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John R Gaertner

Divorce and separation Attorney at Scottsdale, AZ

4.5   14 reviews
  • State Years
    Arizona - AZ 28 years
    Illinois - IL 32 years
    Wisconsin - WI 33 years
    Minnesota - MN 34 years
  • Licensed for 28 years
    State AZ
    Acquired 1995
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2016
  • Licensed for 32 years
    State IL
    Acquired 1992
    Administrative - Not Authorized to Practice
  • Licensed for 33 years
    State WI
    Acquired 1991
    Administrative Suspension
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State MN
    Acquired 1990
    Administrative Suspension

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Child custody

    21 years, 250 cases

  2. Divorce and separation

    21 years, 250 cases

  3. Family

    21 years, 500 cases

  4. Child support

    21 years, 250 cases

  5. Domestic violence

    32 years, 500 cases

Scottsdale/Phoenix, AZ Divorce/Family/Custody Attorney

24 Years Experience, aggressive litigator and negotiator.

I grew up in Minnesota, one of eight (8) children. My father was a doctor and my mother a nurse. My parents just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. I moved to Arizona in 1996, met a beautiful woman from Chicago Illinois and was married in 1998. We recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. I am the father of two wonderful teenage children. My son plays high school football and my beautiful daughter plays high school and club volleyball. Both are excellant students. Of all that I have accomplished in life I am the most proud of my wife and my children. I am also the proud uncle of 25 nieces and nephews. They are all great kids and I am proud of each and everyone of them. When not working I enjoy motocross and quad riding, fishing, hiking, bodybuilding (working out), biking and reading. Our home is filled with pets (2 dogs and 4 cats) and they each are a joy to spend time with. Arizona is a beautiful state with many interesting places to visit. My family enjoys trips to Sedona, Flagstaff and Rocky Point, Mexico. I have been blessed throughout my life with a wonderful family and many close friends. I enjoy practicing law because I am able to help people in need and positively make a difference in peoples lives.

Photos and videos


Law Office Of John R Gaertner PC
13880 N Northsight Blvd
Ste 115
Scottsdale, AZ, 85260

