Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg, P.C.

Family Matters Handled with Care and Understanding

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Firm Overview

Helping resolve legal issues related to Divorce & post-divorce, Child custody, Child support, Spousal support, Separation, Financial disputes between couples, Parent/teen issues, Guardianship, Estate planning, Pre- & post-nup agreements & more.
Main Office


121 West Washington
Suite 300
Ann Arbor  MI  48104

Phone
  • 734 994-3000
Fax
  • 734-994-1557

Other Offices


  • 720 W Grand River
    Brighton,  MI  48116

Margaret J. Nichols

Designated as a “Super Lawyer”


AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability


Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Michigan Chapter President, 2005–2006


Charter member, Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan


Past chair: Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan, the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the WCBA Friend of the Court Liaison Committee


“Good legal representation is based on trust and cooperation between client and attorney. My goal is to resolve family disputes conscientiously and, if possible, amicably, using whatever level of cooperation exists between the partners.”


Beginning with the first interview, Margaret (Margo) Nichols guides clients toward a better understanding of the legal system and selection of the best resolution process to meet their needs. As the matter proceeds, Margo explores with sensitivity all the details that relate to provisions for children, spousal support, and division of property. Her clients are integrally involved in the design and execution of a settlement strategy and take ownership in the outcome.


Margo is a skilled practitioner in all options for resolution, including mediation, collaboration, negotiation, and arbitration. Experienced in the analysis and litigation of complex domestic relations issues, she is committed to offering her clients the opportunity to preserve their autonomy and dignity though less adversarial, more collaborative processes.


Active in community and professional organizations, Margo is President of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and served as past president of the Alzheimer’s Association, South Central Michigan Chapter. Margo served two terms as American Bar Association Commissioner on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and serves on the Board of the National Association of IOLTA Programs.


The Association for Conflict Resolution has granted Margo practitioner status. She is also a member of the International Association of Collaborative Practice, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the Family Mediation Council.


Monika Sacks

Charter member and vice-president, Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan


“Super Lawyer” and Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability


Certified in Elder Mediation


Past president, Rotary Club of Ypsilanti, a Paul Harris Fellow, Lawyer of the Year in 2000 by Ann Arbor North Rotary


“I listen to my clients to hear their concerns and help them determine their long-term objectives. We then work together to find a resolution tailored to their circumstances, keeping the needs of the client and children in the forefront.”


Monika Holzer Sacks is resolution-oriented, not litigation oriented. She has 31 years of experience helping divorcing couples reach settlements through mediation, collaborative practice and, when necessary, traditional negotiation and litigation. She empowers her clients to resolve their problems and keep conflict at a minimum during this traumatic time when they are reconfiguring their families.


Monika’s goal is to make each client satisfied that the best possible outcome was reached, using the most appropriate process for their situation. She believes that understanding, effective communication and compassion can create a path for resolution.


Monika’s professional activities reflect her commitment to conflict resolution and increasing the availability and expertise of professionals in alternative dispute resolution. She authored a textbook, Divorce Cases in Michigan: A Systems Approach, for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, for whom she lectures frequently.


She is a certified Elder Mediator and participates in the International Association of Collaborative Practice, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Eileen Slank

Member, State Bar Attorney Discipline Board and Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation


Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan


Eileen serves as a board member of the Family mediation Council-Michigan.


“My goal is to help you get though the divorce process in as whole a way as possible. As unique as you are, so is your marriage and family, and so should be your divorce. A cookie-cutter approach should never be applied to a divorcing family. We will look at all options and apply the best fit for you and your family.”


Eileen J. Slank draws on her training as a lawyer, mediator, collaborator, and social worker to represent her clients exclusively in family law. She has 23 years of experience in the areas of divorce, child custody, property settlement, and mediation, working in both Washtenaw and Livingston counties.


Eileen is a trained mediator and an active member of the Family Mediation Council. She has experience in mediating family law disputes and representing her divorce clients in the meditative, collaborative, or court forum.


Eileen is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Bar Association (Executive Board member, 1990-91). She is a member of the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court Liaison Committee (Chair, 1996–2000), Family Law Section (Co-Chair, 1995–96), and Juvenile Law Section. Eileen is also a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution as well as the International Association of Collaborative Professionals.


Her community service activities include presenting and lecturing on family law and mediation issues for Washtenaw Community College and for community education programs. She served as Chair of the Friend of the Court Citizen Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Washtenaw County. Eileen is also very active in Dexter Community Schools and her church community.

