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Shelley A. Kester
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Shelley A. Kester

Practice areas:

Divorce & Separation, Child Custody, Family

About Me

I love being a family law attorney and work with a terrific staff.  In addition to my private practice, for the past 3 years I have been blessed to serve as the founding Chair of the Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center (TBCAC), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing positive change to how we help children and their families who have been victimized by sexual or physical abuse.  The TBCAC also provides prevention services, promoting zero tolerance for child abuse in our area as well as partnering with other organizations to help protect children.  We have experienced tremendous success in a short amount of time, serving hundreds of children and their families in the communities of Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians.  My new role as Secretary to the Board affords me the time for a new adventure - serving as a newly appointed member of the Traverse City Track Club (TCTC) which holds the the Bay Shore Marathon (I'm running the 10K this year), the Lighthouse Half Marathon, and sponsors Girls on the Run among other area races.  This non-profit organization provides significant funding to other non-profits in the area and gives back to the community in many ways, while promoting a healthy life style for people of all ages - including youth!  I am proud to have served on the founding board of the Great Lakes Children's Museum which is now matured to a very successful organization since my time on the Board.  I currently serve by Governor appointment to the Children's Trust Fund, a State Board that provides child abuse prevention services funding throughout the State of Michigan. 


 


I subscribe to the notion that if you believe it - you will see it.  Hard work doesn't hurt either.


 


We live in such a beautiful area - it is unacceptable for the ugliness of child abuse to continue.  Join me in the effort to bring zero tolerance for child abuse.

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Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1989

  1. Divorce & Separation: 50%
    26 years
  2. Child Custody: 30%
    26 years
  3. Family: 20%
    26 years

Payment

Fees:

Hourly ($225-250/hour)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

7 total 

  • Gerald F. Chefalo

    No one works harder for their clients than Shelley. She is a true expert in matters of family law, divorce, custody and complex property settlements. I enjoy working with her and look forward to our next case!

    More 

    Gerald Chefalo Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Steven William Paciorka

    I have worked on opposite sides of Shelley on several family law and divorce matters. Shelley is an aggressive advocate for her clients while still being professional and reasonable in her approach. She has an extremely talented and professional support staff. Her courtroom skills are very impressive, particularly with respect to cross-examination of expert witnesses. Tough and tenacious, nobody will outwork Shelley. I highly recommend her work.

    More 

    Steven Paciorka Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

697 Hannah Ave Ste B
Traverse City, MI, 49686

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
MIActive And In Good Standing199206/27/2015
CAResigned 198905/20/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Nominated Fellow of the ABFFellows of the American Bar Foundation2010
Boss of the YearGrand Traverse Area Legal Professionals2008
One of Top Criminal Lawyers in Traverse City, MichiganBusiness News2007

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Managing MemberWilson Kester, PLLC1998 - Present
Associate AttorneyRunning, Wise, Wilson, Ford & Phillips, P.C.1991 - 1997

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy CenterVice Chair2013 - 2014
Children's Trust Fund, State of MichiganBoard Member2013 - Present
Traverse City Track ClubBoard Member2013 - 2014
State Bar of MichiganPractice Management Resource Council Advisory Committee2011 - 2012
Children's Trust Fund-State of MichiganBoard Member-Governor Appointment2011 - 2013
State Bar of Michigan - Family Law SectionADR Subcommittee Member2011 - Present
Up North Collaborative Divorce ProfessionalsVice Chair2010 - 2011
Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy CenterChair2010 - 2013
Up North Collaborative DivorceMember2010 - Present
Grand Traverse Leelanau Antrim Bar AssociationPresident2010 - 2011
GTLA Bar Association Endowment Fund Advisory CouncilMember - GTLA Endowment Fund Advisory Council2010 - Present
International Academy of Collaborative Divorce ProfessionalsMember2009 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember2009 - 2014
Collaborative Practice Institute of MichiganMember2007 - Present
State Bar of MichiganDomestic Violence Committee1996 - 1997
City of Traverse CityFormer Mayor of Traverse City1996 - 1996
City of Traverse CityCity Commissioner1995 - 1997
State Bar of MichiganMember-Family Law Section1992 - Present
GTLAMember1992 - Present

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Divorce Action - Male Client Wins Primary CustodyMale Client Wins Custody; pleased with property division and support provisions
Collaborative Divorce CaseAssisted parties with reaching parenting schedule that fit their children; both happy with schedule. Wife well paid for interest in spouses business and support received for continuing education. Client sings praises of collaborative divorce.
Cooperative DivorceWife received home; custody and spousal support she wanted. Said process was painless and happy with outcome.

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
@Law Fall 2012Shining a Light to Improve The Way We Respond to Sexually Abused Children "Childrens Advocacy Centers"2012
Michigan Family Law Journal, with Robin Omer and Nina AbramsAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions for Attorneys Considering Mediation of Family Law Matters2012
Michigan Lawyers WeeklySpread the Word by Douglas J. Levy (contributed to article)2009

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Institute of Continuing Legal EducationUpdated in 2014Recipient of Family Law Certificate Program2009
McGeorge School of Law, University of PacificJuris PrudenceJD- Juris Doctorate1989

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Effect of Changes in Felony Non Support Law for Impoverished Parents.7&4 Television Interview2012
ICLEStarting a Law Practice2011
Solo and Small Firm InstitutePractice Management2009
ICLE commentatorCriminal law and family law2008
Solo and Small Firm InstitutePractice Management2007