Divorce lawyers nearby


4.5 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
Posted by Dana | June 15, 2015
Very emotional family case.0
What we had to do was very hard , John went out of his way to make me see that we had to stand up for our rights and not be bullied by our adult son. He told us what we could get together ourselves to help keep our cost down with him then he did his own research when he put it all together he had enough that just the show of it scared our son into dropping his case. Then John ask the judge to have our son pay all attorney fee. John has checked in with us in the days after court. I believe John truly cares about his clients and takes the time to show it.
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Posted by Melissa | May 29, 2015
Excellent Representation
After going through a horrible divorce years ago, I decided I needed an attorney to represent me in modifying my current custody agreement. I hired John and since day 1, he has never failed me. He has been professional, patient, understanding and fought hard for my case. My case took over a year to resolve and during the entire process, John and his paralegal stayed on task for resolving all my issues and submitting all my documents to the court. I am very pleased with his services and I have suggested his firm to many friends and family.
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Posted by Joanne | May 17, 2015
Excellent Attorney
I hired Mr. Gaertner to handle a very difficult divorce and custody battle with my ex. He was very professional, very efficient and knew the law backwards and forwards. He took the time to thoroughly explain the entire process to me and then both he and his staff went to work immediately on my case. When we appeared in court he was very confident, very prepared and all the facts I wanted to present were provided to our Judge. Mr. Gaertner refuted the false allegations made by my ex and exposed him for the lies he tried to use against me. We won on nearly every issue that was important to me. My life is now back to normal and I owe it all to the hard work and expertise of this lawyer. I would highly recommend Mr. Gaertner to anyone looking for an experienced, knowledgeable and caring family law attorney. I will always keep Mr. Gaertner as my attorney should his skills be needed in the future (and they probably will). In the meantime, I will continue to recommend him to friends and family. Great job John and Stephannie. Thank you from the bottom of my heart !!
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Posted by Pamela | April 21, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Relieved my divorce concerns!
With a gracious attitude, Mr. Gaertner did not hang up the phone until ALL of my concerns were addressed. Whether or not he thought I would retain him, that was not his main concern. Professionalism and none! So thankful he was available. You just know when someone 'comes from the heart'.
Posted by Lisa | December 1, 2014
This man is the real deal!
I can't say enough about John! It is sad to have the occasion to have to use a divorce lawyer but I'm so happy that I found one that is trustworthy, on the ball and knows his stuff! He made sure I had all the information I needed and was very knowledgeable of the law! He is not mean, disrespectful or nasty...but will not hesitate to make a wrong a right! Unfortunately I am going to be retaining him for a second time. I recommend him very highly!
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Posted by anonymous | November 25, 2014
High conflict divorce
I was about 2 years into an ugly divorce/custody battle when I left the attorney I was with and hired Mr. Gaertner. I was fed up with the constant court hearings and just wanted my daughter to enjoy time with both parents and not feel stuck in the middle. Mr. Gaertner was very effective in making that happen in just a few months and I feel confident that this will keep us out of court in the years to come.
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Posted by Christy | November 25, 2014
I've known John Gaertner for about 5 years now and would highly recommend him. He and his staff have been wonderful from start to finish on every occasion. He made me feel comfortable from the beginning, explained everything completely, and answered all my questions thoroughly. His staff are kind, knowledgeable, and were available whenever I called. I will definitely use him in the future if needed.
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Posted by anonymous | November 25, 2014
Great attorney when you need one
John was an excellent attorney who represented me very well in an unpleasant divorce proceeding. Unlike many attorneys I interviewed, John took the case on very aggressively and fought for me effectively on many fronts. His legal knowledge, his argumentative skills in filings and in the courtroom, and his overall level of energy are exactly what I would recommend to anyone going through a divorce if they want to avoid being "taken to the cleaners". I recommend John highly.
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Posted by Derek | November 17, 2014
Better Than Advertised
When I first retained John, my impression of attorneys was not a pleasant one; so I was skeptical. I am so impressed with John's integrity and passion that I am forever a believer that justice will prevail. I've always considered myself detail-oriented until I met John & his impressive Paralegal Stephannie. They are always a step ahead of the process & are more prepared than Navy SEALS going into battle. My overall experience has been nothing short amazing & I would tell anyone in any Family Court battle, that you better have Team Gaertner in your corner.
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Posted by Clarice | November 17, 2014
Why John is the Right Choice
I wish there more room in here to describe his work. John worked with me on the most awful custody case. The father lied at every turn. John remained classy and focused, and very prepared. We wo, but it was no suprise. He was suberb from start to finish. Custody and divorce are didficult enough, but he was so effective and well-versed. If it weren't for John and his staff, we easily could haw lost. My kids would never have had a loving home. Not a day goes by that I don't reflect on what he has done for us. I know. I know. Divorces are heart wrenching. Please make it easier on yourself and set up at consultation with John. John does care, and trust me, you need one that cares for you and your family right now. This is some of the best advice that you will ever get. Signed, Someone whose been though it
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Posted by Will | November 17, 2014
Great Litigator
John was my litigator on, unfortunately, two divorces. John was helpful in protecting my interest as well as my children's interest. John has strong oral argument skills. I recommend John to be your litigator.
Posted by Michelle | November 17, 2014
Thank you!!!!
I found John looking online. He was very knowledgeable about family law. He took his time explaining things to me so that I had an understanding my rights. (I was misguided from other attorneys prior to retaining John. ) He was fully prepared at trial and defeated the allegations made against me by my ex. The other attorney was so lost and didnt's know their own exhibits. His fees are very reasonable compared to those in his area. Thank you John and your wonderful staff.
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Posted by anonymous | April 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Find someone else
I had hired John as my attorney last year (2018) and the way he communicated with me was a cold shoulder feeling, very little interest in my case. Expressing how important the custody of my children were and making sure they were under the best care it didn't seem to phase him. He continued to just express we will see what the court will do. With little to no attempt to make me feel confident about this process, it made it even more stressful. The lack of communication, confidence, and stress that he was going to make this situation worse I had to finally drop my divorce because it seemed no matter what I said it wasn't going to be a high priority. I will be hiring a different attorney who will fight this battle with confidence and not waiting for a judge to do his job.
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Posted by anonymous | May 13, 2015
Very disappointed with their lack of work ethics
We retained John on the premise of understanding we have high expectations, and rightfully so we are substantiated business owners in the greater Phoenix area. John is a conversationalist and did spend time discussing our case and selling me on his abilities, but when it came to actually doing the work, he strung things along and failed to get things filed in a timely manner. When asked why it's taking so long, he told me writes every down by hand for his paralegal to type up, which is double work to us. In addition, he charged us for time spent in casual conversation, discussing family memories and such. Our case has not even made it to court and I spent more time following up to find out where things are in the process and charged for every time they error or misspelled something that I had to respond back on or answered my request for an update. Needless to say, when we got our first bill, it stated we needed to pay our past due balance, then a new bill was sent out they stated not only is the past due being demanded but the now they want to "replenish our retainer", as well. Of course I went through the bill thoroughly & started asking questions. I was sent a "newly revised bill" with the one of fairly large charges I inquired about, mind you didn't state it needed to be removed, I only inquired about the charge. They obviously new it was an error and removed it immediately, and then we noticed more mistakes and started asking more questions. He stated he was not making any more changes to the billing nor was he going to justify his time spent, then stated in his email that a "withdrawal as attorney of record" was already prepared and ready to be filed today or payment is needed asap to continue on. Of course I didn't retain John again, that would be an unwise maneuver. He provided us the the answer to their unethical billing and lack of responsibility or integrity to our case. Very disappointed with their integrity. I would never recommend John.
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Response from John Gaertner May 14, 2015
In my 24 years as an attorney, I have never encountered a client such as this client. I have been an assistant city attorney, a Deputy County Attorney in a major felony division, a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with serious felony charges and a family law attorney for over a decade. Most clients have reasonable expectations, understand the process when the process is explained to them, can be reasoned with, and pay their fees when they are due as per the fee agreement. This client was very difficult. After I was retained, my firm immediately filed a Notice of Appearance and a Request for Mediation (required by the current court order). A mediation date was secured the very day the mediation request was filed. My firm thoroughly reviewed the recent case file and from notes that were taken at the initial meeting with the client, a Petition to Modify Legal Decision Making Authority, Parenting Time and Child Support was drafted. The draft was sent to the client and reviewed. Any additions, corrections, etc..., requested by the client were made and the final draft prepared. The Petition was filed with the court shortly after the Petition for Mediation. All pleadings filed from my office are professionally prepared, legally sound and persuasive. The court set a resolution management conference on a date that conflicted with a previously scheduled trip I had with my daughter to California. The client was explained why the court date needed to be re-scheduled. The court eventually re-scheduled the resolution management conference in mid July 2015. My client requested that I file a Motion to Accelerate, which I did and within three (3) days the court granted the motion and re-scheduled the court date to June 3, 2015. After two months of working on this case, the client was sent a bill and immediately questioned nearly every charge that was included in the bill. The charges were reasonable and necessary in my representation of this client. When the client refused to pay the amount owed and the replenishment, pursuant to the terms of the fee agreement, I withdrew as counsel in this matter. I behaved professionally and ethically throughout my representation of this client. The dispute between Father and Mother in this case began thirteen (13) years ago. After my client refused to pay her bill, I carefully reviewed the entire history of this case from its inception and discovered that I was the FIFTH attorney that my client had hired. All previous attorneys had either filed Motions to Withdraw or were fired by my client. Family law attorneys do their best to address and try to assist client's in extremely volatile family conflicts. The process is sometimes frustrating and clients have taken their frustrations out on their attorneys. This client has now retained her SIXTH attorney to assist her in this case.
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  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.0 (Excellent)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2016.

