Richard S. Victor

Richard S. Victor was elected as one of only 100 attorneys in the United States to be a Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. His law firm has consistently been recognized by US News and World Report as a "Tier One" law firm in Family Law as well as one of the number one family law firms in Metropolitan Detroit, MI. He has also repeatedly been recognized as one of the leading family law attorneys in the state of Michigan by DBusiness Magazine and Leading Lawyers in Michigan, where he was named one of the Top Ten Family Lawyers in the state. He was Chair of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. In 2017 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who's Who for his work in Family Law. He was President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, served on the National Board of Governors, and was named the AAML 2006 National Fellow of the Year. In 2016 the national Academy presented him with their First Annual National Professionalism Award for the practice of Family Law. He is the Founder of the non-profit Victor Smile Foundation, is Co-Founder of the parent education program known as "SMILE", and is the Founder and Executive Director of the national non-profit Grandparents Rights Organization. He is the editor of Michigan Family Law and Practice and was named as one of the top ten lawyers in Michigan. The State Bar of Michigan honored him with its highest honor, the Champion of Justice Award.

As a recognized leader in Family Law, both in the state of Michigan and nationally, and as chair of continuing legal education for over 25 years, as well as author of Michigan Family Law and Practice, Mr. Victor has taught lawyers and judges that divorcing couples must realize that divorce is an emotionally draining experience, born from loss, which usually does not allow individuals to think and act logically and emotionally at the same time. By creating the concept of a more honest, personalized and direct way to practice family law, Richard Victor has instilled a new philosophy, in his firm to bring integrity to the practice of family law. Mr. Victor's personal belief is that lawyers who practice family law should have a higher duty to their clients than in most other areas of law.

Years of Selection

  • Super Lawyers: 2006 -

Certifications and Credentials

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Top Lists

Top 50: 2013-2017 Consumer Michigan Super Lawyers
Top 100: 2008 Michigan Super Lawyers
Top 100: 2007 Michigan Super Lawyers


The Grand Plan
To Richard Victor, nothing can take the place of a grandparent

Honors and Awards:

  • 2017 Recipient Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • First national recipient Professionalism Award, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2016;
  • Named one of Top Ten Lawyers in Family Law, Leading Lawyers Magazine;
  • Named a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyer, DBusiness Magazine;
  • Named by DBusiness Magazine as a Leading Lawyer for the State of Michigan for 2014., Top Lawyer for 2014, DBusiness Magazine
  • Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers;
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America for Family Law;
  • National Fellow of the Year, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2006;
  • Named a Leading Lawyer as well as to Advisory Board for Leading Lawyers Magazine for the state of MI. in Family Law;
  • Recipient State Bar of Michigan's "Champion of Justice Award", 2004;
  • Recipient Family Law Section, State Bar of Michigan's "Lifetime Achievement Award", 1999;
  • Named "National Alumni of the Year" Michigan State College of Law, 2000;
  • Named "top ten lawyers in state of Michigan" Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 1999;
  • Featured cover story Super Lawyers Magazine, 2008. iParenting Award;
  • 2008 Hermes Platinum Creative Award;
  • 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Award for the publication "You and Me Make Three" (a children's book dealing with divorce).;
  • Named as a Tier One Law Firm in Family Law, US News and World Report.

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Member State Bar of Michigan, 1975

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Chair of the Professionalism and Collegiality Committee for the national American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2014-
  • Elected to be one of only 100 Attorneys in the United States to be a Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers;
  • Past President Family Law Section, State Bar of Michigan;
  • Past President Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers;
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (2005-2008). National CLE Chair for AAML 2005-2007;
  • Chair CLE, Family Law Section State of Michigan, 1985-1995 and Co-Chair CLE for AAML, State of MI 1995-2010;
  • Life Fellow State Bar Foundation;
  • Life Fellow Oakland County Bar Foundation.
  • Life Fellow American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation

Pro bono/Community Service:

