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Best Divorce Lawyers in Lansing

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Bahrie Law logo
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Bahrie Law

6810 South Cedar Street, Lansing, MI 48911
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Business Description

Bahrie Law handles cases in a variety of legal areas. For individuals that are seeking a divorce in the Lansing metropolitan area, this firm provides attentive, client-focused counsel and representation. Its team is dedicated to protecting the needs and rights of its clients and negotiates on their behalf to seek fair resolutions in disputes over property or children. Other practice areas at this firm include criminal defense and personal injury law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.6 / 5 (106)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (19)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (6)

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Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Basiga Law Firm logo
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Basiga Law Firm

909 N. Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Divorce
  • Spousal Support

Business Description

The Basiga Law Firm provides counsel and representation for clients in Lansing. It assists in filing for divorce and helps resolve an array of family law matters, including parenting time, child custody, child support, and alimony. Its attorneys also represent clients in several practice areas, such as Social Security disability and U.S.-Canada border crossing. For more than 15 years, the Basiga Law Firm has also been handling felony and misdemeanor cases. Founding attorney Brendon Basiga has represented clients at the state, provincial, and federal levels.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (11)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Berry Law Offices, PLC logo
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Berry Law Offices, PLC

3275 E. Grand River, Williamston, MI 48895
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  • Contested
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Berry Law Offices, PLC, is a multi-practice firm that serves clients in the Lansing area. The firm provides representation in divorce cases. It deals with various legal areas involved in a divorce, such as child custody and support, property division, and alimony. It also handles criminal defense, personal injury, real estate, and employment and labor law cases. Founder and president Ronald T. Berry has a wide-ranging exposure to law, including being a former associate attorney at a Michigan firm and general counsel for a dietary supplement manufacturer.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (12)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Daudi & Kroll, P.C. logo
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Daudi & Kroll, P.C.

4121 Okemos Rd., Suite 10, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Asset Distribution

Business Description

Daudi & Kroll, P.C., is a law firm catering to individuals, families, and businesses in and around Lansing. Its services include handling matters involving family law, like divorce and child custody. It also deals with issues such as property division and post-judgment divorce modification. Its managing partner, Christopher M. Kroll, has been in the practice since 2006 and is licensed to practice in the two federal district courts of Michigan and the United States Tax Court. His areas of focus include family law and civil litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.8 / 5 (38)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Gani Law Firm logo
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Gani Law Firm

1005 South Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI 48910
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Business Description

Gani Law Firm provides family-related legal services for clients in Lansing and throughout its surrounding areas. Attorney G. Sal Gani has more than 30 years of experience helping his clients file for separation or divorce and negotiate terms including asset division, child support, child custody, and spousal support. Other practice areas include real estate and criminal law. Mr. Gani is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice in state and federal courts throughout the state.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.3 / 5 (12)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Jedo Law logo
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Jedo Law

6035 Executive Drive, Ste 212, Lansing, MI 48911
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  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Jedo Law is a Lansing-based practice providing representation for individuals and families in the community. It offers legal solutions for divorce proceedings and assists with matters relating to parenting time, spousal support, property division, custody, and child support. It also handles family-based immigration petitions and immigration litigation. In addition, Jedo Law helps clients looking to file Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcies. It is headed by James Edokpolo, who is admitted to practice before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He is an American Immigration Lawyers Association member.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (15)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Jeffrey A Chip, P.C. logo
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Jeffrey A Chip, P.C.

4121 Okemos Road, Okemos, MI 48864
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Business Description

Jeffrey A. Chip PC is a family lawyer near Lansing. He provides experienced and professional counsel to his clients, helping them work with their former spouse to determine fair division of property, as well as child custody and spousal support arrangements. In addition to divorce and family law, Mr. Chip also handles personal injury claims and criminal defense cases. He holds memberships in several professional associations, including the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Kallman Legal Group logo
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Kallman Legal Group

5600 W. Mount Hope Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce

Business Description

Kallman Legal Group is a Lansing-based firm representing clients in a variety of cases. Its family law practice offers assistance with divorce, annulment, and legal separation. It represents clients in disputes involving property division, alimony, and child custody and visitation. The firm also handles administrative, educational, constitutional, criminal, estate planning, and homeschooling cases. David Kallman started the firm in 1982. His family has been serving the community's legal needs for three generations.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Lyke Law logo
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Lyke Law

200 Woodland Pass, East Lansing, MI 48823
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Business Description

Individuals who need a divorce attorney near Lansing can contact Lyke Law PLLC. This firm handles all types of divorce cases, including those that involve a high value of assets and property or disputes over property and child custody. In addition to family law, the firm offers assistance in matters pertaining to criminal charges and traffic violations. Attorney Kristina Lyke was the recipient of the 2011 Ingham Bar Association Young Lawyers Award.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.3 / 5 (22)
Avvo
3.5 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Lynn Osborne, P.C. logo
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Lynn Osborne, P.C.

