Top Lawyers 2008

Kirsten L. KeilitzUp and Coming

Kirsten L. Keilitz: Lewis, Schuknecht & Keilitz, P.C., Traverse City
The Brief: William Mitchell College of Law; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D., 1993
Practice Areas: Domestic Relations, Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody, Misdemeanors, Criminal Defense, Civil Practice.

Describe your approach in your practice.

Pragmatic—acting as a guide through the process. I attempt not to interject my personality. There are already two personalities involved, and if you count the other lawyer, three. At the same time I am a strong advocate for my clients, dotting i’s and crossing t’s.

What simplifies a divorce case?

When both parties have a sense of the finances of the household. It’s really tough when someone comes in, and I ask what their husband made last year, and they have no idea. If you are not the one who regularly pays the bills, keep a handle on what is going on.

How do you measure success in your practice?

If the parties strike a deal that basically works for their situation. Michigan divorce law says that marital assets should be divided in a fair and equitable manner. Also if there is a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children: it’s not dad’s time with the kids, it’s the kids’ time with dad; it’s not mom’s time with the kids, it’s the kids’ time with mom.

What is your advice for people looking for a divorce attorney?

I tell people to find someone they are comfortable with. They should do consultations with three different lawyers. I find that their choices are not necessarily gender related.