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Divorce & Family Lawyers

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Divorce & Family Lawyers

Best Family Law Attorneys in the United States

Lawyer Legion Top Picks for 2024

The following list was determined using a number of factors including both objective and subjective criteria. Lawyers were selected based on their career accomplishments, high-profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certifications.

This list includes many of the most highly accomplished family law attorneys currently practicing in the United States.

When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • It is difficult to compare lawyers who practice in different states across the country.
  • It is impossible to accurately determine a national list of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing family law (but our list comes close).
Allison C. Williams
Williams Law Group, LLC
Short Hills, NJ
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Scott Howard Finkbeiner
Wilkinson & Finkbeiner LLP
San Diego, CA
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Brian Glenn Seastrom
Seastrom Tuttle & Murphy
Irvine, CA
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Alice C Stubbs
Tharrington Smith, LLP
Raleigh, NC
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Tina Leah Lewert
Lewert Law Offices, P.A.
Boca Raton, FL
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Patrick S McCroskey
Gum, Hillier, McCroskey & Amburgey, PA
Asheville, NC
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David Kiley Wilkinson
Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP
NewBedford, MA
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Katherine Ann Frye
Frye Law Offices, P.A.
Raleigh, NC
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Jim Mueller
Dallas, TX
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Jennifer V. Abrams
The Abrams Law Firm, LLC
Las Vegas, NV
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Thomas P. Parrino
Parrino|Shattuck, PC
Westport, CT
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Andrew Scott Grossman
Grossman Law Offices
Columbus, OH
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More Noteworthy Family Law Attorneys

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Divorce Attorney Houston - How Long Does Divorce Take?

Family Law Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) - The AAML is a national organization of highly-skilled negotiators and litigators who represent individuals in family law cases throughout the United States. The Academy's members are known as "Fellows" and have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism, excellence, knowledge and integrity in the practice of family law. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has over 1650 fellows across all 50 U.S. states.
American College of Family Trial Lawyers (ACFTL) - The ACFTL is an invitation-only, elite organization of 100 of the most skilled family trial lawyers in the United States. Known as diplomates, members who have been accepted into this organization have demonstrated significant litigation skills in complex family law cases. The American College of Family Trial Lawyers has received national recognition through its diplomates handling of well-publicized cases and cutting edge issues in family law.
International Academy of Family Lawyers - The International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) is a non-profit organization that serves family lawyers in the United States and across the world.
Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) - The AAAA is a credentialed organization that focuses on the ethical practice of adoption and assisted reproduction (ART) law. The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys advocates for laws that protect the best interests of children, the legal status of families formed through adoption and assisted reproduction, and the rights of all interested parties. AAAA includes 470 attorneys, law professors, and judges who are recognized as Fellows.
American Arbitration Association (AAA) - The AAA provides services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve legal conflicts in an out of court environment. Its services include helping with the appointment of mediators and arbitrators, setting hearings, and providing the participants with information on dispute resolution options from settlement through mediation. The American Arbitration Association is a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City.

Specialty Certifications in Family Law

National Board of Trial Advocacy
Family Trial Law - The NBTA certifies lawyers in family trial law. This specialty area of law involves litigation in family law cases, such as divorce, separation, child custody or paternity actions. Attorneys can earn board certification as specialists in family law trials.
State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization
Family Law - The State Bar of Arizona offers board certification for lawyers to be certified as specialists in the practice of family law. For a lawyer to qualify, they must demonstrate substantial involvement in the area of family law which includes divorce and child custody issues. The attorney must also pass a written examination and provide references among other requirements. Once certified, the Arizona lawyer can advertise themselves as a certified specialist in the area of family law.
State Bar of California
Family Law - Only attorneys board certified in family law can advertise or identify themselves as "certified specialists" or "board certified" in California for that field. Furthermore, the board certification for family law is awarded by the CBLS. A certified family law specialist has experience performing various types of legal matters (e.g., marital settlement agreements, legal separation dissolution, etc.)
The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Marital and Family Law - The Florida Bar certifies lawyers as specialists in Marital and Family Law for attorneys practicing in state family courts in the areas of divorce, child custody, and other family-related legal issues. The purpose of the specialization standards is to identify those lawyers who practice family law and have the special knowledge, skills, and proficiency, as well as the character, ethics, and reputation to be properly identified to the public as board-certified marital and family law specialists.
The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Adoption Law - Use the Lawyyer Legion directory to find information on "Board Certified in Adoption Law." Rule 6-28 for the minimum standards for certification and recertification in adoption law in Florida.
State Bar of Nevada
Family Law - The State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section is an approved certifying organization for granting board certification in the practice of family law to Nevada attorneys who qualify. To earn board certification, the attorney must demonstrate substantial involvement, submit references as required, meet the continuing legal education standards, and pass a written examination among other requirements.
New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification
Matrimonial Law -
North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization
Family Law - North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization offers a board certification program for Family Law. Attorneys earning this certification can label themselves as "Board Certified Specialists in Family Law." This area of practice addresses family-related legal matters including divorce and child custody. To achieve this certification, attorneys must demonstrate significant involvement in family law through substantive legal work, complete specific CLE credits, peer review, and examination.
Ohio State Bar Association
Family Relations Law -
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Family Law - Find more than 800 board certified attorneys in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS). TBLS launched family law as a specialty practice area for board certification in 1975.