401 W Ionia St, Lansing, MI 48933
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Established in 2005, Lynn Osborne, P.C., is a family and bankruptcy law firm located in Lansing. It provides legal assistance for clients who wish to file for divorce or legal separation. The company also offers counsel on concerns regarding child support, visitation, and custody. In addition, it helps clients navigate the process of filing for chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy. The firm is under the leadership of Lynn Osborne, who has been offering legal counsel and representation since 2004.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Mcginty, Hitch, Person & Anderson, P.C. Attorneys at Law logo
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Mcginty, Hitch, Person & Anderson, P.C. Attorneys at Law

2900 West Road, Suite 500, East Lansing, MI 48823
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  • Child Custody
  • Asset Distribution

Business Description

Mcginty, Hitch, Person & Anderson, P.C., represents individuals, couples, and families throughout the Lansing community. It offers legal solutions to clients facing family law issues involving divorce, adoption, guardianship, and child custody matters. It also assists clients who wish to legally change their names. In addition to family law, the firm resolves cases relating to employment, probate, estate planning, and workers' compensation disputes. Thomas M. Hitch, one of the firm's attorneys, has been practicing law since 1975.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.3 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Michigan Attorney Scott M. Neuman logo
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Michigan Attorney Scott M. Neuman

2196 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Divorce

Business Description

Michigan Attorney Scott M. Neuman is a general practice attorney with an office in Lansing. He has handled over 6,000 cases throughout his legal career spanning more than 25 decades. Neuman represents clients in divorce and annulment proceedings. He advocates the client's interest in property division, personal protection orders, and children's welfare. He also handles drunk driving, bankruptcy, personal injury, and criminal defense cases. Neuman is a member of the Illinois State Bar and is an IDF veteran.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (163)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (31)
Facebook
3.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Robin L. Omer, PLLC logo
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Robin L. Omer, PLLC

2400 Lake Lansing Rd., Lansing, MI 48912
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Robin L. Omer, PLLC, is a family law firm that provides legal services to clients in the Lansing area. It assists in divorce proceedings and handles various matters, including complex asset and property division, retirement benefit plans division, spousal support, child support, custody and parenting time, and post-judgment issues. The law firm also offers mediation services as an alternative resolution in divorce issues. Lead attorney Robin L. Omer has been in legal practice for 40 years and is a court-approved mediator for domestic disputes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Ronald A. Zawacki, Atty. logo
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Ronald A. Zawacki, Atty.

830 W. Lake Lansing Rd., Ste. 200, East Lansing, MI 48823
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  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Divorce

Business Description

Ronald A. Zawacki, Atty., represents clients in the Lansing metro in many practice areas. These cover divorce, custody, alimony, and child support. He also caters to individuals facing drug offenses, felonies, misdemeanors, drunk driving, and weapon offenses. With over 30 years of experience in the legal field, Ronald A. Zawacki also handles bankruptcy matters, such as foreclosures, garnishments, and repossessions. He has also defended the first individuals who faced the assisted suicide law in Michigan.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
––
Samuel Law, P.C. logo
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Samuel Law, P.C.

1350 E. Lake Lansing Rd. Suite D, Lake Lansing, MI 48823
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  • Child Custody

Business Description

Since 2012, Dillon & Samuel has been solving legal challenges for individuals in Lansing and the neighboring cities. It aims to find a compromise that benefits everyone concerned, including the children, and prioritizes the needs of couples going through a divorce. Its lawyers also defend clients who have been involved in federal criminal offenses. Nicole Samuel is a partner and co-owner of the firm. She has completed SCAO-approved advanced mediation training and routinely attends criminal defense and family law training and seminars.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (49)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Smith & Johnson, Attorneys, P.C. logo
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Smith & Johnson, Attorneys, P.C.

