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Family Law/Divorce

The most important consideration in your divorce is you. Our number one priority is ensuring that you are informed throughout the legal process. With locations throughout the state, including Detroit, Macomb County, Midland, Muskegon, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo, we can provide legal services to you anywhere in Michigan.

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Divorce Lawyers - Kent County Michigan

The most effective way for us to provide you legal advice is to schedule an initial consultation at our Kent County (Grand Rapids) office, or any of our other offices throughout Michigan. The purpose of our initial consultation is to discuss the specifics of your legal matter and provide you with sound legal advice on how to meet your goals and objectives. All communications and information you share with us is in the utmost of confidence and privacy.

We welcome you to contact one of our trusted attorneys in Kent County to schedule a consultation.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Family Law and Divorce Lawyers
150 Ottawa Ave, NW, Suite 1500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487
(616) 752-2000
rroane@wnj.com

Kent County Family Law and Divorce Resources

Friend of the Court:

The Kent County Friend of the Court is the collection, enforcement and investigative arm of the 17th Circuit Court in the area of domestic relations. Actions taken by the office are dictated by court order. Orders are issued by the court after the judge has made a determination and the written document is signed, then filed with the county clerk. To obtain a domestic relations order from the court, the issue has to be brought before the court through formal legal action. This is accomplished through private attorneys, sometimes the prosecuting attorney or by action of one of the parties. The Friend of the Court does not become involved until action is filed with the court.

Resources

Divorce Lawyers - Oakland County Michigan

The most effective way for us to provide legal advice is to schedule an initial consultation at our Oakland County (Bloomfield Hills) office, or any of our other offices throughout Michigan. The purpose of our initial consultation is to discuss the specifics of your legal matter and provide you with sound legal advice on how to meet your goals and objectives. All communications and information you share with us is in the utmost of confidence and privacy.

We welcome you to contact one of our trusted attorneys in Oakland County to schedule a consultation.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Family Law and Divorce Lawyers
40701 Woodward Ave., Ste. 105
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-5078
(248) 784-5100
nsater@wnj.com

Oakland County Family Law/Divorce Resources

Family Division of the Circuit Court:

The Family Division of the Circuit Court handles all family legal matters. Family Division cases involving a single family are assigned to a judicial team consisting of the judge, referees, case assistants, and family counselors.

Friend of the Court:

The Oakland County Friend of the Court provides services to parties with minor children involving divorce, family support, interstate and paternity cases. The Friend of the Court is involved if a case is heard by the Circuit Court and if there are minor children involved. Friend of the Court duties cover custody, parenting time and child support.

Divorce Lawyers - Ottawa County Michigan

The most effective way for us to provide legal advice is to schedule an initial consultation at our Ottawa County (Holland) office, or any of our other offices throughout Michigan. The purpose of our initial consultation is to discuss the specifics of your legal matter and provide you with sound legal advice on how to meet your goals and objectives. All communications and information you share with us is in the utmost of confidence and privacy.

We welcome you to contact one of our trusted attorneys in Ottawa County to schedule a consultation.

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Family Law and Divorce Lawyers
99 East Eighth Street, Ste. 200
Holland, MI 49423-3562
(616) 396-9800

Ottawa County Family Law and Divorce Resources

Family Court

The Ottawa County Friend of the Court Office is part of the 20th Judicial Circuit Court — Family Division (known as “Family Court”) and is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of the children in domestic relations matters.

Friend of the Court duties:

  • To investigate, report, and recommend to the Family Court which parent should have custody of minor children.
  • To enforce all child support orders, including medical support orders, entered by the Family Court.
  • To insure that children’s rights to parenting time with the non-custodial parents are protected, and to enforce parenting time rights ordered by the Family Court when parenting time is denied.

Resources

Divorce

Grounds for Divorce in Michigan

Michigan is considered a ‘no-fault’ state for divorce. Generally, this means that once residency and filing requirements are met, Michigan law allows a divorce to be granted if one spouse simply states that the marriage has irretrievably broken down or the couple has irreconcilable differences, regardless of whether the other spouse agrees to the divorce.

