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

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

Family Matters Handled with Care and Understanding

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
Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg, P.C.
121 West Washington Suite 300
Ann Arbor  MI  48104
  • (734) 994-3000
  • (734) 994-1557

Other Offices

Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg, P.C.
460 N Old Woodward Avenue
Birmingham,  MI  48009

Monika Sacks

Charter member and Past President, Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan

"Super Lawyer" and Past-President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Recipient of the Blaine B. Johnson, Jr. Award for her outstanding CLE contributions

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 over 34 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 the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and the Livingston Interdisciplinary Professional Association

Past Chair of the Michigan Family Mediation Council.

"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 and Co-Chair of the Family Law Section 1995-96). She is a member of the Michigan State Bar Family Law Section, Master Lawyers Section, and Probate and Estate Planning 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. 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 currently serves on the executive board of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. She also serves as President of the board for Huron Valley Swim Club.

Karen Sendelbach

Past Chairperson, State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section

Certified in Elder Mediation & Court Approved Family Mediator

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

Appointed Member, Michigan Bar Association's Attorney Discipline Board

A "Super Lawyer"- a designation given to less than 5% of all attorneys in Michigan

One of Detroit's "Top Lawyers 2011", dbusiness Magazine

Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability

"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. Karen has been practicing family law since 1994 and is trained in all popular methods of dispute resolution: litigation, mediation, collaboration and arbitration 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

Designated as a "Super Lawyer"

Past President - State Bar of Michigan

State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners

Recipient of Washtenaw County Bar Association Patriot Award 2013

Past Chair, State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly

AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability

Founding member of the Washtenaw County/EMU Legal Resource Center

Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

"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 has been an attorney since 1990 with a strong commitment to peace, justice and integrity to her family law practice. During her 26 years as a lawyer, and a mother of two adult children, 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.

Lori's areas of experise are complex, high-asset cases and challenging custody matters. She has handled over 1,000 matters and has tried and mediated many cases to successful conclusion.

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, and community outreach.

Elizabeth Solomon

Past Co-Chair, Washtenaw County Family Law Section

Certified and Court Approved Family Law Mediator

Board of Directors, Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan

Member, Oakland County Bar Association

Member, State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section

Member, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association

Member, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Member, Washtenaw County Bar Association

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Adjunct Professor, Concordia University

"I listen to my clients and help them reach their goals and desired outcomes through careful planning and effective strategies."

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

Working with other family law firms that focused on divorce litigation led her to seek a firm with a reputation for less costly, adversarial approaches. She found that firm in Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg.

In her experience, most clients-especially those with young children-do not want a long, expensive court battle. Liz helps her clients maintain control over the terms and cost of their divorce, she guides them to agreement on decisions that make sense for their unique family.

Her previous experience with firms in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties will help Liz expand NSSSB's presence and practice philosophy in those areas. For more than 30 years, the firm has focused on mediation and other non-court strategies to help divorcing couples settle their disputes without going to court.

Liz is a member of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and the Family Mediation Council of Michigan.

Katherine Sharkey

Director at Large, 2016-2017 Washtenaw County Bar Association

Chair, 2016-2017 Washtenaw County Bar Association Public Service and Pro Bono Committee

Speaker, June 2015, Trial Practice, Committee on Regional Training for Lawyers (Legal Services)

President, 2013-2014 Washtenaw Region, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Abbot Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, Ann Arbor

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Moms Demand Action, Washtenaw Chapter

State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, Domestic Violence Committee

Proficient in Spanish

Katherine Sharkey views her job as a family law attorney as a natural progression from the work she's always done: being an advocate for people in difficult situations.

She began her career in Chicago as a child welfare caseworker, helping adolescents in foster care navigate the juvenile court system to result in the best possible living situation for them.

Her work as a staff attorney for nonprofit legal aid agencies in Illinois and Michigan focused on domestic relations, probate and personal protection order proceedings as well as negotiating and litigating divorce, custody and parenting time disputes.

At NSSS&B, Katherine continues the firm's emphasis on resolving family law issues through mediation and other non-adversarial approaches. As she explains how the court system will work, she says people come to realize that litigation may not be the best option to achieve the results they seek. She helps her clients manage the emotional aspects of the divorce process and stay focused on what's important: the welfare of their children and moving on with their lives.

Katherine's practice focuses on Washtenaw County.

She lives in Ann Arbor with her two young children and husband.