Contra Costa Divorce Lawyer

“Sometimes a good outcome is very clear – getting a restraining order against an abusive spouse, or getting spousal support against a spouse who’s hiding income. Other times, a good outcome is far more nuanced. Without fail, all of our best outcomes, our big wins, come about because only one side did the work. And a big, big part of that is deeply understanding the people involved and what makes them tick.”

Amy Laughlin

Need a Contra Costa County divorce lawyer you can trust who can handle everything from a simple divorce to a highly complex case? That’s Laughlin Legal.

Divorces come in all sizes. Some involve children, some involve boats and planes in addition to cars, some involve businesses, some involve complex forms of equity, some involve homes in multiple states or even countries. And some involve a combination of all of the above. Others are much simpler. But regardless of the size of the estate, the emotion involved in ending the marriage and the consequences of how the marriage ends are always big. This is why experience counts when choosing a Contra Costa County divorce lawyer.

What to look for in a Contra Costa Divorce Lawyer.

What does it mean to be an ‘experienced’ Contra Costa Country divorce lawyer? One definition is a deep knowledge of California’s unique laws on the subject, and an up to date awareness of the latest changes.

For some, experienced may mean capable and skilled at handling a divorce that occurs outside of Contra Costa County or even outside the United States.

Another is financial fluency, specifically experience investigating and analyzing sophisticated and complex financial assets – including business valuations, venture capital, allocation of equity interests, tax and property characterization, etc.

Another definition of experienced is possessing the skill and compassion to safely and successfully navigate a divorce involving domestic violence whether it’s directed at a spouse, at the children, or both.

Still another brand of experience is equally accomplished at alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation and collaborative law, as well as traditional divorce representation.

At Laughlin Legal, we check all those boxes and then some. But perhaps the definition of ‘experienced’ we’re most proud of is the one that comes from our clients. Here’s a short list of compliments our clients have shared with us:

“just could not be more competent and capable”

“really really good in court no matter the pressure”

“attorneys I’m actually super impressed with”

“they saved my kids from their abusive father”

“they have this balance of really high integrity and really high advocacy and really great outcomes”

“negotiated nothing short of a miracle”

“totally surpassed my expectations”

What should you expect to pay a Contra Costa County divorce lawyer?

To a large degree, you get what you pay for. And bear in mind that there are no do-overs in divorce. It pays to get it right. Those qualities described above that are most desirable when looking for a Contra Costa County divorce lawyer, i.e. experience and skill and expertise, are qualities that are acquired over time. While you can expect to pay more for for attorneys with those qualities, those are the same attorneys who can ultimately save clients more money.

But there’s another factor here that can profoundly impact what your divorce costs you: integrity. Integrity is expressed a number of ways. For instance, does your attorney discourage you from trying mediation or collaborative law first? Try to rush you into court? Advise you not to settle regardless of how good the offer is from the other side? Find ways to run up the fees? Trash talk opposing counsel in order to make a case for continuing to fight?

Insist that the other side is ‘hiding something’ when your gut tells you they’re wrong? If you’ve experienced one or more of the above, your attorney might be unethical.

What should you do if you picked the wrong Contra Costa County divorce lawyer?

If you have determined that your divorce lawyer is not a good fit with you ethically or otherwise, you can absolutely change lawyers. The legal process of divorce is too consequential to work with someone you don’t trust. At Laughlin Legal, a respected Contra Costa County divorce law firm, a fairly high percentage of our divorce cases originate at another firm.

If you don’t feel ethically in sync with your current counsel, learn more about how an experienced Contra Costa County divorce lawyer can represent you and your values. Call us now at 650-239-6064 to schedule your first consultation with us. If you’d prefer, you can email us to set up your appointment. If we miss your call, we will respond promptly and call you back as soon as possible.

