Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C.

Law Firm in Battle Creek, MI

Contact Us

Firm Overview

Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., is a general practice firm with offices in Battle Creek and Coldwater, Michigan, and is the largest legal firm with principal offices in Calhoun County. The Firm's practice includes consulting and advising our clients as well as litigating cases, drafting documents, and implementing programs.

Areas of Law:
-Civil Litigation
-Corporate and Business
-Finance
-Professional Corporations
-Partnerships
-Limited Liability Companies
-and Pension and Profit Sharing Plans)
-Creditor Rights
-Debtor Relief
-Criminal Defense
-Domestic Relations
-Divorce
-Paternity
-Custody
-Visitation
-Support
-and Domestic Violence)
-Employment and Human Resources Law
-Estate Planning
-Trusts and Powers of Attorney)
-Health Care
-Labor and Collective Bargaining
-Personal Injury
-Probate
-Guardianships
-Conservatorships
-and Trust matters)
-Real Estate
-Commercial Development
-Environmental and Zoning/Land Use) and Taxation Law.
Main Office

Main Office
70 West Michigan Avenue, The Battle Creek Tower
Suite 450
Battle Creek  MI  49017

Phone
  • 269-965-7000
Fax
  • 269-965-0646
Child Custody
Child Custody and Visitation
Nothing is more important to a parent than their child. If you are getting divorced and child custody is disputed, contact the experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher.

Our family law attorneys have more than 80 years of combined legal experience. We handle custody and visitation issues in a wide range of contexts, including:
-Divorce
-Child custody modifications
-Visitation modifications
-Home relocation disputes
-Paternity
-Domestic violence

Protecting Your Parental Rights:
At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, we always encourage parents to put the needs of children first. However, we understand that parents can have honest disputes about what is best for their children during, or after a divorce.

If retained to handle your case, we will take time to understand your unique family dynamics and devise a carefully crafted legal plan designed to achieve your objectives. Since we have extensive experience in custody and visitation disputes, we can provide reliable advice you can depend upon.

Pro-Active Problem Solvers:
Rather than inflaming an already contentious custody or visitation dispute, we will work pro-actively to determine if a resolution can be reached that avoids the time, cost and acrimony of protracted litigation while fully preserving your rights as a parent. If your case cannot be resolved by mutual agreement of the parties, you can be confident in the knowledge that you are in the hands of experienced trial lawyers.
Commercial Real Estate
Michigan Real Estate Lawyers
Our Battle Creek real estate lawyers have many years of experience representing individuals and businesses in real estate matters. Our real estate practice is broad, including zoning and land use, development, construction, and water rights. For an experienced real estate attorney, contact us at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C.

Our real estate clients include individuals and families, real estate brokers, real estate associations, condominium and homeowners associations, and developers. Some of the services we provide are listed here. Our practice is so broad, however, that we encourage potential clients to schedule an appointment to discuss the scope of our real estate practice.

-swaps and exchanges
-tax free lifetime exchange
-condominium development including site condos
-land acquisitions for condo and other development projects
-property tax issues, including taxable value
-environmental issues
-underground storage tanks
-baseline environmental assessments
-landlord tenant
-real estate financing
-drafting bylaws for homeowners' and condominium associations
-deeds
-title problems
-misrepresentation claims
-construction defect claims
-Michigan land division act
-brownfield redevelopment
-tax increment financing
Divorce
The outcome of a divorce can have a significant impact on your financial security and parental rights. With so much at stake, it is critical that you have qualified legal counsel.
At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, we have been providing quality legal representation to clients throughout the Battle Creek area since 1943. We offer a team of experienced divorce and family law attorneys who work closely with clients to provide the personalized legal service they require. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to handle any issue that may arise in the course of your divorce proceeding, including:
-Property division
-Child custody and visitation
-Spousal support (alimony)
-Child support
-Domestic violence

Divorce laws vary from state to state. Michigan is a no fault divorce state. To learn more about your legal rights in a Michigan divorce, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher.

Our Battle Creek Divorce Attorneys:
We offer a team of experienced family law attorneys who work together in a team approach to offer comprehensive support to each of our valued clients. Our family law attorneys have more than 80 years of combined legal experience. They are uniquely adept at complex property division issues and have helped numerous clients protect their rights in contested child custody battles.

Our family law attorneys are respected by legal colleagues throughout the Battle Creek area and beyond for their dedication to clients and strong record of effective advocacy. As a result, several of our family law attorneys have been listed for recognition in Michigan's Super Lawyers magazine.