This can be misleading, however, in that fault may be very much at issue if there is a dispute about alimony, property, child support, parenting time or custody. We can advise you on how fault may factor into your specific case.

Divorce Procedure/Timeline

Once you meet with an attorney and decide to initiate a divorce, the length of the divorce process will depend on the statutory waiting period before a divorce can be granted, and the specific circumstances of your case. Once the complaint, the initial document that starts your divorce, is filed, it may take up to one year for a judgment of divorce, the final document that finishes your divorce, to be filed.

This will depend on the specific issues that need to be addressed as part of the divorce, and your attorney will discuss this with you during your initial consultation.

This will also depend on how much discovery is conducted.  The discovery phase allows each party to discover the facts and investigate the issues in the divorce. Types of discovery include depositions, requests to admit, subpoenas and interrogatories. Other professionals may be also consulted during the divorce process, such as appraisers, accountants, actuaries, vocational rehabilitation specialists or psychological professionals.

Completion of the discovery process will give you the “big picture” of the issues and marital assets to be divided, allowing you and your attorney to properly discuss your strategies and settlement options.

Concluding your Divorce

The divorce can be concluded through various avenues to resolve the contested issues, including:

  • Settlement:  The parties may reach a resolution of the issues amongst themselves. We recommend this route if the parties have been cooperative throughout the process, and if the attorneys are involved in the settlement process.
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Trial

Complex Asset and Business Valuation

When a business or other asset constitutes the bulk of the marital estate, the valuation of that asset can be very important in achieving a successful settlement or verdict in the case. Warner Norcross & Judd attorneys have experience working with the most qualified business valuation experts in Michigan, and understand the valuation techniques used by such experts. This experience is vital in selecting and working with a valuation expert, and challenging an opposing expert when necessary.

Different approaches to business valuation can result in vastly different opinions regarding value, and it is critical that the attorney understand the valuation method being applied and the financial data which is being considered by the expert. In particular, the attorney must also be familiar with Michigan’s strict requirements for expert opinions to be admissible in court in order to effectively present evidence if the case is tried.

Certain business valuation issues are unique to the divorce setting, such as a “holder’s interest” valuation, and how a “double dip” may affect spousal and child support payments. Warner attorneys understand these challenges. They also have experience with developing creative ways to structure a property settlement so that both parties receive fair value while allowing the business to remain economically viable.

Contact any of our family law attorneys for assistance with complex asset and business valuations.

Spousal Support/Alimony

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial support provided to one’s spouse. Spousal support may be temporarily awarded during the divorce process, and awarded after the divorce to help an ex-spouse with his or her support.
The court considers several factors, including:

  • Past relations and conduct of the parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Abilities of the parties to work
  • Source and amount of property to be awarded to the parties
  • Parties’ ages
  • The abilities of the parties to pay alimony
  • Present situation of the parties
  • Needs of the parties
  • Parties’ health
  • Prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others
  • Contributions of the parties to the joint estate
  • General principles of equity

There is no rigid formula for determining spousal support, and a court may give different weight to each factor. A judgment of divorce must either award spousal support, or state that neither party is entitled to spousal support, or where silent as to either, reserving spousal support for a future determination by the court.

You will have two options:

  • Non-modifiable spousal support, which cannot be changed, increased or decreased once the divorce is final.
  • Modifiable spousal support, which can be increased or decreased in amount and duration based on a change in circumstances of the parties. If a court determines based on the factors that spousal support is justified, it can only award modifiable spousal support. Additionally, there are various tax consequences to structuring spousal support payments.

We are highly knowledgeable in providing you the necessary information about the benefits of non-modifiable and modifiable spousal support and evaluating the most beneficial tax consequences so that you can make an informed decision and to negotiate spousal support as part of an overall resolution of the financial issues involved in the divorce process. We are ready to assist you in understanding and protecting your rights.

We have experience in representing both men and women in spousal support cases, and our extensive experience puts you in the best position to achieving the optimal resolution. To  learn more about spousal support and the risks and advantages with spousal support options, contact any of our family law specialists.