116 West Ottawa Street, Lansing, MI 48933
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Business Description

Smith & Johnson Attorneys PC is a team of divorce lawyers in Lansing. This team helps its clients obtain fair divorce settlements through assertive negotiation and effective counsel. Its attorneys are experienced in helping clients negotiate matters such as child visitation and custody, as well as property division and spousal support. Smith & Johnson was recognized as a top 100 firm by the National Trial Lawyers. Other practice areas include personal injury and business litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Abood Law Firm logo
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The Abood Law Firm

246 East Saginaw Street, East Lansing, MI 48823
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Business Description

The Abood Law Firm provides divorce and other family-related legal services for clients in the Lansing area. Its attorneys are focused trial lawyers who are dedicated to negotiating fair terms on behalf of their clients. In addition to family law, the team the Abood Law Firm also practices in areas such as personal injury and criminal law. Managing attorney Andrew Abood has won a long list of awards for his work, including a Crystal Award of Recognition in 2014.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (27)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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The Harkness Law Firm, PLLC logo
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The Harkness Law Firm, PLLC

4121 Okemos Rd., Suite 17, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Harkness Law Firm, PLLC is a general practice that provides legal knowledge and representation to individuals, families, and businesses in Lansing and neighboring communities. Since 2008, its managing attorney, has been handling family law cases involving divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. Other areas of his practice include municipal law, criminal defense, civil litigation, estate planning, and business formation. He currently serves as Prosecuting Attorney for Meridian Township.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.6 / 5 (22)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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The Law Office of Gene F. Turnwald logo
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The Law Office of Gene F. Turnwald

2160 Hamilton Rd., Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Gene F. Turnwald offers legal services to clients in the Lansing metro. It represents both men and women in divorce proceedings and assists in matters such as asset division, spousal support, and parenting time. The law firm also handles other practice areas, including wills and trusts and real estate. Founding attorney Gene F. Turwald has been practicing in Florida and Michigan for over 25 years. He has been publishing a financial advice column in the Lansing State Journal for six years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (10)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Toby White Law logo
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Toby White Law

2199 Jolly Rd., Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Toby White Law is a full-service law firm that caters to the legal needs of clients in Lansing. The company offers legal representation and counsel to individuals who wish to file for divorce. Founding lawyer Toby White handles all family law and divorce-related matters, including child custody and support. He also represents clients who have been charged with drug crimes, DUI violations, violent crimes, domestic violence, theft, and juvenile crimes. Apart from his law admission, White holds a Master's degree in Business.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.6 / 5 (41)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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VP Law PLLC logo
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VP Law PLLC

420 South Waverly Road, Suite 1, Lansing, MI 48917
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

VP Law PLLC is a law firm that serves the Lansing metro. The firm is led by Conrad H. Vincent, who has been practicing law since 1997. As a seasoned litigator, Vincent represents clients in several practice areas including divorce. He aims to provide compassionate representation for his clients, especially during the difficult divorce process. He is capable of providing legal assistance in matters concerning property division, child custody, and child support. VP Law also handles prenuptial agreements.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Willingham & Coté, P.C. Attorneys at Law logo
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Willingham & Coté, P.C. Attorneys at Law

333 Albert Avenue, Suite 500, East Lansing, MI 48823
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Willingham & Coté, P.C. Attorneys at Law, has been serving families and individuals with divorce matters in the Lansing area since 1986. It assists clients in developing a strategy and plan for divorce proceedings and guides them through the process. It helps in handling related matters, such as spousal support, property division, child custody and visitation, and paternity disputes. Torree J. Breen, one of the firm's directors, has been in legal practice for over 20 years. She is a member of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Zoglio Law Offices logo
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Zoglio Law Offices

209 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge, MI 48837
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Zoglio Law Offices provides aggressive representation to individuals, families, and businesses in a variety of legal matters in Lansing. It assists clients in navigating the divorce process, seeking fair distribution of marital property and obtaining child custody arrangements that protect the interests of children. It also handles child support modifications to cater to the changing needs and circumstances of clients. Lead attorney David L. Zoglio has been in legal practice for over 20 years. He also covers matters involving personal injury and criminal law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.8 / 5 (20)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?

