John F. Schaefer

johnJohn Schaefer, our firm’s founding partner, is one of the best-known and most highly-respected matrimonial lawyers in the United States. From its inception, Best Lawyers in America has listed John Schaefer as one of the premier matrimonial lawyers in America. More recently, Worth magazine named him one of the top 100 lawyers in America, in any practice area.

Mr. Schaefer has been practicing matrimonial law for more than 40 years on a national basis. Clients from Michigan, New York, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado and California to name a few, have regularly sought him out for representation in divorce actions where millions of dollars have been contested and, in at least one case, where more than $1 billion was at stake.

Mr. Schaefer has served on the Board of Trustees and as an adjunct professor of law at the Michigan State University College of Law. He is listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America, and he holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Mr. Schaefer regularly appears on radio and television programs discussing legal topics, including matrimonial law.

Mr. Schaefer has been associated with numerous organizations, including: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President (Michigan Chapter); Detroit College of Law, Trustee; Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellows; Oakland County Bar Association, Past President; and State Bar of Michigan: Family Law Section, Past Chairman; Attorney Grievance Commission, Arbitrator; and Committee on Character and Fitness.

In addition to his courtroom accomplishments, he is also involved in numerous professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations. He was an instructor in the Michigan Judicial Institute, educating hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in the substance of matrimonial law. He has served on the Board of Trustees of  William Beaumont Hospital, and the Detroit Police Athletic League.  He most recently has been named to the Board of Directors of the Michigan Humane Society.

Some of Mr. Schaefer’s notable cases include Dart v. Dart, a case involving the laws and courts of a foreign jurisdiction and assets in excess of $1 Billion; Nasser v. Nasser, representing the 36 year wife of Jacques Nasser, the CEO of Ford Motor Company; and two cases of Iacocca v. Iacocca, representing two wives of Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation. He has also represented members of the Ford family and the distinguished former president of theChrysler Corporation and Vice Chairman of General Motors R.A.L..

Mr. Schaefer attended Cranbrook School, the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the Detroit College of Law.

Although a renowned expert on matrimonial law, he also negotiates contracts for media personalities, and buyouts and golden parachutes for leading business executives.

A home away from home for many students, the Schaefer Law Library is a quiet and comfortable place to study and explore the law. The library was named for John F. Schaefer, ’69, a trustee emeritus, generous donor, and adjunct professor at the Law College for more than 30 years.

Book: Divorce in Michigan: The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect

by John F. Schaefer Esq.

Providing accurate and objective information to help make the right decisions during a divorce in Michigan, this guide provides answers to 360 queries such as What is the mediation process in Michigan and is it required? How quickly can one get a divorce? Who decides who gets the cars, the pets, and the house? What actions might influence child custody? How are bills divided and paid during the divorce? How much will a divorce cost? and Will a spouse have to pay some or all attorney fees? Structured in a question-and-answer format, this divorce handbook provides clear and concise responses to help build confidence and give the peace of mind needed to meet the challenges of a divorce proceeding.