Telephone: (616) 531-7711
Fax: (616) 531-7757



Danielle Schoonmaker


Christine has been named to the list of Rising Stars for 2018 and 2019 by Super Lawyers. While up to five percent of the lawyers in the state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

Family Law.

Christine represents clients in divorce, custody, and paternity proceedings, as well as in post-judgment parenting time, child support, and spousal support modifications proceedings. She is commiteed to helping her clients acheive their goals throught the court sustem, while being mindful that clients and their families need to move forward from a challenging and emotional situation to find a ned normal. To that end, she seeks to minimize the conflict and maximize solutions.

Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration.

Among the most difficult notions for clients to embrace are that someday they may not be able to care for themselves or that someday their loved ones will have to go on living without them. At the same time, planning for these inevitabilities is probably the single most important step a client can take to protect their loved ones and their estate. Christine advises clients about their options and helps them to develop and implement a plan that will ensure that they make their own choices about the type of care they want and the disposition of their property, rather than leaving such decisions to strangers. When a loved one becomes unable to handle his or her personal affairs due to advanced age or a developmentally disabled child becomes an adult, Christine helps her clients to secure the authority necessary to act on behalf of the adult in need of protection through guardianships and conservatorships.

Medicaid Planning, Elder Law, Disability

As the cost of long-term care continues to skyrocket, clients are increasingly seeking advice about how to protect their family's assets. Medicaid eligibility rules are complex and constantly changing, resulting in traps for the ill-prepared. Christine assists clients and their families to evaluate their circumstances and maximize their ability to preserve assets and prevent spousal impoverishment. Christine has advised many clients on their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, and Fair Housing Act, including the use of service animals and emotional support animals, as well as access to a free and appropriate education.

Civil Litigation, Collections and Bankruptcy

Christine possesses broad litigation experience at both the trial and appellate level spanning practice areas such as contract disputes, property damage or ownership disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, collections, and employment disputes. Christine zealously pursues the best interests of her clients in a cost-effective manner, with a focus on prompt, open communication and candid advice so that the client can make informed decisions every step of the way. Christine also successfully represents creditors whether they are seeking judgments against delinquent consumer and commercial borrowers or needing protection of their rights in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 proceedings.

Business Law.

Christine supports businesses at all stages from formation to winding down, including ongoing maintenance and management; purchase and sale transactions; contract drafting, negotiation, and review; and succession planning. Her unique background in organizational management enables her to advise business owners and managers on all aspects of day-to-day operations, including human resource and employment law issues.


Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2013

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Law Review, Moot Court
  • Extern to (former) Chief Justice William B. Murphy, Michigan Court of Appeals

Master of Arts from Spring Arbor University - 2009
Bachelor of Applied Science from Davenport University - 2000


  • All Michigan State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • Michigan Bar Association
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Michigan Association for Justice


Christine earned several Certificates of Merit during law school-awards recognizing her performance at the top of her class-in several practice areas including Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Appellate Practice, Legal Research & Writing, Secured Transactions, and Federal Disabilities Law. She was also recognized as Best Oralist in a preliminary round at the highly competitive National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition in New York.


Christine resides in Rockford with Kirk and their teen-aged children, but travels north as much as possible to visit her adult daughter and grandson in Traverse City. A cancer survivor, Christine supports Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids, participating in various fundraising events through the year as well as providing members access to the legal system through the monthly "Ask the Lawyer" program. She also serves on the board for Grandville Friendship Homes which provides assisted living homes for men and women who seek independence, but cannot live entirely on their own. When she's not busy with her daughter's competitive dance team, Christine enjoys spending free time with family and friends, cooking (paleo), reading, photography, playing euchre, and exploring Michigan's natural beauty and historic sites-especially lighthouses.