Are you headed for divorce? If so, don't go there without the assistance of a strong and experienced family law attorney. I'm Tom Kates. I have been practicing law in West Michigan for over 25 years and I'm ready to assist you in working toward a resolution of your divorce or custody case. The stakes are high in family court and the legal process can be intimidating. I am a seasoned trial attorney and I've assisted thousands of people as they navigate the complex and often confusing legal system. In addition, I am a domestic mediator. I help people resolve their cases through the mediation process.
You'll notice that this website is filled with a wealth of information about divorce, child custody, property division, alimony and other aspects of family law, my area of specialization. Please review it carefully as I believe it may answer many of your questions.
The decision of who to hire as your attorney is the first of many important ones you will need to make as you enter this new chapter in your life. Before considering if I am the right attorney to assist you, there are some things I would like you to know about me and how I practice law.
First, I am a former educator. I earned my Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University in 1983 and taught special education for five years, working my way through law school. I have been a resident of West Michigan since 1989 when I graduated from Wayne State University Law School. For the first seven years of my career, I was a member of one of West Michigan's largest litigation firms. While there I learned the fine art of trial practice from some of our state's finest litigators. Unlike many young lawyers, I did not learn by trial and error, but through the mentoring and guidance of skilled lawyers, many of whom had thirty or more years of courtroom experience. This was an excellent way to begin a legal career, and I am forever grateful to the seasoned lawyers who served as my role models and helped me hone my skills to excellence. After leaving that firm in 1997, I worked as a partner in a small general practice law firm in Northern Michigan for several years before settling in the Holland, Michigan area in 2002. Since 2007 I have been in solo law practice focusing almost exclusively on family law.
I have chosen to concentrate on family law because it is a practice area where I can use my skills as a trial lawyer, negotiator and compassionate counselor to assist people in resolving legal matters of great importance as they deal with some of life's greatest challenges.
As you review the materials on this site, remember: Choosing an attorney is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Having the right attorney can set the stage for a favorable outcome in your case. Take time to ask questions of me along the way. I am confident that, if you do, you will learn that I have the knowledge, temperament and courtroom skills to help you protect what's most important to you in your family law case.
I serve clients in divorce, custody, and related family law matters in Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon and Allegan Counties in West Michigan. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
© 2021 Thomas C. Kates, Attorney and Mediator