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Try Using The Other Side of Your Brain, Michigan Family Law Journal, May 2014, Family Law
  • Co-author of the children's book "You and Me Make Three", published by Edco Publishing Co., which is a book for parents of children of divorce. This book has received several national book awards, including, the 2008 iParenting Media award; and the 2008 Hermes book award.
  • Author and General Editor, 3 volume "Michigan Practitioners Series: Family Law and Practice", West Group Publications, 1997;
  • Editor Grandparents Rights Organization (GRO) Newsletter 1989 through present;
  • "Legally Speaking", a national legal column for the "Stepfamily Bulletin" (1984 through 1989);
  • "The Extended and Psychological Family of Children in the 1980's and Beyond" (1985, Michigan Family Law Journal);
  • "The Right to Visit" (1986, Michigan State Bar Journal);
  • "Rights of Third Parties in Child Custody Disputes" (1988, Michigan Bar Journal);
  • "Grandparent and Stepparent Rights" (1989 Trial Magazine);
  • "The Changing American Family - Grandparent/Stepparent Rights" (1989, Michigan Family Law Journal);
  • "Grandparents Law" (Legal Secretaries Association Magazine);
  • "Common Sense Doctrine for the Changing American Family" (1989 Oakland County Bar Association Magazine - Laches);
  • "Family Law Needs Considerate Language, Divorce Training" (1989 Michigan Lawyers Weekly newspaper);
  • "When Third Parties Come First" (1989 American Bar Association Magazine Family Advocate);
  • "Some Common Sense Custody and Visitation Doctrines" (Fairshare Magazine 1989);
  • "Third Party Custody - A Conflict in Laws" (Michigan Family Law Journal 1990);
  • "Divorce in Michigan" (1990);
  • "Psychological Evaluations - Waiver of Confidentiality" (Michigan Family Law Journal 1991);
  • "Statutory Review of Third-Party Rights Regarding Custody, Visitation and Support" - American Bar Association Family Law Quarterly, Volume XXV, No. 1, Spring 1991;
  • "History of Grandparent Visitation in Michigan" (Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 71, No. 3, 1992);
  • "The Rights of Children in Child Custody Disputes" (Michigan Family Law Journal, 1993);
  • "Update on History of Grandparent Visitation in Michigan" (Michigan Family Law Journal 1993);
  • "Grandparents Rights to Visitation" - American Bar Association Family Advocate Magazine, Volume 16, No. 1 (1993);
  • Guest Columnist Detroit Free Press Advisory Board relating to family law issues (1990 through 1995);
  • "Biology, Destiny and Children's Rights" - The Nation Law Journal, Volume 16, No. 30, (March 28, 1994);
  • "Did the Candidates Really Understand Family Values?" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 4, No. 1 (1992);
  • "Grandparents and Other Third Party Rights to Visitation" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 5, No. 1 (1992);
  • "What Happens if You Find Yourself in a Dispute Requiring an Evidentiary Hearing or Trial?" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 6, No 1 (1993);
  • "Protecting the Rights of Children in Child Custody Disputes" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 7, No. 1 (1993);
  • "Fighting Over Jessica" The Brandeis Brief Vol. 2, No. 1 Winter (1994-95);
  • "What is a Family?" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 8, No. 1 (1994);
  • "Georgia Takes a Giant Step Backward" Grandparents Rights Organization Newsletter, Volume 9, No. 1 (1995);
  • "Examining the Proposed Divorce Bill" Eccentric/Observer Newspapers (June 15, 1995);
  • "Making Divorce Harder" Oakland County Bar Association #360 (January 1996);
  • "Are Grandparents Rights Laws Unconstitutional?" GRO Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1, January 1998;
  • "Good News/Bad News For Grandparents and Grandchildren", GRO Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 1, April, 1999;
  • "Protecting the Children of Divorce Via Parent Education", 13 Michigan Lawyers Weekly 1352, July 19, 1999;
  • "Grandparent Visitation Laws Are Constitutional According to Justices", Oakland County Legal News, June 30, 2000;
  • "Grandparent Visitation Rights in the Twenty-First Century", 2000 Law Review Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law;
  • "Grandparents Have Rights", Michigan Bar Journal, February 2001;
  • "How to Find an Attorney", GRO Newsletter, Vol.14, No.1, March 2001;
  • "Third Party Custody Rights Examined By Appellate Court" Detroit Legal News and Oakland County Legal News, November 9, 2001;
  • "Third Party Custody Rights Examined By Michigan Court Of Appeals", Michigan Family Law Journal, Volume 30, No. 9, December, 2001;
  • "Alternative Dispute Resolution in Child Custody Cases", Michigan Family Law Journal Special Edition, February, 2002;
  • "Recent Court Rule Changes That Impact Family Law Practice", Michigan Bar Journal, June, 2002;
  • "Court Examines Grandparent Visitation Law's Validity", Oakland County Legal News, Volume 75, Number 42,October 18, 2002;
  • "MSC To Consider Whether Grandparent Visitation Law Is Unconstitutional", Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Vol.16, No.51,October 28, 2002;
  • "Visitation Should Be Allowed If It's In The Child's Best Interest", Oakland County Legal News, Vol. 75, No.52,December 27, 2002;
  • "Parents Working Together Serve Children's Best Interests", Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Volume 17, No. 10,January 13, 2003;
  • "DeRose v DeRose-What The Supreme Court Did Regarding Grandparent Visitation", Michigan Family Law Journal, Vol. 33, No.8, October, 2003;
  • "DeRose v DeRose. What the Supreme Court Did Regarding Grandparent Visitation and Why They Did It", Michigan Bar Journal, January, 2004;
  • "How to Resolve Third Party Disputes Before They Get Out of Control", Michigan Family Law Journal-A Guide Book for the Newly Divorced Person, 2004 Special Edition;
  • "Neither Harm Nor Clear And Convincing Evidence Are Required To Meet Constitutional Requirements, Says U.S.Supreme Court Regarding Grandparent Visitation", Michigan Family Law Journal, Volume 36, Number 6, June/July 2006;
  • Is the Presumption of Joint and Equal Custody/Parenting Time Best for Children?, Michigan Bar Journal, February 2014. ;
  • Have Our Changing Economic Times Impacted The Professionalism Within The Practice Of Family Law?, Family Law Section Journal, April, 2014

