Family law foundation awards grants to nonprofits


Ric Roane, left, of Warner Norcross, Susan Shannon of the Children’s Assessment Center, Deborah Hughes of the Legal Assistance Center, Mike Quinn of the AAML Michigan Chapter and Miller Johnson, and Connie Thacker of Miller Johnson, stand together for a formal check presentation. Courtesy AAML Michigan Chapter/Terzes Photography

Two local nonprofits have received grants from a national family law foundation.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, or AAML, Foundation awarded $5,000 each to the Children’s Assessment Center in Grand Rapids and Legal Assistance Center in Grand Rapids.

The AAML Foundation awards grants each fall to nonprofits involved in issues pertinent to family law.

This is the first time the national foundation has selected Michigan nonprofits as recipients.

Local representatives of the Michigan chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which is distinct from the AAML Foundation, presented the checks to leaders of the nonprofits.

Children's Assessment Center

The Children’s Assessment Center opened in 1993 and serves about 800 children a year, including some who were sexually abused. The center offers services for free to families. Children are referred for counseling through law enforcement and Child Protective Services.

Legal Assistance Center

The Legal Assistance Center, located on the fifth floor of the Kent County Courthouse, is a self-help center that opened in 2002. Its mission is to provide access to justice for everyone. The center is designed to address the challenges faced by those who represent themselves in the legal process. The nonprofit helps more than 18,000 people each year with family, housing, consumer and other basic legal issues.

AAML Foundation

The AAML Foundation, founded in 1990, aims to "provide financial assistance to organizations, by way of grants, in order to help families, parents and children adversely affected by the break up of the family unit.”


Founded in 1962, members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers specialize in a range of family law areas: divorce; prenuptial agreements; legal separation; annulment; custody; property valuation and division; support; and the rights of unmarried couples. It has more than 1,600 members in 50 states.

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