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Best Divorce Lawyers in Walnut Creek

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Bednarczyk & Valerio, LLP logo
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Bednarczyk & Valerio, LLP

1470 Maria Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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Business Description

Bednarczyk & Valerio, LLP, is a Walnut Creek-based law firm that focuses on divorce and family law. The firm deals with property issues, domestic violence cases, financial problems, and child custody. It also handles both court representation and private settlement, depending on what the clients are inclined to. Additionally, its attorneys strive to help the individuals involved in a divorce understand their rights, possible legal options, and all the risks that accompany them so all the involved parties can make a well-informed decision.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (8)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Colliss Law logo
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Colliss Law

1299 Newell Hill Place, Suite 300, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Support
  • Asset Distribution

Business Description

Colliss Law addresses different types of family issues. It offers legal counsel and representation to Walnut Creek residents dealing with divorce cases. The practice assists separating couples in setting settlement agreements to resolve child and spousal support disputes. It also takes on cases related to domestic violence as well as visitation and custody agreement problems. Founder Matthew Colliss strives to provide collaborative and sustainable solutions through mediation. He works as an adjunct professor at the John F. Kennedy University School of Law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.6 / 5 (11)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (5)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Divorce for Men Only logo
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Divorce for Men Only

925 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

Divorce for Men Only is a law firm that focuses on protecting the rights of men and fathers in Walnut Creek and the neighboring areas, representing them in divorce proceedings. Since its establishment in 1982, it has been helping clients in reaching acceptable agreements in matters regarding child custody, spousal support, property division, and post-divorce issues. Principal attorney Neil Holmes has been practicing for over 35 years. He has been featured in various publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Doyle Quane logo
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Doyle Quane

571 Hartz Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Doyle Quane Law Group is a firm serving the legal needs of the Walnut Creek area. The firm's services focus on three main areas of law in California namely, family law and divorce, trust and estates, and corporate counsel. The law group also offers legal services for dissolution of marriage petitions, marital agreements, spousal support, corporate law, and various related corporate law matters. Founding attorney, Terence Daniel Doyle, has practiced for over 30 years and is certified in family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Reputation:

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4.5

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5.0
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Fishel Law Firm, Attorney and Counsellor logo
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Fishel Law Firm, Attorney and Counsellor

1375 Locust Street, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Mediation

Business Description

Fishel Law Firm, Attorney and Counsellor is a law firm that serves clients in Walnut Creek. Founding attorney James Fishel focuses on a range of family law areas, including divorce and legal separation. He provides support and guidance to clients in child custody, child visitation, paternity, adoptions, and support issues. He may also serve as a mediator to help both parties reach an agreement without undergoing a drawn-out court battle. Fishel has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (10)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (5)
Google
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Gregory Stone Attorney at Law logo
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Gregory Stone Attorney at Law

2855 Mitchell Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Gregory Stone, Attorney at Law is a multi-practice firm founded in 1985. Its office is located in Walnut Creek and serves clients in the greater East Bay area. Sole practitioner Gregory Stone handles family law cases such as divorce, child custody and support, and modification of court orders. He also deals with estate planning and probate, real estate, and business law concerns. Stone negotiates for the best interests of his clients and represents clients in litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (7)

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5.0
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Kathleen Caswell Family Law logo
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Kathleen Caswell Family Law

190 N. Wiget Lane, Suite 103, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
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  • Contested
  • Mediation
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Kathleen Caswell Family Law is a private practice that provides Walnut Creek residents with assistance in family law matters. It helps couples who are preparing for or are going through the legal process of divorce. The firm's practice also covers related matters like prenuptial agreements, child and spousal support, visitation, estate planning, mediation, and guardianship. Founding attorney Kathleen Caswell has dedicated her career to practicing family law. She advocates mediation for clients in divorce cases to simplify the process and minimize expenses.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (27)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)
Larose Law logo
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Larose Law

39199 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite E, Fremont, CA 94538
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  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Asset Distribution

Business Description

Larose Law serves clients in and around Walnut Creek. Its attorneys assist estranged couples who want to terminate their marriage by filing for divorce. They work to determine the approach—whether it be mediation, collaboration, or litigation—that best meets clients' needs. If domestic violence is involved, the team seeks protection orders for clients or defends them from false accusations. Jonathan Larose, the firm's managing founder and senior litigation attorney, has been practicing for over two decades. He obtained an MBA in addition to his law degree.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
3.5 / 5 (13)
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Ariel Brownell logo
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Law Office of Ariel Brownell