Child Custody and Parenting Time

Child Custody

Determining who will be the custodial parent after a divorce can be the most emotional and difficult issue in divorce cases.

There are two different components to custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody determines who makes major decisions for the child while physical custody/residency determines who will be the predominant caretaker of the child. Absent extraordinary circumstances, Michigan courts generally favor joint legal custody. However, every case has unique facts that may warrant a deviation from joint legal custody.

If parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the court will make the decision. The court is guided in its decision by “best interests of the child”. Michigan law provides several factors to be considered when determining what is in the child’s best interests, including:

  • Love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance and continuation of the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs
  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity
  • Permanence, as a family unity, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes
  • Moral fitness of the parties involved
  • Mental and physical health of the parties involved
  • Home, school and community record of the child
  • Reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference
  • Willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Domestic violence, whether or not it occurred in the child’s presence
  • Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute

Your attorney will review the factors with you to determine what is in your child’s best interests and how they apply to your particular situation.

Modification: Child custody orders may be modified until the child turns 18, and only if there is a change in circumstances or proper cause sufficient to justify a change.

Parenting Time

Parties have a right to parenting time with the child, absent extenuating circumstances. A parenting time schedule is often laid out in the judgment of divorce and provides specific criteria pertaining to the time a child spends with each parent. However, parents are encouraged to work together for the child’s best interest.

Parenting time is awarded to a parent in a frequency, duration and type in order to encourage a strong relationship between the child and their parent. The court may consider several factors when determining the frequency, duration and type of parenting time, including:

  • Existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child
  • Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of age, or less than 1 year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing
  • Reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time
  • Reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of parenting time
  • Inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the child of traveling for purposes of parenting time
  • Whether a parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order
  • Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time
  • Threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a third person who has legal custody
  • Any other relevant factors

Some Michigan counties have developed a model/reasonable parenting time schedule to assist parties in fashioning a schedule that works for their particular case.

Modification: Parenting time orders may be modified as the child’s age and circumstances change. This tends to rely on the facts and each case is unique. For the court to consider a modification of the existing parenting time schedule, a party must be able to prove that there is either a “change in circumstances” or “good cause” that justifies revisiting the parenting time schedule. Also, there is a tougher standard to meet if the parenting time modification would amount to a change in custody. Our family law specialists can assist you filing a petition and gathering the information necessary for a request to a change in the parenting time.

Child Support

A child has an inherent right to financial support from both parents. Child support is the court-ordered payment of money from a parent to the other parent for the support of a child. The Michigan Child Support Formula lays out a consistent formula Michigan courts are required to use to calculate child support. Factors that affect child support will include:

  • Income of each parent
  • Parenting time/overnights
  • Health care premiums
  • Childcare costs
  • Tax Exemptions
  • Extraordinary needs of a child

The Child Support Formula also determines the percentage of uninsured/unreimbursed medical expenses each parent will contribute on an annual basis.

Deviation from the Formula

The Michigan Child Support Formula, however, does allow for deviations in certain cases, such as when parents have substantial incomes that cause child support to be much higher than reasonably necessary or when the calculated support is insufficient for a child who has extraordinary needs.

Modification and Enforcement

Child support is modifiable if there is a change of circumstances. Also, a parent may petition for a child support review every three years. Child support is payable until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school (but not past 19 1/2 years of age). Enforcement of child support and unpaid medical bills for the child can be sought by a motion to the Friend of the Court.

The Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) manages the child support payments. You can access their child support account online at www.MiSDU.com.

Third Party Relationships

Paternity

The newly enacted Revocation of Paternity Act in Michigan has opened many doors for biological fathers to petition for establishing the paternity of the child. The Revocation of Paternity Act allows a mother, biological father or presumed father to file an action to establish the paternity of a child.  The Revocation of Paternity Act, however, provides a short time period within which to ask the court to make that determination.  It is imperative that you protect your rights.

We have experience in protecting clients’ rights and maintaining the privacy and confidentiality in effectively assisting clients in the process of establishing paternity.

