Duly Noted

Miller Johnson family law group offers option of collaborative practice

Joseph H. Doele, Michael B. Quinn and Connie R. Thacker, experienced family law attorneys, now offer collaborative practice as a solution for divorce, child custody/parenting issues, and division of property/assets.

A collaborative divorce begins with a signed agreement by both parties to reach a  settlement without going through the courts. The goal is to reach a solution that is equitable and  meets the interests of both spouses and children. The process focuses on full disclosure while respecting dignity and preserving privacy.

A conventional divorce is traditionally litigation-intensive and often adversarial, with multiple court dates. In a collaborative practice,  each party is represented by lawyers who are trained collaborative professionals as well as an  interdisciplinary team as desired.  The team can include financial professionals, mental health  professionals acting as divorce coaches, child specialists, and at times a mediator.

Doele, Quinn and Thacker have been trained through the Collaborative Practice  Institute of Michigan and are members of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. (In Michigan, less than 75 attorneys are members of IACP.)

Doele has been practicing law for 25 years.  He is recognized by “The Best Lawyers in  America®” for Family Law.  He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section.  He is also a State of Michigan Court Certified Domestic Relations Mediator.

Quinn has been practicing law since 1977 and is the chair of Miller Johnson’s Family Law practice group.  Quinn is recognized as Best Lawyers 2013 Grand Rapids Family Law Lawyer of the Year and named in “The Best Lawyers in America®” for Family Law - Mediation. Quinn is a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and is the treasurer for the Michigan Chapter of AAML. He is a Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellow and past chair of the Grand Rapids Bar Family Law Section.

Thacker has practiced law for almost 20 years.  In addition to being a Fellow in the AAML, she is also the co-chair of the national AAML’s Alternative Family Committee.  She is named in “The Best Lawyers in America®” for Family Law  and was recognized as Best Lawyers 2012 Grand Rapids Family Law Lawyer of the Year.  She is a Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellow.  Thacker recently chaired the Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan and is the current chair of the Grand Rapids Bar Association Family Law  Council.