1990 North California Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of Ariel Brownell is a boutique law firm that offers legal representation for divorce cases in Walnut Creek. The firm is centered on providing legal assistance with compassion and works to provide solutions that advocate for its clients' rights. Its practice areas encompass child custody and visitation, child support, legal separation, mediation, and annulment of marriage. Additionally, the Law Office of Ariel Brownell assists with matters concerning premarital and postmarital agreements as well as spousal support.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Law Office of Jennifer L. King, PC logo
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Law Office of Jennifer L. King, PC

4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA 94506
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Law Office of Jennifer L. King, PC, offers representation for clients in Walnut Creek and the surrounding metro areas in matters of family law. Its attorney, Jennifer King, provides legal assistance in various practical aspects, including spousal support, child support, as well as the division of assets and properties. She has successfully supported clients in divorces initiated for numerous reasons, including domestic violence. Her other practice areas include mediation, child custody and visitation, and post-divorce modification.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Law Office of John R. Larson logo
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Law Office of John R. Larson

1211 Newell Avenue, Suite 210, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of John R. Larson serves the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, including Walnut Creek. The firm started in 2010 and focuses primarily on civil litigation and family law. Its legal team guides clients through the complicated divorce process, providing advice on their legal options so they can make informed decisions. They also handle cases involving child custody and domestic violence. Founder John Larson is an experienced litigator. The firm’s other practice areas are DUI, employment law, business law, and select personal injury cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
5.0 / 5 (16)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (13)
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Law Offices of Anne D. Bonfiglio logo
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Law Offices of Anne D. Bonfiglio

1990 N. California Blvd., Suite 20, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Mediation
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Law Offices of Anne D. Bonfiglio serves residents of Walnut Creek who wish to end their marriages. The firm handles divorces and legal separations. It tackles the division of community properties and petitions for spousal support. The office also resolves child custody and visitation rights disputes. The practice obtains restraining orders for victims of domestic violence. Counsel Anne D. Bonfiglio was a litigation associate at Ware & Friedenrich and she worked with Fortune 500 corporations. She has since transitioned her advocacy to family relations.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (11)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (4)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)
Law Offices of Joseph H. Wolch logo
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Law Offices of Joseph H. Wolch

100 Pringle Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Law Offices of Joseph H. Wolch has been representing the residents of Walnut Creek and the surrounding communities in divorce and family law cases for more than 20 years. The firm's attorneys cover all aspects of divorce law, from collaborative marriage dissolutions to complex and high net worth divorces. Founder Joseph Wolch has been practicing for more than 28 years. Together with his team, Wolch helps clients achieve acceptable resolutions regarding child custody, spousal support, property division, and premarital and postnuptial agreements.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Law Offices of Maria Caroline Engfelt logo
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Law Offices of Maria Caroline Engfelt

961 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Law Offices of Maria Caroline Engfelt provides counsel and representation for individuals facing divorce in Walnut Creek. The firm handles default, uncontested, and contested divorces. Engfelt guides the client throughout the process, from the division of assets and alimony to child visitation and support. She personally works on each case and directly communicates with the client to address their concerns. Engfelt has 20 years of family law experience. She assists with other matters, including guardianships, paternity, and stepparent adoptions.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Lee Family Law logo
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Lee Family Law

1990 North California Blvd., 8th Floor, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Lee Family Law provides compassionate assistance to Walnut Creek clients. Its legal team assists clients in navigating the divorce process, which includes dealing with post-divorce issues such as asset division, child custody and support, and spousal support. Firm owner Billie-Jean Lee, a California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, also represents clients who have been divorced for several years and want to modify a support order. She has been a board member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association's Family Law Section since 2017.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Leydiker Family Law logo
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Leydiker Family Law

1211 Newell Ave., Suite 230, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Leydiker Family Law serves clients in and around Walnut Creek. Its legal team handles family law matters, such as divorce, child custody and support, paternity, annulment, and domestic violence. The team also provides legal consulting for post-judgment appeals and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. The office’s principal attorney, Tanya Leydiker, has been exclusively practicing family law since 1993. Leydiker has extensive litigation experience in complex issues, including co-parenting disputes, division of marital estates, and move-away cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.2 / 5 (5)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Maria Schopp Attorney at Law Mediator logo
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Maria Schopp Attorney at Law Mediator

