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About Jeanne M Hannah

Jeanne M. Hannah of Traverse City, Michigan was born and raised in Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in English literature.  Jeanne Hannah enrolled at the Detroit College of Law in 1982, gradating Magna cum laude in 1985. She was a member of the Law Review in 1983 and 1984. She was the recipient of the AmJur Book Award for Contracts (1983) and Equitable Remedies (1984).

Ms. Hannah has been practicing law since she graduated from Detroit College of Law. She practiced in Traverse City with the law firm of Robb, Dettmer, Messing and Thompson after law school prior to opening a solo practice in 1987. Since 1994, Jeanne Hannah has concentrated on family law, including divorce, separate maintenance, child custody, support, cohabitation and parentage issues. She also represents clients in cases dealing with post-judgment modification issues, adoption issues, neglect/abuse proceedings and simple estate planning,  She also represents clients around the country whose children are victims of parental abduction, having six successful recoveries in 2007-2008. 

Practice Areas

Jeanne Hannah practices in Grand Traverse, Charlevoix, Emmet, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska County Family and Probate Courts. She regularly consults with family lawyers in other counties, often assisting them with research and with preparation of briefs in complicated cases involving such issues as paternity, custody, parenting time, and property distribution. 

Ms. Hannah represents fathers and mothers in divorce and custody proceedings; she helps them to obtain and to exercise their rights to child custody, parenting time, equitable property distributions, and alimony/spousal support. She believes that  in order for a client to successfully navigate the often rocky terrain of a divorce and/or custody action, he or she must be informed about what his or her options are and about how the court will look at the particular facts of the case. Knowledge is power, and Ms. Hannah makes an effort to help her clients understand how the specific facts of the case may impact on the court's ultimate decision. Making tough decisions as a parent is not easy, and when a family is disintegrating, those decisions become even more difficult to make. Jeanne Hannah believes that giving parents information that helps them to disengage from the emotional issues of divorce helps them to make good parenting decisions.

Drawing upon her life experiences, Jeanne Hannah’s goal as sole practitioner is to advocate for her clients through a very difficult process. "Good people get divorced," she says, "and these people deserve quality representation in a very unpleasant arena. One thing I can guarantee is that I will advocate for my clients to achieve a result that is in their best interests and is also in the best interests of their children."

Jeanne Hannah is a member of the Family Law and Elder Law and Disability Rights Sections of the State Bar of Michigan and of the of the Family Law, Law Practice Management & Technology, and Domestic Violence Sections American Bar Association. She is often a speaker at Family Law Section conferences and she also contributes on a regular basis to discussions on the Family Law Listservs of the State Bar of Michigan and the ABA. She also contributes to the Domestic Violence Listserv of the ABA. Ms. Hannah writes a family law blog: Updates in Michigan Law. She also writes a divorce blog "Ask the Family Lawyer" for the Traverse City Record Eagle. Both are updated frequently. Recently Ms. Hannah authored the chapter "Divorce Cases" for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's ["ICLE’s"] Basic Practice Handbook (6th ed 2008) and the chapter "Family Law Issues for Elders and Disabled Persons" for ICLE's "Advising the Older or Disabled Client." (3d ed 2008).

In 2001 and through 2003, Jeanne took time from her practice to research and write on elder care / family caregiver issues. She is the principal author of Taking Charge: Good Medical Care for the Elderly and How to Get It.  Her co-author is Dr. Joseph H. Friedman who specializes in neurology and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Friedman teaches at Brown University Medical School in Rhode Island.

In addition, Ms. Hannah writes two elder care / family caregiver Blogs. Good Medical Care for the Elderly and How to Get It  and Aging in Place, an online blog for the Traverse City Record Eagle, a local newspaper.

Taking Charge: Good Medical Care for the Elderly and How to Get It identifies the six most prevalent serious medical complications threatening the elderly. This book is a resource for family lawyers, elder law lawyers, caregivers, and all people over the age of 60.

Taking Charge: Good Medical Care for the Elderly & How to Get It

Look Inside Book:


Taking Charge provides caregivers with newfound confidence in their observations and teaches them to recognize problems early -- such as potentially deadly medication errors -- so that they can help prevent or minimize serious complications by alerting doctors and nurses that diagnosis and treatment is required.

Taking Charge shows readers that

(1) You do not need medical training to be effective members of the caregiving team.

(2) The elderly are most at risk to suffer serious and life-threatening complications of minor illnesses and routine treatments.

(3) Since most doctors and nurses have little or no training in geriatrics, misdiagnosis is common.

(4) Caregivers are essential members of the caregiving team because they are able to detect subtle changes in status of their loved ones that signal the beginning of a potential medical crisis and are able to advocate for accurate diagnoses and proper treatments.

(5) Family caregivers are also in the best position to advocate for continuity of care, particularly when the elderly are transitioned from one care environment into another. Transitions between care facilities are dangerous for the elderly when communication among medical personnel breaks down, when there is not adequate follow-up after discharge, and when family caregivers and/or the elderly patient does not fully understand the diagnosis, the treatment, and what side effects or symptoms of medication errors to watch for.

(6) Caregivers can help doctors and nurses develop strategies to prevent these complications, therefore helping to prolong their loved ones' lives, to promote a higher quality of life, and a dignified end-of-life experience. 

Traverse City Record Eagle article about Taking Charge, "Lessons Learned,"  may be read here.

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Jeanne M. Hannah, Family Lawyer
Postal address:5922 Deer Trail Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49684 • E-mail: jeannemhannah [at] charter.net

Practice Areas: Divorce  Custody  Parenting Time  Child Support Post-Judgment Modifications  Paternity  Adoption  Personal Protection Orders  Spousal Support  Property Distribution  Pre-Nuptial / Post-Nuptial Agreements Estate Planning Guardianships/Conservatorships  Neglect/Abuse Cases 

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Send mail to jeannemhannah [at] charter.net with questions or comments about this web site.

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