Grandparents Rights

Grandparents in Michigan can petition the court for grandparenting time under certain and factually specific circumstances outlined under Michigan law (MCL 722.27b).  Although the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that a parent’s rights are paramount to those of a grandparent, see Troxel v. Grandville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), grandparents still have the opportunity to ensure that their grandchildren are raised in a safe and stable home environment with the love and nurturing to grow into thriving adults where, for instance, the parents are incarcerated or there are allegations of abuse of the child.

It is especially difficult and heartbreaking for a grandparent whose own child has passed away, and the living parent does not, for whatever reason, permit visitation with the grandparent.  We understand how much you value the grandparent relationship and we are committed to protecting the bond between you and your grandchild.  At Warner Norcross & Judd, we are knowledgeable in the nuances of the law protecting grandparents and are fully devoted to ensuring your rights are protected and fostered.

Adoptions

Adopting a child can be a challenging, yet rewarding, experience.  We specialize in step-parent and grandparent adoptions in Michigan.  Each county has different guidelines regarding the procedure for petitioning for adoption of a child.

The length and complexity of the adoption process can be impacted by the willingness of the parties involved to cooperate.

Guardians and Conservators

A guardian and conservator may be necessary if a person is unable to make informed decisions or legally manage their affairs because they are a minor, mentally incapacitated.

A guardian is appointed by the court to take charge of personal affairs, such as where the person will live and medical decisions for that person.  For a minor, the court can appoint a guardian only under limited circumstances.  For example, the court can appoint a guardian if the minor is living with someone else with a parent’s permission or the parents have passed away.  There are other circumstances in which obtaining guardianship over a minor is possible.  A conservator is appointed by the court to manage the person’s finances.  A conservator for a minor is needed if the minor owns assets that require management or protection.

We have experience handling adult and minor guardianship and conservatorship matters in many counties across Michigan. Any person concerned about an individual’s welfare can file a petition for appointment of a guardian or conservator.  In most cases, the appointed guardian or conservator is a family member.

Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Statistics show that for married couples, finances are an overwhelming cause for martial conflict and divorce.  However, approached the right way, a prenuptial agreement can actually strengthen the bonds of marriage and encourage a productive, healthy discussion of finances and expectations.  Although a necessary step to a stable marriage, talking about money is very difficult and not a topic many people are comfortable discussing.

Approached the wrong way, a prenuptial agreement can appear to put up a wall, saying, “I love you, but ….”  Keeping these emotional components of money in mind, how you approach the topic and negotiation of a prenuptial agreement will greatly impact its likelihood of success.  At Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, we are committed to assisting you with the financial and emotional process from how to approach the financial discussion with your significant other to negotiating and drafting the terms of the prenuptial agreement.  We also have a great number of resources at hand, including trust and estate planning and tax attorneys, that can provide assistance with your financial present and future.

Start your marriage off with success by consulting with one of our family law attorneys.

For reference, read Prenuptial Agreements and the Elephant in the Room, by Susan Meyers.

Post-Nuptial Agreements

Post-nuptial agreements are an effective tool for a married couple that has separated or filed for divorce and is contemplating reconciliation.  Post-nuptial agreements are helpful where the specific intent of the parties is to resolve disputes regarding their respective financial rights and responsibilities which have arisen during the marriage and resulted in marital discord and a breakdown of the marriage.

We can assist you in navigating the muddy waters of the enforcement of post-nuptial agreements in Michigan to offer you the best advice to promote love, respect, harmony, and marital stability between you and your spouse going forward.  We are very knowledgeable of the laws governing post-nuptial agreements and can assist you in structuring your finances to promote marital harmony.  Each case will be unique in its circumstances.

Contact one of our family law specialists to assist you in determining whether a post-nuptial agreement is in your best interest.

Same-Sex Relationships

As a result of the US Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision, federal recognition of same-sex married couples has become the law of the land.  Although there are presently several states in which same-sex couples may marry, Michigan does not allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Same-sex couples who travel to one of the Marriage Equality states and are married there but live in Michigan end up with federal recognition of their marriage but they are not recognized as married by Michigan for any purpose whatsoever.