The steps required to file for divorce depend heavily on whether the divorce is contested, if there are minor children or property issues at stake, and if there are disagreements over child support or alimony. The process may also differ from state to state, but generally parties must:

  • File the divorce petition
  • Hire a process server to give the other party divorce papers/respond to the original petitioner's filing
  • Request temporary orders covering issues such as custody/visitation, support, and exclusive property use
  • Make financial disclosures
  • Request discovery from your spouse
  • Propose and/or consider a possible settlement
  • Go to trial if necessary
  • Receive a signed judgment from the court indicating the divorce is final
  • Address post-divorce tasks such as transferring property titles and closing joint bank accounts

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The cost of a divorce differs dramatically based on a litany of criteria, such as whether the divorce is contested, where the divorce petition is filed, and whether the divorce requires a professional intermediary or other legal expert. A simple, low-frills DIY divorce can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Add in mediation and the cost may jump to the mid-four figures and can easily reach $7,000 or more. Hire a lawyer and you may pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000+ if there are major custodial issue or complex financial concerns.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost?

Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and billing can vary dramatically. Some attorneys in more affordable markets and/or with less experience may charge as little as $75/hour. More experienced attorney or those who have large staffs, specialize in complex cases, or hold relevant certifications may charge premium rates in excess of $400/hour. Then there are the amount of hours invested; simple cases may be over in a matter of weeks while hotly contested divorces can drag on for years leading to lawyer's fees in the tens of thousands.

How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?

Divorce lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. It's important to find a lawyer whose skill set, experience, and resources align with the demands of each specific situation. For instance, some attorneys will push mediation while others are naturals in the courtroom.

  • Know your budget
  • Limit your search to lawyers experienced in family law
  • Zero in on lawyers or firms that can handle the complexities of divorce, especially any issues that may be specific to the current case
  • Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations, but remember that their situations and needs may not be the same
  • Conduct interviews to see who feels trustworthy and can spell out an approach that feels appropriate
  • Try to ignore ad campaigns and office décor and instead consider track record and skills

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on the major issues, such as custody of any minor children, child support, alimony, and how to divide any assets and/or debt. While uncontested divorces still require a judge to approve the terms of the divorcing couple's signed agreement, these relatively simple splits tend to move faster, cost less money, and are easier to execute without the help of a divorce lawyer. A divorce filing that goes unanswered by the non-petitioning party may also be considered uncontested.

Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?

It's possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, especially if the divorce is uncontested. Many states offer free divorce forms either online or at legal self-help centers located in or near family court. There are often dispute resolution resources available as well; mediation services can help iron out disputes over custody or financial support without involving lawyers. Still, a free consultation with a divorce lawyer can offer valuable insight, and contentious divorces, whether they go to trial or not, all but require legal representation.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The length of a divorce is contingent on four things: each state's mandatory waiting period, whether the divorce is uncontested or contested, how quickly both sides can come to an agreement, and how quickly a judge is able to hear or review the case and sign off. The best-case scenario is an uncontested divorce in a state with a short waiting period which could see a divorce finalized in a matter of weeks. For divorces with highly combative parties, long discovery periods, and other complications, a decision could take months or even years.

How to prepare for divorce?

It's difficult to ever feel truly prepared for the rigors of divorce, but there are several steps that can make the process more bearable and allow for a more positive outcome:

  • Interview attorneys
  • Locate and make copies of important documents like mortgage and car titles, insurance policies, business licenses, financial records, bank statements, and income tax returns
  • Take inventory of valuable household items that should be considered later while splitting assets
  • Make a detailed list of monthly expenses, including utilities, rent or mortgage, childcare, kids' activities like sports or dance classes, school tuition, and insurance
  • Know what the respondent's income is, including any income from self-employment, stock dividends, and interest
  • Double-check credit history and evaluate both short- and long-term earning potential
  • Set goals for ideal custody arrangement, support amounts, and living arrangements
  • Get support from friends and family

What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?

Most courts follow state laws that consider an engagement ring to be the recipient's property once a wedding takes place, which means it remains that recipient's individual property even after a divorce. Other states categorize engagement rings as marital property and as such the ring is subject to the same division of assets as a house or art collection might be. For spouses who get to keep their jewelry, engagement rings can be sold, dismantled and repurposed, returned to the original buyer, or kept and handed down to any children the marriage may have produced.

What is divorce mediation?

When divorces get heated or even just have the potential to become messy, a neutral third party can help calm both parties and resolve issues without the need for a trial. This is called mediation. A great mediator is unbiased and invested in a balanced, fair outcome; they will ideally listen to both parties, encourage respectful discussions, and raise questions or concerns when appropriate. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare documents detailing the agreed-upon terms. Using a mediator only works if both sides are willing to meet and discuss a compromise, but doing so can save a considerable amount of time, money, emotional strain, and overall stress.

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