Finding YOUR Divorce Lawyer in Greater Sacramento Starts with These Key Considerations

Finding the right divorce lawyer is a key step toward creating optimal conditions for a faster, less-expensive divorce, compared to a lengthy, drawn-out emotional and financial nightmare. But what is “right” for you and your situation and how do you avoid some of the common missteps we see in our family law practice? Our FPS legal team offers the advice we share with those who are in the process of choosing a family law attorney:


MELISSA HARMAN, Senior Attorney:

Melissa J. Harman, Family Law Attorney“This process is a very personal and emotional time in your life. It is important to find an attorney who can appreciate your feelings while guiding you through the legal process. Because this is often a new and confusing experience for you, it is important that you have an attorney you can communicate with so that you feel heard and so that you understand what is going on in your case. You should always be able to ask questions and get honest answers from your attorney without feeling like you are being judged or silenced.”


MATT PURCELL, Certified Family Law Specialist:

“You want to find an attorney who you can respect. There are many situations where your attorney will advise you to do something — or not to do something — and you may not want to listen. If you respect your attorney’s experience, communication, and understanding of what is important to your case, you are more likely to actually follow your attorney’s advice. If you don’t respect your attorney or follow their legal advice, then you are really just wasting your time and money.”


MICHELLE STOWELL, Certified Family Law Specialist:

image of Michelle L. Stowell on attorney team page“Going through a divorce is a difficult and emotional process. In addition to picking an attorney who is knowledgeable about family law, it is equally important that you choose an attorney with whom you are comfortable discussing personal issues as well as mesh with on an emotional level. Without this compatibility, the difficulties of a divorce will be compounded as you won’t feel heard or understood by the person who is there to help.”


NEIL FORESTER, Certified Family Law Specialist:

Neil M.E. Forester Family Law Attorney“The most important aspect is ‘fit.’ You are going to be sharing a considerable amount of very personal detail during the course of your professional relationship, so it is essential that you can communicate well with your divorce lawyer, and that you are comfortable that your needs and concerns are understood and addressed. Given what’s at stake in a family law matter, a poor working relationship with your lawyer will only add stress to an already stressful process.”



“You do not want an attorney who is only going to tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes, you’ll need the truth, no matter how much you might not like it, no matter how much it hurts. Family law matters can be painful; you don’t want to be blindsided by an outcome in court because your attorney didn’t tell you the truth. You should look for an attorney that will be honest and real in terms of likely outcomes and expectations.”



image of Kristen L. Sellers of team attorney page“Each attorney has his or her own style and legal strategy, so it is always a good idea to consult with more than one attorney before making a decision. Ask specific questions about your case and how the attorney would proceed with it. You not only want to choose an attorney you like on a personal level, but also an attorney whose style and legal strategy makes you feel comfortable and confident in the handling of your case.”






ABOUT THE FIRM: FORESTER PURCELL STOWELL PC is a Northern California law firm focused exclusively on specialized counsel for complex divorce and family law issues. Its shareholders are Certified Family Law Specialists, recognized by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization. The firm regularly represents business owners, professionals, and other high net worth individuals (or their spouses) in divorce, custody disputes, premarital agreements, and related actions. Attorneys can be reached at or 916 293 4000. This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.
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