Our Philosophy:
At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, we understand that each case brings a different set of challenges. We take time to listen to our clients and tailor an approach that is designed to achieve their objectives.

We understand that divorce is often a contentious process, so we do not unnecessarily inflame matters further. We utilize a firm, yet reasoned approach that is designed to resolve disputes as efficiently as possible, while fully preserving your financial and parental rights. When disputes cannot be resolved by agreement, we offer a team of experienced litigators who will aggressively protect your rights at trial.
Estate Planning
Battle Creek Estate Planning Lawyer - Wills Trusts Probate Estate Administration
Our estate planning and probate attorneys have many years of experience helping individuals develop plans for the disposition of their assets after their death. Skilled in drafting wills, trusts, and tax plans for individuals with all levels of assets, our attorneys can also administer your estate after your death. Contact a Battle Creek estate planning lawyer at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. to begin the process of planning for the distribution of your property and the future of your family.

Some of the estate planning services we provide and are listed here.

-simple and complex wills
-simple trusts
-life insurance trusts
-gifting
-charitable giving planning
-revocable living trusts
-heritage rusts
-asset protection
-estate planning for non-us citizens
-special needs trusts
-incentive trusts
-durable powers of attorney
-health care directives
-Crummey trusts
-generation skipping planning
-medicaid planning
-charitable gift annuities
-annuity trusts
-powers of attorney
-guardians for minor children
-living wills
-business succession planning
-will codicils
-second marriage estate planning
-qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT)

We can help with probate and estate administration after your death. This can involve selling assets, such as real estate, to pay debts, preparing estate tax returns, and distributing property to your heirs as directed in your will or trust. Sometimes winding up an estate involves negotiating with the IRS over valuation issues.

When needed, our attorneys will litigate disputed estate matters. Some of the issues we have resolved through litigation include will contests, undue influence claims, disputed conservatorships, breach of fiduciary duty on the part of an estate executor, and paternity disputes.
Family
Battle Creek Divorce Lawyer - Custody, Support, Visitation
At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., our divorce and family law attorneys have provided skilled divorce and family law services to the Battle Creek area for more than 60 years. Our team approach to the practice of law benefits our family law clients. Our lawyers work together in matters such as the tax implications of divorce, criminal issues such as domestic violence, or the sale of real estate to conclude a property settlement. Contact a Battle Creek divorce lawyer at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. You can be certain that we will represent you fairly and with dedication to your best interests.

We provide comprehensive representation in all matters related to divorce. Our services include those listed here.

-child custody arrangements, including joint legal and joint physical custody
-modification of court orders, such as support orders, visitation orders, and custody orders
-changes of residence of one or both parents
-parenting time / visitation
-holiday schedules
-visitation disputes
-spousal support / alimony
-division of marital property, including complex or substantial assets
-qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO)
-child support
-enforcement of orders, including contempt actions in matters of unpaid support or denial of visitation

In addition to helping people through a divorce, our family law attorneys provide services in other areas. These include paternityour attorneys have become skilled at working with DNA testing. We arrange for private adoptions, including step-parent adoptions, securing consent for termination of parental rights from the birth parent. We undertake annulments, prenuptial agreements, separate maintenance agreements, and name changes.

Although we litigate unresolved issues when needed, we also try to arrive at an amicable resolution whenever possible. We take advantage of state-required alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, including mediation. Because of our concern for the well-being of any children involved, we encourage the parties to resolve disputes around visitation and custody with ADR techniques.
Probate
We can help with probate and estate administration after your death.
This can involve selling assets, such as real estate, to pay debts, preparing estate tax returns, and distributing property to your heirs as directed in your will or trust. Sometimes winding up an estate involves negotiating with the IRS over valuation issues.
Real Estate
Our Battle Creek real estate lawyers have many years of experience representing individuals and businesses in real estate matters.
Our real estate practice is broad, including zoning and land use, development, construction, and water rights. For an experienced real estate attorney, contact us at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C.

Our real estate clients include individuals and families, real estate brokers, real estate associations, condominium and homeowners associations, and developers. Some of the services we provide are listed here. Our practice is so broad, however, that we encourage potential clients to schedule an appointment to discuss the scope of our real estate practice.

