About Denise Couling
Denise Couling is a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Couling has practiced for over 20 years in the area of business, real estate and family law. Couling is trained as both a mediator and in collaborative practice (also known as "collaborative law"). She is a court-approved family law mediator in Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw counties. In addition to private practice, Couling has served in government and public service roles as a Family Court Referee in Genesee County, as both a member and the Chairperson of the Green Oak Township Zoning Board of Appeals and as an ongoing contributor to numerous innovative community projects.
In the area of family law, Couling's experience as a Family Court Referee combined with her training in alternative dispute resolution techniques inspired her commitment to work toward a more effective, less damaging, approach to traditional, court-based divorce litigation. Couling's observations from private practice and the courts yielded the firm conviction that the vast majority of family law cases can be better addressed by a legal approach that emphasizes productive problem-solving over often counter-productive court disputes.
Couling developed StreamlineDivorce℠, an innovative framework to help resolve divorce and family law cases, and introduced this approach in Livingston County in 2010. It has since become a core area of her practice. Emphasizing privacy and cost-effectiveness, Couling assists couples and families address the challenges of divorce with a focus on making the best possible preparation for a positive future, both in terms of sound financial preparation as well as in terms of their ongoing relationships, especially where co-parenting is involved. Couling regularly presents at family law seminars and is actively involved in Mediate First (formally known as LIPA), a Livingston County-based community organization working to transform the traditional divorce litigation process by introducing mediation at the earliest possible stage of cases.
Business & Real Estate
Couling's undergraduate background in economics and her personal history of entrepreneurship have fueled her long-standing enthusiasm for supporting the success of new businesses. Couling actively represents landlords, residential real estate developments and a variety of small businesses -- with a special love for assisting new entrepreneurs. Couling has served as a business coach for the FastTrac℠ New Venture program (a nationally-recognized entrepreneurship program developed by the Kauffman Foundation and offered through the MI-SBTDC). Couling's background in the areas of real estate and business law frequently enables her to serve business owners not only in their business matters but also in divorce and mediation cases involving their unique, and often complex, needs. Some of Couling's most rewarding family law mediation cases have involved creative solutions that not only met the divorcing couples' needs but carefully protected their interwoven business or real estate concerns.
Couling is a member of the State Bar of Michigan as well as the Livingston and Genesee County Bar Associations. Couling is certified in Elder Mediation and is also a member of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan and International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She has contributed to numerous legal periodicals and was a contributing author for Michigan Residential Real Estate Transactions, published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). Couling has served as a presenter at the ICLE's Advanced Dispute Resolution & Negotiation Institute and speaks frequently at numerous seminars and events.
A mother of two, Couling is a longtime Livingston County resident. Focusing on each client's unique goals and circumstances, Couling's mission is to deliver the same thoughtful, straightforward and personalized attention that she would seek for herself or her own family. Leadership and respect are the hallmarks of her approach to the practice of law and her service to clients.