Ethics Are Now in Session:  The Family Law Offices of Elisabeth Donovan Photography by Diana Schmitt, Accent Portraits by Diana

Ethics Are Now in Session: The Family Law Offices of Elisabeth Donovan

I’m not sure that I’ve ever associated the word ethical with a law office before. Maybe with an animal shelter, or a non-profit dedicated to planting trees.

While ethical business tends to be fruitful, feelings of fairness, honesty, and equality don’t necessarily go hand in hand with child custody cases or marriage dissolutions.

Six years ago, that changed for Elisabeth Donovan. As a young attorney, she worked for a large firm, taking on case after case, learning all the things not to do when helping someone through a family law matter. “Immediately, I saw the need for a new generation of attorneys who took a more comprehensive approach to working with their clients.” Now, Elisabeth focuses on providing personalized and cost-effective representation to her clients in all areas of family law.

Visitation, guardianships, conservatorships, high net worth property division, prenuptial agreements. Going through a divorce or custody battle can be highly adversarial, “in a polarized system, and it is imperative to have counsel who will approach your case with long-term goals in mind.” Goals which include financial collateral - like college savings or retirement funds that can be quickly depleted in court.

“Coming from a high-conflict family, I understand the dynamics of a family in crisis. Highly contested dissolution cases often manage to damage everyone in the vicinity.” Licensed as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst gives her a unique insight into the financial effects of different settlement proposals. “Only through civil, ethical cases can children emerge emotionally healthy. When I became a lawyer, I wanted to make a difference in this world through my work. I sometimes wish someone had stepped in and helped my family while we were in crisis. Family law is the perfect fit as the culmination of my personal experiences.”

Practice means more than just law to Elisabeth. Yoga and meditation are regular staples in her routine, as well as traveling in the pursuit of mindfulness: Morocco and Iceland just two of the more recent additions to the list. Of the seven continents, she’s been to six, incorporating her natural curiosity and intentionality into each step she has taken around the world. Helping clients make it through a difficult time comes naturally, when one has found their way through their own story of anger, disappointment, and healing and come out the other side. “I’ve learned to cultivate a real sense of mindfulness, which allows me to be present and available: in each moment open to my clients.”

Her time in the courtroom has helped her achieve great results for her clients, but it is her passion that sets Elisabeth apart. Personally connecting with each person that walks in the door is the key to give them the best representation possible. “I work with each client personally to develop a cost-effective case strategy that won’t incur unnecessary fees, while obtaining the best possible outcome.” That’s where the word ethical comes in. Millions of families are faced with legal issues. “When I sit down with a client for the first time, I could see billable hours. But what lies in front of me is a problem to solve.” One that involves the past, present, and future simultaneously. Honesty and fairness must be the cornerstone.

CLIENT PERSPECTIVE

Review Elisabeth’s client testimonials and it’s immediately evident that these qualities are the bedrock of her practice.

“Divorce is never easy. It is scary. All I can say is thank goodness I was referred to Elisabeth Donovan by a friend,” says client Ben. “I have heard so many horror stories about divorce. The three things that I see in most divorces are: Lawyers push to litigate everything and jack up legal fees, can’t be trusted, and they drag the process out for years. My experience was the exact opposite. During my free consultation Elisabeth Donovan told me told me about what it would cost (given that my ex’s attorney didn’t push back on everything) and about how long the process would take. And it ended up costing exactly what she said it would (drastically less than friends had paid their divorce attorneys in the past) and she wrapped everything up in about a month less than she estimated. She really knows what she is doing and was very ethical (she talked me off the ledge a few times) and fair to both me and my ex. I trusted her and listened to her advice, and I can say with absolute certainty that she is the biggest reason why, at the end of it all, I have a good relationship with my ex-wife.

Areas of Expertise

  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Conservatorships
  • Divorce & Separation
  • Guardianship
  • Restraining Order
  • Prenuptial Agreement
  • Step-Parent Adoption

If you are looking to “take your spouse to the cleaners,” find someone else. If you are looking for a lawyer you can trust to settle your divorce in a timely and fair manner, HIRE ELISABETH DONOVAN!!!!”

Another client, Kristine agrees with Ben’s assessment and adds “Elisabeth Donovan works hard and respectfully for each unique situation, and the affordability of her services was a plus. I am thankful for her and her ability to make you a priority … It’s very reassuring to know you have knowledgeable and qualified person by your side, one who is working in your best interest while going through one of the most stressful times in your life.”

“Whether a divorce is on the horizon, domestic violence has taken place, or your wife wants to move out of California with your children, your legal advocate’s primary objective is to put the well-being of you and your family first.” First, before money. Before power, or accolades or inter-office bragging rights. Civility. Equality. True advocacy at its finest.


DSC 0135 2Connect with Elisabeth directly by calling or visit OCFamilyLawAttorney.com