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Best Family Lawyers in Santa Barbara, CA

Our Recommended Top 15

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Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Santa Barbara Family Lawyers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

66Reviewed

45Curated

15Top Picks

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Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

674 County Square Drive, Suite 103,, Ventura, CA 93003

Why choose this provider?

Donnelly & Evans, LLP serves birth mothers, adopting families, and adopted children in Santa Barbara. The firm offers legal assistance on various family law matters, such as guardianship, adoption, and interstate child custody. Founding partner Douglas R. Donnelly has handled adoption cases before the California Supreme Court. Since 1977, he has been admitted to practice law. He is a past president of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers. Donnelly has been featured on Oprah Winfrey Show and CBS.

  • Asset Distribution
  • Adoption
  • Child Custody

148 E Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.0 (8)
Yelp
3.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Drury Pullen is a family law and civil litigation firm serving clients in Santa Barbara. Jennifer Drury and Susanna Pullen negotiate and litigate cases involving divorce and legal separation. They represent individuals in domestic violence and enforcement and collection of judgment orders. Additionally, they help with mediation and cohabitation and prenuptial agreements. These lawyers established the firm in 2004. Drury is a professor at Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law while Pullen is a board-certified family law specialist.

  • Divorce

2531 Mesa School Lane, Suite 213, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)
Yelp
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Anna S. Karczag delivers mediation solutions for family relationship issues in Santa Barbara. It handles the mediation process of marriage dissolution and custody, high-asset property division, and crisis cases. Karczag also represents clients in court order modifications, stepparent adoptions, and paternity matters. She guides clients starting from case commencement to the entry of judgment. She was admitted to the bar in 1982 and previously served as Judge Pro Tem of the Santa Barbara Municipal Court.

  • Domestic Violence
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody

2331 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Marla A. Pleyte has been providing legal guidance to families in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas since 2007. It helps clients pursue favorable outcomes in contested divorces and offers a less adversarial approach which is mediation. Its mediation services include educating spouses so that they have a reasonable understanding of the law concerning their circumstances. The firm also drafts premarital and post-marital agreements. Principal Marla Pleyte is a certified family law specialist.

  • Divorce

924 Anacapa Street, Suite 1-T, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Laborde & Daugherty Attorneys at Law has been providing legal services to families in Santa Barbara since 2001. It guides and represents clients with family law issues, including spousal and child support, child custody and visitation, divorce, and division of marital property. Additionally, it offers solutions for the modification and enforcement of child support orders. The firm's attorneys have over 40 years of collective legal experience. It also assists with matters involving estate planning, probate, and commercial collections.

  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

15 West Carrillo Street, Ste. 211, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Renee M. Fairbanks caters to people in and around Santa Barbara. It counsels and represents clients dealing with various types of family law. The firm takes on divorce cases and helps couples address spousal maintenance or alimony, child custody and support, and property division disputes. It also prepares and reviews premarital and marital settlement agreements. Founder Renee Fairbanks has been practicing law for over a decade. She is board-certified in family law by the State Bar of California.

  • Alimony
  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody

1114 State St #222, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (4)
Yelp
5.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Matthew J. Long represents Santa Barbara clients in family law proceedings, including divorce. It helps address the legal, financial, and emotional issues of separating couples wanting a collaborative divorce. The firm also provides divorce coaching to create a good co-parenting relationship between parties. Firm principal Matthew Long has been in the family and civil law practice for 28 years. He has been the Santa Barbara Collaborative Law Group's president from 2007 up to the present.

  • Prenuptial Agreements

200 East Carrillo Street Suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Hollister & Brace works with people in Santa Barbara. It takes on cases concerning family law and guides individuals through marriage dissolution. It advocates for their rights in trial settings. The firm also develops estate plans with multiple documents, including special needs trusts. One of its members, Susan McCollum, is a former president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. She received the Attorney of the Year award in 1999 from the organization Santa Barbara Women Lawyers.

  • Divorce

125 E. Victoria Street, Suite F, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Why choose this provider?

Miles T. Goldrick represents clients in various family law cases in and around Santa Barbara. These include pre-and post-nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modification of orders, alimony, the establishment of paternity rights, and domestic violence restraining orders. Goldrick brings over 35 years of experience to fight for the rights of clients throughout mediation proceedings but is prepared to litigate matters before state and federal courts. He also helps with wills and trusts, estate planning, and personal injury law claims.

