involved in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Miller & Calabrese P.C. Attorneys at Law logo
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Miller & Calabrese P.C. Attorneys at Law

248 South Union Street, Plymouth, MI 48170
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Miller & Calabrese, P.C., Attorneys at Law, assists Ann Arbor-based clients in navigating complex proceedings related to family law. Its attorneys help spouses prepare for the legal factors involved in their respective cases by informing them of their rights and options in accordance with local statutes. They handle various petitions and appeals concerning paternity rights, support obligations, marital asset division, and visitation arrangements. Cameron Miller, one of the firm's managing partners, is also part of the Plymouth Goodfellows organization.

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Musser Love Attorneys at Law P.C. logo
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Musser Love Attorneys at Law P.C.

4844 Jackson Road Suite 204, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Musser Love Attorneys at Law P.C. serves clients in Ann Arbor who are in need of immediate legal assistance. Its attorneys help individuals with family-related legal challenges, which may cover divorce, legal custody, parenting time, child support, personal protection orders, and spousal support. Cassandra Musser, one of the firm's partners, was a founding member and vice president of the Women's Lawyer Association of Michigan's student chapter. She is also a member of the American Inns of Court.

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Nathan G. Frazier Attorney & Counselor at Law logo
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Nathan G. Frazier Attorney & Counselor at Law

516 W Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Nathan G. Frazier, Attorney & Counselor at Law, caters to people in Ann Arbor. Sole practitioner Nathan G. Frazier represents those facing various issues involving family law, such as legal separation, property division, divorce, child custody, and pre-and post-nuptial agreements. He utilizes the firm's cloud computing for practice management and research to guide clients throughout the legal proceedings. He is licensed to accommodate individuals in Louisiana. In addition to family disputes, Frazier handles immigration law matters, like student visas and naturalization.

Steslicki & Ghannam, PLC logo
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Steslicki & Ghannam, PLC

217 Ann Arbor Rd Ste 306, Plymouth, MI 48170
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  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Steslicki & Ghannam, PLC, provides legal support and services to families located in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. Its team of attorneys has the necessary qualifications and expertise to handle complicated family law issues, from simple prenuptial agreements to high-asset divorces to complex child custody cases. One of the founding partners of the firm, Angela Ghannam, has been practicing as a family lawyer since 2009 and is trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce.

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Velarde Law Firm logo
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Velarde Law Firm

125 N. Lafayette, South Lyon, MI 48178
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Velarde Law Firm caters to people in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. It serves families, individuals, and couples in family law matters, assisting them with divorce and domestic disputes. The firm's lawyer, Jenelle M. Velarde, informs her clients of their options and what to anticipate during the legal process. Additionally, she works on cases related to property lines and contract disputes. Velarde offers legal consultation in other practice areas, such as criminal defense, civil litigation, and probate law.

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Your Path Family Law logo
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Your Path Family Law

1133 W Long Lake Road, Suite 150A, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
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  • Child Custody
  • Asset Distribution
  • Divorce

Business Description

Your Path Family Law helps people with legal concerns in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. It assists its clients in resolving a variety of family law issues, which include matters related to child custody, child support, parenting time, personal protection orders, property division, and uncontested divorce. Owner and managing attorney Rachel Gruetzner Kelley worked for the State of Michigan Court of Appeals as a research lawyer before founding her own law office in 2020.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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