In the meantime, married same-sex couples living in Michigan have limited legal rights and recognition, as well as conflicting rights.  For instance, they must file federal income tax returns as a married couple, but they are prohibited from the same filing for state of Michigan purposes. They may be entitled to a federal adoption tax benefit but they are legally prohibited from jointly adopting children. If their marriage breaks down, they do not have access to the circuit court in their county of residence to file for divorce because the Michigan Constitution prohibits the court from recognizing their marriage even though the federal government recognizes it.

Therefore, it is extremely important that same-sex couples have appropriate advance planning documents in place to address a variety of legal scenarios they may face. These documents include partnership or relationship agreements (similar to pre-nuptial agreements), advance directives for medical care and treatment, durable powers of attorney for financial decisions, estate planning including wills or trusts as their financial picture requires, and designation of guardianship for themselves and their children if they are parents of minor children.

Our attorneys have particular expertise in this family law practice area and can assist in the preparation of the estate planning and other relationship planning documents that can be critical to address potential legal troubles in light of the limited recognition of same-sex couples and their unique legal needs. In the event of dissolution of a same-sex relationship or marriage, our attorneys are trained as mediators to serve as a neutral to help facilitate a resolution. Through constant legal research and as a result of speaking engagements all over the country, we stay on top of the latest law in this rapidly developing legal area. Additionally, we can serve as an advocate for a client who finds themselves in need of dissolution of a same-sex relationship or marriage.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Family Law attorneys at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP are committed to representing you and helping you resolve your domestic relations matter in the most efficient and timely manner possible. In some cases, the only way to resolve the disputes is through litigation – preparing legal arguments, witnesses, documents and evidence necessary to be presented at trial for an ultimate decision by the judge. However, a vast majority of cases settle without going to trial or perhaps with very little court or judicial involvement at all. Alternatives to trials include mediation, arbitration and collaborative practice.

Domestic Relations Mediation

This is a voluntary and facilitative process which involves a trained, neutral third party, the mediator, who convenes a session or series of mediation sessions to hear the respective positions of the parties in an effort to help them reach a negotiated settlement.  The mediator does not make recommendations or issue rulings.  As a facilitator of effective communications between two disputing parties, the mediator has special training at helping to break impasse in negotiations, applies negotiation principles and processes and works towards the ultimate goal of helping the parties reach a settlement agreement.  In mediation, the parties have control of the outcome as opposed to a decision made by a judge and imposed upon the parties.  Mediation also provides privacy and confidentiality that is not available in the public setting of an open courtroom. This process usually costs less in professional fees than traditional litigation.

Domestic Relations Arbitration

This is a process whereby the parties agree to have a private, third party arbitrator make all decisions in their case instead of the judge assigned to the case.  Domestic Relations Arbitration is controlled by the Michigan Domestic Relations Arbitration Act, a set of rules setting forth minimum requirements for arbitrators, directing the process and scheduling of sessions, and setting rules and guidelines to be followed throughout the process.  Arbitration provides privacy that is not otherwise available in the public setting of a courtroom.  Arbitration is binding and there are extremely limited opportunities to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. Parties select arbitration for a variety of reasons including privacy, control over the scheduling of arbitration sessions and ability to select a decision maker other than the assigned judge. This process usually costs less in professional fees than traditional litigation.

Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Practice cases involve a variety of collaborative, trained professionals including a lawyer for each party, sometimes a divorce coach for each party or one coach shared between the parties, a financial planner and a child expert. A series of sessions are scheduled to address and resolve all issues in the case, including child custody and parenting time, child and spousal support, attorney’s fees, property valuation and division, and all other pertinent issues for resolution.  If a collaborative case falls out of the process, the professionals and parties have already agreed in advance that the professionals will not go to court, requiring the parties to engage in new lawyers and experts. This loss of investment of time and money in the case thus far helps to keep parties at the table working in the collaborative model toward a resolution, rather than going to court.  This process usually costs less in professional fees than traditional litigation.

