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Best Family Lawyers in Lansing

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Bailey & Terranova Attorneys at Law logo
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Bailey & Terranova Attorneys at Law

2211 Association Dr. Suite 600, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Bailey & Terranova Attorneys at Law protects the interests of clients facing complex family disputes in Lansing. It seeks effective resolution to divorce, spousal support, child custody and support, parenting time, and asset division. Its client-centered approach includes determining factors affecting alimony amount and frequency, explaining the impact of residing in an equitable property state, drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and modifying and enforcing judgments. As an ADAM Network member, the Okemos-based law firm advocates for the rights of fathers and husbands in divorce and custody proceedings.

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Baldori Law logo
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Baldori Law

2719 Mt Hope Rd, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Baldori Law brings more than four decades of legal experience serving the needs of Lansing individuals, couples, and families. The practice handles a wide variety of family law disputes, particularly those involving divorce, child custody, marital assets, spousal and child support payments, and parenting time, and its team aims to help clients resolve issues in a rational, clearheaded way. Other areas of practice include cannabis law, general business litigation, DUIs and license restoration, and expungement.

Berry Law Offices, PLC logo
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Berry Law Offices, PLC

2295 Sower Blvd., Okemos, MI 48805
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Berry Law Offices, PLC, caters to individuals and businesses in the Lansing metro and the surrounding areas. It offers legal guidance and representation in various family law issues, including adoption, conservatorship, domestic violence, guardianship, and grandparents' rights. It also resolves divorce-related matters, such as alimony, child custody and support, and property division. In addition to resolving family disputes, Berry Law Offices takes on cases related to business, criminal defense, personal injury, and workers' compensation law.

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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Crenshaw Peterson & Associates PC logo
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Crenshaw Peterson & Associates PC

2157 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864
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  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Crenshaw Peterson & Associates PC serves the legal needs of clients in the Lansing metro. It deals with family law issues such as prenuptial agreements, which are used to complete the remaining estate planning paperwork. Tara Peterson, the firm's principal lawyer, has been advising clients on estate planning for over a decade. She has a certificate of completion from the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in estate planning, probate, and elder law. The firm has three locations: Jackson, Okemos, and Midland.

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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DeBruin Law logo
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DeBruin Law

321 W. Lake Lansing Rd Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

DeBruin Law caters to families and individuals in and around Lansing. It addresses the legal concerns of clients in various aspects of family law. The practice represents couples dealing with separation issues. It helps parents file divorce disputes and create strategies on how they can resolve domestic violence, guardianship, alimony or spousal support, and child custody lawsuits. It also takes on criminal law matters. Principal partner Tiffany DeBruin is the former president of the Clinton County Bar Association.

Professionalism:

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Gallagher Law Firm, PLC logo
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Gallagher Law Firm, PLC

2408 Lake Lansing Road, Lansing, MI 48912
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Gallagher Law Firm, PLC, is a multi-practice firm representing individuals and businesses throughout Lansing. It helps families resolve domestic relations disputes related to divorce, adoptions, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Its attorneys, who have completed alternative dispute resolution training, serve as case evaluators and mediators. They work directly with clients, allowing them to monitor cases and quickly react to developments. The firm's founder, Pat Gallagher has litigated cases before the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals.

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Savage Legal Group logo
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Savage Legal Group

1483 Haslett Road, Haslett, MI 48840
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  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Savage Legal Group helps Lansing residents with family law issues. It provides full-service representation for divorce, child custody and support, adoption, legal name change, and post-divorce judgment motions. When possible, the firm works to resolve disputes through out-of-court negotiations and can facilitate a collaborative divorce. It also serves clients who require limited representation from a family law attorney, such as assistance with hearings or the preparation of legal documents. Kim Savage, the firm's founder, represents clients in federal and state courts across Michigan.

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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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