700 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

Maria Schopp is a divorce and family law attorney and mediator who serves clients in Walnut Creek and the neighboring metro areas. She offers representation in divorce matters involving property division, child and spousal support, and pre-marital and post-marital settlement agreements. She is also experienced in handling domestic violence issues, including spousal battery offenses. Maria has been a sole practitioner since 2003. Prior to this, she worked as an assistant public defender. Additionally, Maria serves on the board of the Queen’s Bench Women’s Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Mark T. Blake logo
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Mark T. Blake

800 South Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

Mark T. Blake is a family law attorney that represents clients in the Walnut Creek metro. He provides legal assistance to clients filing for divorce and assists with property division, child custody, order enforcement, and child support issues. He likewise reviews premarital and marital agreements. The lawyer also offers estate planning and business litigation services. Blake has more than 20 years of experience in family law and is a member of the networking group Business Network International.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Pfeiffer Law, LLP logo
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Pfeiffer Law, LLP

1655 North Main Street, Suite 240, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Pfeiffer Law, LLP, serves individuals going through a divorce in Walnut Creek. The firm provides support in each step of the process, from preparing the petition and serving as attorney-of-record in court to mediating disputes. Its services are customized to fit the client's situation and financial capacity. Pfeiffer Law handles other family matters, including child custody and support. It also practices estate planning. Partners George and Laura Pfeiffer both served in the Family Law Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Roehn Law Offices LLP logo
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Roehn Law Offices LLP

1990 North California Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

Roehn Law Offices, LLP, aids couples and families of Walnut Creek in navigating divorce proceedings. It assists with processes such as legal separation, child custody and support, paternity actions, and division of assets, businesses, and properties. It also covers domestic violence restraining orders and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Other services include real estate consulting, from rent status analysis to appeal representations. Firm partner Derrick Roehn is a certified family law specialist that focuses on high-asset divorces. He also has experience in criminal law litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Office of Bonnie L. Johnson logo
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The Law Office of Bonnie L. Johnson

3021 Citrus Circle, Suite 250, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Office of Bonnie L. Johnson advocates for Walnut Creek residents facing divorce matters. It helps spouses settle child and spousal support, custody, and property division issues. The firm’s attorney, Bonnie L. Johnson, treats cases with the attention and respect they deserve to allow her clients to focus on their family issues. Recognizing each client as an individual with unique challenges, she takes time to understand their situation, prioritize their goals, and address their questions and concerns using plain language.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (3)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)
Vanegas Law Group logo
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Vanegas Law Group

3100 Oak Road, Suite 230, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
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  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Vanegas Law Group helps clients in Walnut Creek go through a divorce while minimizing its emotional impact on the family. Its lawyers provide guidance on the division of assets and child custody and spousal support arrangements. Autumn Adams, the firm's attorney for family law issues, encourages mediation over litigation whenever possible. Her 13 years of experience as a treatment group home parent for developmentally delayed foster children gave her a different understanding of family situations and the resolutions needed.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (16)
Google
5.0 / 5 (12)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)
Wapnick Family Law logo
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Wapnick Family Law

101 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Mediation

Business Description

Wapnick Family Law is a legal firm that serves clients in the Walnut Creek area. It handles high net worth divorce, marriage dissolution, and property division cases. It also provides legal representation in other areas of family law, which include domestic violence, spousal support, parentage, and child support. The firm has been in the industry since 2000. One of its attorneys, Tracey C. Wapnick, initially worked as an associate attorney before establishing Wapnick Family Law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?

The steps required to file for divorce depend heavily on whether the divorce is contested, if there are minor children or property issues at stake, and if there are disagreements over child support or alimony. The process may also differ from state to state, but generally parties must:

  • File the divorce petition
  • Hire a process server to give the other party divorce papers/respond to the original petitioner's filing
  • Request temporary orders covering issues such as custody/visitation, support, and exclusive property use
  • Make financial disclosures
  • Request discovery from your spouse
  • Propose and/or consider a possible settlement
  • Go to trial if necessary
  • Receive a signed judgment from the court indicating the divorce is final
  • Address post-divorce tasks such as transferring property titles and closing joint bank accounts

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The cost of a divorce differs dramatically based on a litany of criteria, such as whether the divorce is contested, where the divorce petition is filed, and whether the divorce requires a professional intermediary or other legal expert. A simple, low-frills DIY divorce can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Add in mediation and the cost may jump to the mid-four figures and can easily reach $7,000 or more. Hire a lawyer and you may pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000+ if there are major custodial issue or complex financial concerns.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost?

Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and billing can vary dramatically. Some attorneys in more affordable markets and/or with less experience may charge as little as $75/hour. More experienced attorney or those who have large staffs, specialize in complex cases, or hold relevant certifications may charge premium rates in excess of $400/hour. Then there are the amount of hours invested; simple cases may be over in a matter of weeks while hotly contested divorces can drag on for years leading to lawyer's fees in the tens of thousands.

How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?

Divorce lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. It's important to find a lawyer whose skill set, experience, and resources align with the demands of each specific situation. For instance, some attorneys will push mediation while others are naturals in the courtroom.

  • Know your budget
  • Limit your search to lawyers experienced in family law
  • Zero in on lawyers or firms that can handle the complexities of divorce, especially any issues that may be specific to the current case
  • Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations, but remember that their situations and needs may not be the same
  • Conduct interviews to see who feels trustworthy and can spell out an approach that feels appropriate
  • Try to ignore ad campaigns and office décor and instead consider track record and skills

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on the major issues, such as custody of any minor children, child support, alimony, and how to divide any assets and/or debt. While uncontested divorces still require a judge to approve the terms of the divorcing couple's signed agreement, these relatively simple splits tend to move faster, cost less money, and are easier to execute without the help of a divorce lawyer. A divorce filing that goes unanswered by the non-petitioning party may also be considered uncontested.

Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?

It's possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, especially if the divorce is uncontested. Many states offer free divorce forms either online or at legal self-help centers located in or near family court. There are often dispute resolution resources available as well; mediation services can help iron out disputes over custody or financial support without involving lawyers. Still, a free consultation with a divorce lawyer can offer valuable insight, and contentious divorces, whether they go to trial or not, all but require legal representation.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The length of a divorce is contingent on four things: each state's mandatory waiting period, whether the divorce is uncontested or contested, how quickly both sides can come to an agreement, and how quickly a judge is able to hear or review the case and sign off. The best-case scenario is an uncontested divorce in a state with a short waiting period which could see a divorce finalized in a matter of weeks. For divorces with highly combative parties, long discovery periods, and other complications, a decision could take months or even years.

How to prepare for divorce?

It's difficult to ever feel truly prepared for the rigors of divorce, but there are several steps that can make the process more bearable and allow for a more positive outcome:

  • Interview attorneys
  • Locate and make copies of important documents like mortgage and car titles, insurance policies, business licenses, financial records, bank statements, and income tax returns
  • Take inventory of valuable household items that should be considered later while splitting assets
  • Make a detailed list of monthly expenses, including utilities, rent or mortgage, childcare, kids' activities like sports or dance classes, school tuition, and insurance
  • Know what the respondent's income is, including any income from self-employment, stock dividends, and interest
  • Double-check credit history and evaluate both short- and long-term earning potential
  • Set goals for ideal custody arrangement, support amounts, and living arrangements
  • Get support from friends and family

What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?

Most courts follow state laws that consider an engagement ring to be the recipient's property once a wedding takes place, which means it remains that recipient's individual property even after a divorce. Other states categorize engagement rings as marital property and as such the ring is subject to the same division of assets as a house or art collection might be. For spouses who get to keep their jewelry, engagement rings can be sold, dismantled and repurposed, returned to the original buyer, or kept and handed down to any children the marriage may have produced.

What is divorce mediation?

When divorces get heated or even just have the potential to become messy, a neutral third party can help calm both parties and resolve issues without the need for a trial. This is called mediation. A great mediator is unbiased and invested in a balanced, fair outcome; they will ideally listen to both parties, encourage respectful discussions, and raise questions or concerns when appropriate. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare documents detailing the agreed-upon terms. Using a mediator only works if both sides are willing to meet and discuss a compromise, but doing so can save a considerable amount of time, money, emotional strain, and overall stress.

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