Post Divorce

The judgment of divorce is the document that finalizes the divorce process, and declares your rights and responsibilities after the divorce. We understand that your life at the time of your divorce may not be the same years from now and lifestyles are different.  We at Warner Norcross & Judd strive to protect our clients’ legal rights when seeking to modify or enforce post-judgment matters involving spousal support, child support, child custody and parenting time modifications.   We work diligently to ensure that our clients are involved and knowledgeable every step of the way, whether it be understanding the standards for modifying parenting time before requesting a court to make changes to the parenting time schedule, to ensuring that sufficient discovery is conducted into the financial circumstances of each party to determine whether a child support modification is feasible.

Contact our family law specialists to consult one on one regarding modification or enforcement of your rights, including:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Parenting Time
  • Spousal Support

Testimonials

“I just want to give you a sincere thank you for all you have done for me. The process was completely foreign to me. You helped me be comfortable with what was going on, but most of all you are extremely talented, compassionate and hardworking individuals. Thanks again.” – Derrin

***

“Thanks for everything you did to ensure this divorce progressed smoothly and swiftly. You were very thorough and informative. I’m really happy I had you on my side in this process. Thank you again!” – Karen S.

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“I had significant post divorce issues that included parenting time, child support and uninsured medical costs.  After meeting with several lawyers from top firms, I knew quickly in my initial meeting with Nazli Sater that she was the lawyer I needed to hire.  Nazli developed a legal strategy to obtain my families goals and successfully navigated us through the court system.  We were able to achieve an outcome that was better than I had anticipated.  Nazli is an expert in family law and a highly skilled negotiator.  Nazli was very attentive, responsive and actually cared about my family.  I highly recommend Nazli Sater.” – Bernice M.

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“I’m very happy and thankful for your devoted, aggressive when needed and responsive representation. I definitely made the right choice in selecting Warner Norcross & Judd and am extremely happy with the representation I received from Roquia and Nazli.” – Matt W.
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“This difficult ordeal was made much easier because of you. From the very beginning you demonstrated a genuine concern for my well-being—this made me comfortable and confident being in your care. And the end result was just what I wished for! I’ll be sure to call you and your firm for any future legal needs.” – Courtney H.
***

“I interviewed three other attorneys before selecting Nazli Sater to represent me during my divorce. Without a doubt, it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Through the entire process I had the attentive support of Nazli and I felt like I had her entire team behind me to take care of my every need.” – Jeff S.

***

As a male, initiating my divorce, I felt that my best chances for an equitable outcome were to retain the services of a female attorney. Ms. Nazli Sater with the firm Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP was recommended. At my initial consultation, I became quickly impressed with her conduct, professionalism and honesty. Throughout the entire process she always pursued actions that were in my best interest yet maintained a sense of realistic fairness. She is extremely knowledgeable and offered advice whenever appropriate. More importantly, she was very empathetic towards my situation and the difficult time I was experiencing. There was a demonstrated concern for me, not just as a client, but as a person. In retrospect, I truly appreciated her balance of legal skills and abilities combined with a genuine compassion.” – Nick M.

***

My mother was involved in a very difficult divorce after 52 years of marriage. The support she received from Nazli, Lucy, and Cindi was terrific. These ladies really work as a team in terms of communication and accessibility. There was always someone that could be contacted directly and questions/issues were handled with extreme professionalism. Always the first consideration was my mother’s perspective. Her wishes were always the driving concern with the legal team. There were several occasions when immediate action was required and Nazli was able to juggle her commitments (not sure how she even did it!) but she really came through at the absolute critical time for my mother. This high level of dedication and genuine concern for their clients is what I will remember most about working with this talented team!” – Kimberly P.

