Why I Do the Work I’m Passionate About

I became interested in family law because I wanted to help people facing with one of the biggest challenges they might face in their lives.  That’s why my practice focuses on what matters most: you, your family, and your children.   I do this by helping you navigate tough transitions through these difficult times.  Going through major life changes like a divorce or a contested custody case is never easy.  The right guide can smooth the bumps along the way and help you find a new path even when the way ahead is unclear.  Over my 18 years of as an attorney, I have assisted many clients as they move forward.  I utilize my background in civil litigation as a foundation to my legal practice, and for nearly a decade I have chosen to focus exclusively on family law matters, including divorce,  spousal support, child custody and parenting time, child support, paternity, personal protection orders, modification or enforcement of judgments, limited scope representation, and representation of children.  I represent clients in litigation cases that may be headed to court and I also am available to serve as a mediator in where parties hope to resolve their personal issues outside of court.

My Approach To Working With Clients

I strive to resolve all family law disputes with a collaborative approach in a compassionate way while advocating for you. I understand that selecting an attorney can be daunting.  It is important to find someone who both understands complex legal concepts and will explain them to you.  You can then make the right decisions for your unique situation based on your goals and values.  I work diligently to bring about the best outcome for you.  As a solo attorney, I offer highly personalized service.  Unlike larger firms, your case won’t be bounced around from lawyer to lawyer.  Some lawyers tell their clients what to do.  While I will offer my recommendations, I firmly believe that you control your case and only you can make the best decision for you.  I work respectfully not just with my clients, but also the opposing attorney, the judge and court staff, as well as the opposing party.  I find this approach yields the happiest clients at the end of the process.

My Education and Training

Education

  • J.D. cum laude, Lewis & Clark College School of Law, Portland, Oregon.
  • B.A. with General Honors, the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Diploma, Grand Haven High School, Grand Haven, Michigan

State Bar Licenses

  • State Bar of Michigan, Member #P82660
  • Oregon State Bar, Member #002940

Specialized Training

  • Domestic Relations Mediator training
  • Collaborative Law training
  • Parent Coordinator training

Associations

  • Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan
  • Family Law Section, State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Volunteer Contributions

  • Advocate for Children, Pro Bono Attorney
    Court-appointed representation of children in contested custody and parenting time cases.
  • Clear Transitions, Frequent Speaker
    Non-profit that organizes monthly workshops for women going through divorce.
  • Multnomah County Supplemental Local Rule Advisory Committee
    Member of committee responsible for revisions to local court rules related to family law matters.
  • Queen’s Bench, Board Member
    Local chapter of Oregon Women Lawyers, which serves to promote women and minorities in the legal profession.
  • Andrew Legal Clinic, Intake Volunteer
    Client intake for non-profit family law legal clinic for low-income individuals.
  • Legal Aid Services of Oregon, PROSAP Facilitation Volunteer
    Complete court forms for divorce petitions for low-income self-represented litigants.

A Little More About Me

I grew up in Grand Haven, and after having spent several years in Oregon, I’m happy to be back home in West Michigan, serving my community.  I’m a proud mother to my daughter and we enjoy taking our dog Lucy on long walks.  In my spare time, I enjoy listening to live music, dancing, cooking, and kayaking.  We are part of a blended family with my partner and his two daughters.  If it’s just me and my daughter, we like to combine cooking and dancing in the kitchen.

Want to learn more? Check out my story here!

Melissa Kelleigh
My clients have said some nice things about me. I’m grateful for them.

“Thank you so much for everything you have done. You have no idea what a difference it has made. I have my son with me now and that’s all that matters. I am very grateful.”

“I wholeheartedly thank you for a great job.”

“Thank you for all of your work and for being my advocate. I really appreciate you.”

“Thank you for stepping in, and helping. You are, as always, the very best.”

“I appreciate you and your continued help. I would have been in a bad way without your advice.”

“Just so you know, I sing your praises to all of my friends. Every. Single. Time.”

“Thank you for everything you’ve done. You’re amazing.”

“Thank you again for all of your diligence and hard work. I really appreciate you!”