Laughlin Legal Family Law Group
You’ve never been better protected. 


requires the services of a divorce lawyer and addresses all the same issues as divorce regarding asset division, custody, and support, but the couple remains married though living separate and apart.

is the process of determining the status of the assets, then dividing them up equitably between the divorcing spouses. There are generally two categories of assets. Marital assets are those accumulated over the duration of the marriage.

are those acquired after the marriage but before legal separation or divorce.

are gifts or inheritances, or assets acquired either before the marriage or after legal separation. Be warned: assets aren’t the only thing considered to be marital. Debt, too, can be divided and shared.

can be a significant consideration when determining asset division. For instance, claiming children as dependents, or capital gains tax from selling a property.

formerly known as alimony, is what one spouse may be ordered to pay to the other spouse. Even recipients of spousal support have an obligation to attempt to become self-supporting within a reasonable period. This is one of the most contentious aspects of divorce and it’s essential to work with an experienced spousal support lawyer to achieve a fair resolution.

refers to the determination of how the parents divide the rights and responsibilities of taking care of their child or children. A good child custody lawyer will tell you there are two types of custody, legal and physical, and advise you on the best options for gaining or retaining custody of your child or children. The legal custodian makes important decisions for the children and their welfare. The physical custodian lives with the children more than 50% of the time.

in California is calculated using a statutory or guideline formula that considers parents’ gross income from all sources, number of children, amount of time children spend with each parent, tax filing status, and special needs of the children. When a parent refuses to pay child support, a child support lawyer either seeks an order for child support or holds the ex-spouse legally responsible for inadequate or missing payments.

are orders issued by the court – such as temporary child custody orders or temporary spousal support orders – before the case goes to trial to establish boundaries and maintain the family’s status quo until a final divorce and/or custody agreement is entered and approved by the court.

couples have the same divorce rights as any couple, and there may be special considerations with parental and property rights.

though prevalent, is often difficult to prove in part because abusers can be stealthy but also because physical violence is just one of many forms. For instance, it’s challenging to prove verbal abuse without witnesses. It’s essential that victims of abuse work with an experienced domestic violence lawyer successful at obtaining restraining orders.

Case Story

A Complex Divorce Client In Their Own Words

“Found them on Google search. I interviewed other attorneys. It’s an important decision and my case was complicated enough that I wasn’t going to just go off a website. I chose them for a couple reasons. I was ideally interested in someone whose offices were fairly local, didn’t want to go up to San Francisco. Also, I had a lot to sort through financially and saw that Amy was experienced with complex divorce. She impressed me with the range of cases she worked on, I felt she ‘got’ my situation. And it was a positive that she was a woman. A woman’s perspective and the perception of my then-partner would be a plus.

The experience surpassed my expectations. It was mediated so we managed to stay out of court. Amy provided really good counsel. I felt confident in her expertise. She was aggressive when needed and flexible when needed. I felt a high level of competence. Their working style was very important to me. Other thing, too, I only half joke about this but being a family law attorney is also part therapist, the ability to help me be centered throughout the process was important.

Their team approach was important. Both good thought partners and that’s important for me. I don’t just outsource stuff, I like to think things through. Not all attorneys like that. Caitlin was able to step in and help out on a couple of issues. I used Caitlin for the prenup because she’s really good. She did a really good job.

Responsiveness is key. Other attorneys I’ve worked with have hard boundaries – after 5 or on the weekends? Not available. When Amy was on vacation she still called in. That was great. And Caitlin made herself available nights, weekends, and I really appreciated that.

These cases can be frustrating. They helped me successfully navigate two fairly tricky marital situations, divorce and prenup, neither of which was easy and do it in a way that got good solutions. They did a great job.

Flexible, responsive. Put in a good fight. Focused on trying to get things done. Not trying to run up the fees. I’ve recommended them.”


Next Step

Choose a lawyer you can trust and book a consultation.

Let’s talk about your divorce. How can we help?

If you’re looking for an accomplished complex divorce lawyer, child custody lawyer, child support lawyer, spousal support lawyer, domestic violence lawyer or adoption lawyer, we can help.

Let’s get started.

about Divorce & Family Law

Want some of the best legal advice you can get from one of the best divorce lawyers and child custody lawyers around? Want it for FREE? Every first Tuesday of the month at 12pm pst, Founder & Partner Amy Laughlin meets with Laughlin Legal clients on a group zoom call for 60 minutes to answer questions and offer FREE advice. If you’re currently a client, click HERE to reserve your spot!

The FOREFRONT A divorce & family law blog

Think About It: Is It Really So Strange To Have A Transactional Real Estate Lawyer At A Family Law Firm? We find it

You’re in luck because you’re in California, a community property state. And that makes the division of assets simple in that everything acquired

Amy Laughlin, a divorce and child custody lawyer in San Mateo, knows better than most what’s at stake for the children of divorcing parents.

You have rights.

Let’s talk about your options.

Schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.

LAUGHLIN LEGAL Divorce & Family Law Group   650.343.3486   info@LaughlinLegal.com
Hablamos espanol | Mowimy po polsku