  • Domestic Violence
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Prenuptial Agreements

Pueblo Building 144 E. Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Donald L. Briggs protects the rights of people in and around Santa Barbara. It focuses on handling family law-related cases and provides legal solutions to address separation or divorce disputes. The firm helps couples develop settlement agreements to resolve issues involving child custody and support and adoption. Its principal partner, Donald Briggs, has been practicing law for more than 40 years. He is a former trial counsel and has handled over 20 jury trials.

  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

1035 Santa Barbara Street, Suite 7, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (7)
Google
3.0 (6)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Meghan Behrens accommodates families in Santa Barbara and the surrounding neighborhoods. For over 13 years, sole practitioner Meghan Behrens has been addressing different family law issues, such as the enforcement of parental rights, child custody and support, visitation plans, and divorce. She protects the client's rights in negotiations and litigation. She is a former public defender who has represented more than 700 motions in jury trials. Behrens also practices criminal law, representing clients accused of crimes like assault and DUI.

  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

7 West Figueroa Street, Suite 300, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein caters to people in Santa Barbara. It runs a family law practice and works with individuals dealing with cases involving various matters, including child custody and spousal support. It also helps clients assess the value of marital assets, like retirement accounts, motor vehicles, and pension plans. The firm employs an aggressive approach to advocate for an individual's interests in mediation settings. It handles other cases regarding domestic violence and assists victims in obtaining restraining orders against their ex-partners.

  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

559 San Ysidro Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Herring Law Group serves clients in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas. It helps families navigate the legalities of marriage, children's welfare, and properties. It also deals with the modification of court orders and contempt. In addition, the firm handles analysis and conflict resolution for premarital and postmarital agreements. Its lawyer, Greg Herring, is board-certified as a family law specialist. He was named the AAML Southern California Chapter's Family Law Person of the Year in 2018.

  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

148 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Moore Family Law & Mediation educates Santa Barbara clients through every step of the domestic relations dispute resolution process. Matthew Moore helps individuals and families with a variety of legal issues, including Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and assisted reproductive technology. He is a certified family law specialist who litigates cases as well as provides coaching and consultation. He also assists in the preparation of marital, prenuptial, and cohabitation agreements. Moore has over 10 years of legal experience and is an MC3 Certified Mediator.

  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Divorce

15 W. Carrillo St., Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Jane L. Tanner serves the people of Santa Barbara. It advocates for clients facing conflicts with various family matters, like divorce and legal separation, custody and visitation rights, child support determination, and parentage plans. Dedicated to providing customized representation, the firm assesses clients' unique goals and situations before deciding whether to settle matters through negotiation or litigation. Its lead attorney, Jane Tanner, has been practicing since 2003. Before forming her private practice, she worked for the Dept. of Child Support Services.

  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Compare our Top Family Lawyers

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Donnelly & Evans, LLP
674 County Square Drive, Suite 103,, Ventura, CA 93003
Drury Pullen
148 E Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Law Offices of Anna S. Karczag
2531 Mesa School Lane, Suite 213, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Law Offices of Marla A. Pleyte
2331 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Laborde & Daugherty Attorneys at Law
924 Anacapa Street, Suite 1-T, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Office of Renee M. Fairbanks
15 West Carrillo Street, Ste. 211, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Offices of Matthew J. Long
1114 State St #222, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Hollister & Brace
200 East Carrillo Street Suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Miles T. Goldrick
125 E. Victoria Street, Suite F, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Offices of Donald L. Briggs
Pueblo Building 144 E. Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Office of Meghan Behrens
1035 Santa Barbara Street, Suite 7, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Offices of Evan Braunstein
7 West Figueroa Street, Suite 300, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Herring Law Group
559 San Ysidro Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Moore Family Law & Mediation
148 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Law Office of Jane L. Tanner
15 W. Carrillo St., Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Disclaimer:  Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

FAQs

  • What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

    Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

  • Is family court different from district court?

    In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

  • How long do custody cases last in family court?

    The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

  • Why is there no jury in family court?

    There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

  • What are the most common cases in family court?

    Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

    • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
    • Child custody and the determination of paternity
    • Domestic violence protection orders
    • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
    • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
    • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
    • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
    • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
    • Approval of underage marriages

  • Do family lawyers handle mediation?

    Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.