-swaps and exchanges
-tax free lifetime exchange
-condominium development including site condos
-land acquisitions for condo and other development projects
-property tax issues, including taxable value
-environmental issues
-underground storage tanks
-baseline environmental assessments
-landlord tenant
-real estate financing
-drafting bylaws for homeowners' and condominium associations
-deeds
-title problems
-misrepresentation claims
-construction defect claims
-Michigan land division act
-brownfield redevelopment
-tax increment financing

Our real estate practice encompasses transactional work as well as litigation. We draft appropriate documents for any property transaction. Our attorneys also resolve disputes in court, at hearings, or through negotiation. Contact our skilled Michigan real estate lawyers at Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. Because of the depth of our experience and the breadth of our practice, we help you with almost any real estate issue.

Chris T. Christ

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI
Phi Beta Kappa. Honorary Doctor of Laws, Albion College, 1997.

Areas of Law:
-Estate Planning
-Trust Administration
-Probate
-Professional Corporations
-Corporate Law

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1954, Michigan

Law School Attended:
University of Michigan
Class of 1954
J.D.

University Attended:
Albion College
Class of 1951
A.B.

Birth Information:
Born in 1929
Battle Creek, Michigan
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Juris Doctorate , 1954

James E. Fisher

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Family Law
-Civil Litigation
-Employment Law
-School Law
-Probate
-Estate Planning
-Personal Injury

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1968, Michigan

Law School Attended:
Wayne State University
Class of 1968
J.D.

University Attended:
University of Michigan
Class of 1964
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1942
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Education
  • Wayne State University
    Juris Doctorate , 1968

Nelson T. Karre

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Real Estate
-Civil Litigation
-Zoning, Planning and Land Use
-Municipal Law
-Probate
-Estate Planning

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1977, Michigan

Law School Attended:
University of Nebraska
Class of 1977
J.D.

University Attended:
University of Wyoming
Class of 1973
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1952
Omaha, Nebraska
Education
  • University of Nebraska
    Juris Doctorate , 1977

Robert J. Sharkey

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Civil Litigation
-Business Torts
-Police Liability
-Employment Law
-Civil Rights
-Family Law

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Senior Partner

Admission Details:
-Admitted in 1978, Michigan
-2004, Indiana
-U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
-U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
-U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuits
-U.S. Tax Court
-U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Services
-U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
-U.S. Supreme Court

Law School Attended:
Detroit College of Law
Class of 1978
J.D.
cum laude

University Attended:
Western Michigan University
Class of 1973
B.S.
Education
  • Detroit College of Law
    Juris Doctorate, cum laude , 1978

James E. Reed

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Real Estate
-Commercial Loans
-Residential Real Estate
-Commercial Law
-Corporate Law
-Estate Planning
-Probate
-Uniform Commercial Code

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1978, Washington
1982, Michigan

Law School Attended:
University of Puget Sound
Class of 1978
J.D.
cum laude

University Attended:
Western Michigan University
Class of 1975
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1953
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Education
  • University of Puget Sound
    Juris Doctorate, cum laude , 1978

David P. Lucas

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Corporate Law
-Estate Planning
-Trust Administration
-Pension and Profit Sharing Plans
-Probate

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1982, Michigan

Law School Attended
University of Michigan
Class of 1982
J.D.

University Attended:
Calvin College

Albion College
Class of 1979
A.B.
summa cum laude

Birth Information:
Born in 1957
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Juris Doctorate , 1982

Martha J. Widdows-Witham

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Litigation
-Employment Law
-Probate
-Creditors Rights
-Guardianship and Conservatorship
-Adoption Law
-Family Law

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Member

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2000, Michigan

Law School Attended:
Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law
Class of 2000
J.D.
magna cum laude

University Attended:
Western Michigan University
Class of 1996
B.A.
summa cum laude
Education
  • Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law
    Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude , 2000

Hannah L. Bivins

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Areas of Law:
-Business Associations Law
-Probate
-Trusts and Estates

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2009, Michigan

Law School Attended:
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Class of 2009
J.D.

University Attended:
Michigan State University
Class of 2005
B.A.
with honors

Associations & Memberships:
Calhoun County and American Bar Associations; State Bar of Michigan.
Education
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2009

Robert D. McFee

Attorney in Battle Creek, MI

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Of Counsel

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1953, Michigan

Law School Attended:
University of Michigan
Class of 1952
J.D.

University Attended:
University of Michigan
Class of 1950
B.S.E.

Birth Information:
Born in 1926
Detroit, Michigan
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Juris Doctorate , 1952
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