United States Government and Court Resources

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court of the United States - The Judiciary Act of 1789, Article III of the Constitution allowed for the establishment of the Supreme Court. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court is the highest in the Nation. It has jurisdiction over all state and federal cases that involve a violation of Constitutional or Federal laws. The court has the power of judicial review and is the interpreter of the Constitution. Furthermore, the court consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and associate justices.

United States Courts

United States Courts - Article III of the Constitution helped create the United States Courts. Congress also created several legislative courts, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Federal courts hear cases in which the United States is an interested party, bankruptcy cases, disputes between states, maritime law, and cases involving the violation of federal or constitutional laws. Additionally, the courts help decide what happened, what should be done about the situation, if a person committed the crime, and what punishment to give to the persons.

Overview of U.S. Family Law


Divorce is the most common cause of people's interaction with the family court system. It is both a reason that people go to family court and a starting point for many other family law issues.

All states have now implemented no-fault divorce. Before no-fault divorce, the party seeking a divorce would have to prove that the divorce was legally necessary. Now, if both parties consent to the divorce, the court will grant the divorce, usually after a certain amount of time. People can still seek an at-fault divorce if issues like adultery and domestic violence are present.

Even if there is fault in the dissolution of marriage, in most cases the divorce or matrimonial lawyer will suggest a no-fault divorce, simply because they tend to be simpler, and since fault is rarely a consideration in the division of the marital estate.

There are two basic ways that states approach the division of property. In most states, the marital estate consists only of property that is acquired during the marriage. The most common method is called "equitable distribution." Under equitable distribution, the court uses a variety of factors, set by law, in order to make a a determination of who gets what after a divorce.

Factors depend on the specific jurisdiction, but often include the duration of the marriage, the income of each spouse, the potential career opportunities of each spouse and the contributions of each spouse to the appreciation, preservation and acquisition of marital property.

Fault, however, is rarely an factor that may be considered in the equitable distribution of the marital estate, which is another reason lawyers advise for divorcing couples to seek a no-fault divorce. Fault can often play a role in alimony and spousal support.

Nine states practice the community property doctrine of property division: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. In community property states, each spouse is presumed to have a 50 percent ownership interest in all marital property. Some states have slight variations on this, but community property states tend to have a more equal distribution after divorce.

Couples seeking an amicable divorce, or friendly divorce, can hire a collaborative lawyer. During a collaborative divorce, the two parties work out an agreement for how property will be divided. Most courts will honor such an agreement. Divorcing couples can also seek mediation to avoid painful litigation. Divorce Mediation works in a similar manner to collaborative divorce, with the two parties working out an agreement for property division.

Most states will honor any prenuptial agreements or marital agreements in property division. The standard is usually whether there was a fair and reasonable disclosure of assets, and no coercion involved in the signing of the agreement.

Family Law Issues Involving Children

Family law also governs the parent-child relationship.

  • Child CustodyCustody decisions include physical custody, or who has actual possession of the child, and legal custody, or who has the right to make decisions for the child. Custody can be sole, shared, primary, partial or supervised. Each state has a variety of factors courts may use in making custody decisions, but the overarching consideration is generally the "best interests of the child." Custody decisions can usually be modified. Find a child custody lawyer.

  • Child Visitation: Child visitation is one element of child custody that is frequently contentious. A parent may seek visitation rights with his or her child. If the parent has a negative history, however, the court may order that the visitation be supervised. In many states, grandparents and other family members may seek visitation rights with a child. Find a child visitation lawyer.

  • Child SupportThe non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. This area can frequently be litigated when the non-custodial parents fails or refuses to pay, or when significant life changes lead to a need for modification of the child support order. Find a child support lawyer.

  • Adoption LawAdoption can occur in widely varying circumstances, from aspiring parents seeking to adopt a child they have never seen from around the world to a stepparent or grandparent child wanting legal parental status of a child they have risen as their own. Read more about adoption law or find an adoption law attorney.

Attorneys Certified as a Specialist in Family Law

Though many attorneys exclusively practice family law, some attorneys have sought to become certified as specialists in the family law field. Certified family specialists have met rigorous standards to earn the achievement.

Hiring a Family Lawyer

Family matters can become bitter disputes, so having a knowledgeable attorney is important. Family lawyers who have been board-certified have shown that they meet certain requirements so that an independent third party has deemed them worthy of being able to advertise as a specialist.

Additionally, family lawyers who are members of organizations, like the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, often have access to resources and high quality continuing legal education. Family law attorneys who handle cases with an international issue might also belong to the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

At Lawyer Legion we created our directory of family law attorneys (often called "matrimonial lawyers") to help the public find a qualified attorney in a variety of practice areas. We organize attorneys according to the focus of their legal practice, their membership and leadership in organizations, and other objective criteria.

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