Experience Matters When Choosing the Right San Diego Divorce & Family Law Attorney

San Diego Divorce Attorney  Michael C. MacNeil, born in San Diego, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA in 1998 and his law degree from the University of San Diego in 2001. He has been a trial lawyer for 17 years and tried over 50 jury trials. As a sole practitioner, he is dedicated to providing personalized, professional services at a reasonable fee. Mr. MacNeil is available to meet in your home, at your place of work, or in an office setting.  Call for a free consultation.


Most divorce cases take too long and cost too much.  There are numerous ways attorneys can extend a case and increase the fees they charge their clients.  Michael C. MacNeil, The Great San Diego Divorce Lawyer, however, will not do that.

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Child Custody

Your child custody matter will be decided by a judge if you and the other parent cannot agree.  As required, the judge will take into consideration a mediation report written either by Family Court Services or a private mediator.

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Unless you have a carefully crafted estate plan, someone other than you will make decisions on your behalf. And this does not only apply to your assets and finances.

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Common questions

How long will divorce take?

Unfortunately, the court calendars are very full, so divorce is a lot like taking a number and waiting your turn.  This can take anywhere from months to even years.  That said, I will push the court and the opposing counsel to move expeditiously and avoid wasting your time.  As you might expect, a more complicated case will take longer, and a simpler case will not take as long.

How much will child support and spousal support be?

Child support and spousal support are calculated using a formula fixed by state law.  The factors which determine these amounts include your income, your spouse’s income, the number of children, the timeshare with the children, and whether support payments are made for children of a different relationship.  In the court’s discretion, the judge can set child or spousal support above or below the “guideline” support amount.  I will advocate for support amounts which are advantageous to you.

What will my timeshare with the children be?

The standard the court uses is what is in the best interests of the children.  The court will take into account each parent’s history of caring for the children and their future ability and willingness to do so.  Each case is different.  I will advocate for a fair and practical timeshare with your children.

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San Diego Family Law Attorney free Consultation

A full spectrum of Family Law services, ranging from uncontested matters to complex litigation. We dedicate ourselves to providing an unparalleled combination of depth of experience and quality of service. We represent clients aggressively within the framework of the highest level of integrity, professionalism and ethics. 
How to file for Divorce in San Diego, CA
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party in a marriage has the right to file for divorce for no other reason than “irreconcilable differences,” and property settlements in CA divorce cases are not influenced by the behavior of either spouse, although child custody and visitation rights can be. Under California Family Code § 2320, in order for a judge to grant a divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months, and in most cases, the individual seeking divorce must file in his or her county of residence, where he or she must have lived for at least three months. Once the divorce papers have been filed, California law dictates that the filing party must wait at least six months from the date the other spouse received the paperwork before the divorce can be finalized.

Deferred home sale of family residence- San Diego Divorce Lawyer

In a divorce case in California, parties with small children are often faced with having to downsize from the family home.  Due to new post-divorce economic realities, the family home is often sold.  The court retains the power, however, to order a deferred sale of the family home.  That is, the court allows one parent (sometimes called the in-spouse) to remain in the home with the children for a period of years.  In order for the court to make such an order, it must consider a number of factors. Read more here on Deferred home sales .