John F. Schaefer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Birmingham, MI

The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer
 | 380 North Old Woodward Avenue, Suite 320
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: 248-642-6655
Fax: 248-642-7878
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1969
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (90%),
  • Entertainment & Sports (10%)
Attorney Profile

John F. Schaefer, founder of the Law Firm of John F. Schaefer in Birmingham, Michigan, is one of the most respected matrimonial attorneys in America. For more than 40 years, he has focused most of his practice on matrimonial law, but he also represents clients with their entertainment and sports law matters, including contracts. Many of Mr. Schaefer's divorce cases have involved contests between high-profile individuals over millions of dollars.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in 1965, Mr. Schaefer stayed in East Lansing and enrolled at Michigan State University College of Law. After being awarded his Juris Doctor in 1969 and becoming admitted to practice in Michigan, he received the school's Distinguished Alumni Award and served on its Board of Trustees. In 2010, the law school named the law library after him and dedicated the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law. He spent over 30 years as an adjunct professor of law there as well.

Highly regarded by his fellow professionals, Mr. Schaefer has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America every year since 1983. He has also received an AV Preeminent* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a "Superb" peer-review rating through Avvo. Mr. Schaefer has long been an active participant in several legal organizations. A past president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a past chairman of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, he has also served as an arbitrator on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board and has sat on the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Character and Fitness. He is also a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is an instructor for the Michigan Judicial Institute.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Family Law (90%): Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce

Entertainment & Sports (10%): Entertainment, Sports & Leisure Law

Focus Areas

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Entertainment, Sports & Leisure Law


Selected to Super Lawyers for 14 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019

Certificates and Credentials

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To: John F. Schaefer
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About John Schaefer

Admitted: 1969, Michigan

Professional Webpage:


  • Endowment of the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law, 2011
  • Naming of the John F. Schaefer Law Library, 2010
  • The Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, 2006
  • Named as one of the Top 100 lawyers in America, in any practice area, Worth magazine
  • One of the premier matrimonial lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America
  • Named Lawyer of the Year 2013, Family Law, The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Michigan State University College of Law

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • Committee on Character and Fitness
  • Attorney Grievance Commission, Arbitrator
  • State Bar of Michigan: Family Law Section, Past Chairman
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President (Michigan Chapter)
  • Oakland County Bar Association, Past President

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Detroit Police Athletic League
  • William Beaumont Hospital, Board of Trustees
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Michigan State University College of Law, Board of Trustees
  • Detroit College of Law, Trustee

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Instructor, educating hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in the substance of matrimonial law, Michigan Judicial Institute
  • Adjunct Professor of law, Michigan State University College of Law


  • Two cases of Iacocca v. Iacocca, representing two wives of Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation
  • 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

Representative Clients:

  • Vice Chairman of General Motors R.A.L.
  • Distinguished Former President of the Chrysler Corporation
  • Members of the Ford family

Educational Background:

  • University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University
  • Cranbrook School

Industry Groups

  • Legal
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Office Location for John F. Schaefer

380 North Old Woodward Avenue
Suite 320
Birmingham, MI 48009

Phone: 248-642-6655

Fax: 248-642-7878

John F. Schaefer:

Last Updated: 10/7/2019

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