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Co-Counsel for James Atkinson, Atkinson v Atkinson, Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court (1986)
  • Author and Creator of the "Equitable Parent Doctrine";
  • Counsel for Jessica DeBoer in the interstate and nationally known custody case regarding " Baby Jessica", (In re Clausen 442 Mich 648; 502 NW2d 649 (1993);
  • Amicus Curiae counsel for State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, Tallman v Milton, 192 Mich App 606; 482 NW2d 187 (1992), which dealt with rights of foster parents to secure custody of children left in their care for extended periods of time.
  • Co-Counsel for Grandparents in DeRose v DeRose, Michigan Supreme Court, April, 2002, regarding whether Michigan's Grandparent Visitation Statute is Constitutional.

Representative Clients:

The Law Offices of Richard S. Victor, PLLC represents executives of Fortune 500 companies, owners of closely held corporations, as well as other high level executives (or their spouses). In addition, we have represented professional athletes, judges, lawyers, doctors or their significant others, and other highly paid professionals, who require attorneys with special training in large asset or highly paid compensation cases. We pride ourselves in providing 24/7 attention to all of our clients' needs.

Other Outstanding Achievements:

Founded and serve as the National Executive Director, pro bono, of the national nonprofit Grandparents Rights Organization, since 1984 and worked on the creation of laws in all 50 states to recognize the rights of Grandparents to have the ability to see their grandchildren following the death or divorce, or if a child is born out of wedlock. Co-founder, along with Judge Edward Sosnick, of the parent education program known as SMILE (Start Making It Livable for Everyone) which helps parents understand what they and their children go through, following separation and divorce. SMILE helps a parent learn how to help themselves and teaches parents how to help their children. This project has been a pro bono program, since it was created in 1989. Founder of the Victor Smile Foundation, which receives all profits paid to Richard Victor for his national award-winning book, You and Me Make Three, which is a book dealing with children and families of divorce.


Video taken at a book launch fundraiser discussing what children of divorce experience when there is parental conflict with divorce. How children are innocent victims of the emotional conflict of interest created by their parents. This You Tube video is part of the national nonprofit Victor Smile Foundation website and information on the book "You and Me Make Three"., PSA regarding children of divorce


Author of all newsletters from the national nonprofit Grandparents Rights Organization, since its inception in 1984.,Grandparents Rights Organization

Educational Background:

  • Bachelor of Science and Degree in Education, Wayne State University 1971;
  • Juris Doctor Michigan State University College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law) 1975
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