Karen Sendelbach

Immediate Past Chairperson, Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan


Certified in Elder Mediation


Past president of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Family Law Section


Appointed Member, Michigan Bar Association’s Attorney Discipline Board


A "Super Lawyer" - "Rising Star" a designation given to less than 3% of all attorneys in Michigan


“I believe clients who understand the law are better able to make decisions regarding their situation. We work together to resolve difficult family issues as early as possible.”


Karen S. Sendelbach has represented clients at all levels of the judicial system, from mediation and other informal dispute resolution through the trial and appellate levels. She is frequently sought out as a lecturer on family issues for both professionals and the public. Because she has focused her practice exclusively in family law for the past 15 years, Karen is trained in all popular methods of dispute resolution: litigation, mediation, collaboration and arbirtration and appellate law. She has also completed guardian ad litem training, which qualifies her to represent children during contentious family law litigation.


Prior to her election by her peers to chairperson of the State Bar of Michigan's Family Law Council, Karen was elected chairperson of the State Bar of Michigan’s Amicus Curiae committee. Karen wrote several legal briefs to both the Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the family law attorneys in the State of Michigan.


Active in her community, Karen has served on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Justice Center in Detroit, Michigan, a domestic violence shelter. She also worked as an attorney for Oakland Livingston Legal Aid and volunteers for the Board of Advisors for the Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association, a Model United Nations and Domestic Issues conference for high school students from Michigan and worldwide. She is also active in local school issues.


Karen is a cum laude graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law in Syracuse, New York, where she was named Outstanding Woman Law Student by the National Association of Women Lawyer’s and received the American Jurisprudence award for Jurisprudence of Criminal Justice. As an undergraduate, Karen was honored with an Outstanding Senior Award at Michigan State University.


Karen is frequently sough out as an arbitrator, mediator, or parenting facilitator by her fellow attorneys.

Lori Buiteweg

State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners


Past Chair, State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly


AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability


Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


Founder of the Washtenaw County/EMU Legal Resource Center


“I believe in representing my clients assertively and fairly, never taking advantage of anyone or allowing anyone to take advantage of my clients.”


Lori A. Buiteweg brings 20 years of legal experience and a strong commitment to peace, justice and integrity to her family law practice. During her 20 years as a lawyer and 15 years as a mother of two, she has become a staunch advocate for children’s rights and, as such, works hard to help parents keep their focus on the welfare of their children.


One of Lori’s primary areas of expertise is parenting time and legal custody. She also has vast expertise in handling complex financial estates and is painstakingly careful to insure that all financial issues are thoroughly and competently addressed. She has worked with over 400 clients in her practice and is experienced in separation and divorce, prenuptial agreements, basic estate plans, and other important family law matters.


Her clients appreciate her positive attitude, empathy, reassuring demeanor and sense of humor as well as her competent and practical legal advice and conscientious dedication and initiative. A member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, Lori uses her legal knowledge and skills as a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer to resolve all issues of the divorce out of court whenever possible, yet is also fully capable of using the Court when necessary to advocate for her clients.


A graduate with honors from the University of Michigan’s Honors Program and Wayne State University Law School, Lori actively volunteers for local judicial projects involving law related education, family law, mediation, community outreach, and pro bono legal services.

Elizabeth Solomon

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law


Co-Chair, Washtenaw Count Family Law Section


Member, Oakland County, Washtenaw County Bar Association, and Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association


Member, State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section


Member, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan


Certified Family Law Mediator


Liz uses her training as a lawyer, mediator and collaborator to represent her clients in all areas of family law.

Stephanie Benedict

Member, Family Law Section and Public Service Committee, Washtenaw County Bar Association

Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem, Washtenaw County Bar Association


Member, Adoption Committee of the Family Law Section, State Bar of Michigan

Articles Written

Can You Afford to Get Divorced?

Created On: 10/12/2011

Money or lack thereof is one of the biggest stressors in marriage. It is also a huge stressor when people consider divorce. And for good reason.

Guidelines for Awarding Spousal Support in Michigan

Created On: 12/03/2010

In Michigan (and many other states), there are well-known child support guidelines that provide a uniform system of calculating, in precise dollar terms, the amount of child support the paying parent will owe.

An Overview of Mediation during a Michigan Divorce

Created On: 11/05/2010

If you’re facing the prospect of a Michigan divorce, things are likely stressful at home, and your life is in a general state of upheaval. However, not every divorce involves couples...

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