***

I came to Warner Norcross & Judd in December 2012 after I realized my marriage was over. I was able to have Lucy Araj take my case on and felt from the start this would be an efficient and fast process. My ex-husband and I were able to work out most items on our own and with the advice of Ms. Araj, come to a mutual agreement on how to separate the marital assets. We were so confident in Ms. Araj’s abilities that he never hired anyone to represent him. All of my questions and concerns about the process and outcomes were answered in a timely manner. Ms. Araj was able to complete the entire process within the quickest time frame allowed by the State of Michigan. I appreciate her help, advice, and guidance through this period of my life and I am happy to recommend Warner Norcross & Judd to anyone else looking for excellent representation. In fact, so far I have been able to recommend two others who have utilized this firm since and although their situations varied from mine, they have had nothing, but great things to say about the firm and their process as well. – Melissa W.

***

Awards

Our commitment to providing unsurpassed counsel and service to our clients is at the core of everything we do, earning top ratings for us year after year. Here are some of the awards bestowed on attorneys in our Family Law Practice Group:

Nazli G. Sater

  • Best Lawyers in America, Family Law and Family Law Arbitration, 2018-Present
  • Top Lawyer in Family Law by DBusiness in 2010, 2012-13, 2019-21
  • Michigan Super Lawyers Women’s Edition, 2018-Present
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2009-10, 2013-Present
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as 2015 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
dbusiness-Top-Lawyers SuperLawyers AV

Richard A. Roane

  • Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, 2009-Present
  • Top Lawyer in Family Law (2019-21) and Mediation (2021), Grand Rapids Magazine
  • Named the Best Lawyers’ 2021, 2020 and 2012 Grand Rapids Family Law Mediation Lawyer of the Year
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers, 2010
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2007-Present
  • Michael Barnes Pro-Bono Service Award, 1995
BestLawyers AV SuperLawyers

Speaking Engagements

Nazli G. Slater:

  • American Institute of CPAs: Fraud in Divorce, Nazli Sater
  • Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan: Child Custody, Nazli Sater

Richard A. Roane:

  • Approaching Prenuptial Agreements Positively, Family Office Exchange Webinar, September 18, 2019
  • Family Business Alliance: Prenup Workshop, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Richard Roane, 2/14/2019
  • State Bar of Michigan’s 2019 Summer Conference: The Heart of In Vitro Fertilization / Surrogacy Contracts, Peter Kulas-Dominguez and Richard Roane, 7/11/2019 – 7/13/2019
  • Family Office Exchange Webinar, Approaching Prenuptial Agreements Positively, Richard Roane, 9/18/2019
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers European Chapter Meeting: Who is a Parent and Who is a Child in a Same Sex Family – Legislation and Judicial Issues for LGBT Families Post-Separation from European and U.S. Perspectives, Lisbon, Portugal, Richard Roane, 3/24/2017
  • State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section Annual Legal Summit: One Year After Obergefell – Impact on Michigan Families, Richard Roane, 6/4/2016
  • No More Same Sex Marriage – Marriage is Marriage. Period!A Marriage Equality Update after Obergefell; Richard Roane, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 7/2015; Kansas City, Missouri, 9/2015; Portland, Oregon, 10/2015; Novi, Michigan, 11/2015; Atlanta, Georgia, 12/2015
  • ICLE Family Law Institute: The Changing Face of Today’s Family and Its Impact on Family Law, Novi, MI, Richard Roane 11/12/2015
  • AAML Webinar: After Obergefell, Richard Roane, 11/2015

Roquia K. Draper:

  • Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education: Discovery in the Electronic Age, Roquia Draper, 2019
  • Michigan Supreme Court Judicial Conference: Remand-Proofing Your Attorney Fee Award, Roquia Draper, 2019
  • Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education: Requesting Attorney Fees in a Divorce Case, Roquia Draper, 2017

Your Initial Consultation

The most effective way for us to provide you legal advice is to schedule an initial consultation.  The purpose of our initial consultation is to discuss the specifics of your legal matter and provide you with sound legal advice on how to meet your goals and objectives.  All communications and information you share with us is in the utmost of confidence and privacy.

We welcome you to contact one of our trusted attorneys to schedule a consultation.

In Metro Detroit contact Nazli Sater at 248.784.5178 or nsater@wnj.com. In West Michigan contact Richard Roane at 616.752.2367 or rroane@wnj.com.

 

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.