Admonition and Probation issued in AZ, 2016
updated on 05/15/2016

An admonishment means the attorney did something wrong but may still practice law. While on probation, the State monitors the attorney's activities for a period of time in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.

John's comment: “A former client wrote a bad review about my office and posted it publicly against me. I responded and explained the falsehoods alleged against me. The former client filed a bar complaint against me and the bar felt it was inappropriate for me to have responded as I did. An admonishment is the lowest form of discipline and is basically a statement to not respond in the future if faced with the same situation.”

Work Experience

  • Parenting Coordinator
  • Law Office of John R. Gaertner, P.C.
  • 2013 - Present
  • President of the Firm
  • Law Office of John R. Gaertner, P.C.
  • 2002 - Present
  • Partner
  • Curry & Gaertner, PLLC
  • 2000 - 2002
  • Associate
  • Law Office of David M. Cantor
  • 1998 - 2000
  • Deputy County Attorney/Major Felony Prosecutor
  • Maricopa County Attorney's Ofc
  • 1996 - 1998
  • Associate/Assistant Windom City Attorney
  • McDonald & Gudmestad
  • 1992 - 1995
View all work experience


  • William Mitchell College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1990
  • Creighton University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1986

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Chopin v. Chopin 224 Ariz. 425 (Ct. App. 2010)
  • My client (wife/mother) prevailed on Appeal. This case established the legal definition in Arizona for the term romantic cohabitation. This was a case of first impression in the state of Arizona.
  • Davidson v. Webb (Minnesota Reported Case)
  • Mr. Gaertner's client Davidson prevailed at the trial level and on Appeal.


  • Scottsdale Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Accedited Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Arizona Association of Family Law Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • State Bar of Arizona, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Member
  • 1995 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top Contributor Award/Divorce
  • AVVO
  • 2015
  • Top Contributor Award/Divorce
  • AVVO
  • 2014
  • Client's Choice Award/Divorce
  • AVVO
  • 2014


  • 224 Ariz. 425 (Ct. App. Div 1)
  • Scarlett Chopin vs. Marc Chopin
  • 2010
  • 535 N.W. 2d 822 (MN Ct. App)
  • Thomas Davidson vs. David Webb
  • 1995

Speaking Engagements

  • Windom Police Department Training Seminar
  • Police Interrogations
  • 1994
  • Windom Police Department Training Seminar
  • Search Warrants and Warrantless Searches and Seizures
  • 1993

Attorney endorsements

Received (45)
Given (63)
Endorse John
Child custody Attorney | Mar 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"John is an excellent attorney committed to providing the highest quality representation to clients. I endorse this attorney without reservation."
Family Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Gaertner is a very knowledgeable attorney. I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. John is an excellent lawyer who serves his clients well."
Family Attorney | Aug 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Gaertner is a valuable asset to this community. His continuing dedication to the law and his clients is admirable."
Family Attorney | Jul 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. His advice is thoughtful and well-considered."
Family Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top notch attorney! I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Quality representation and exceptional attentiveness to clients."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this Kristine Karila. Hard working, skilled, and dedicated to the clients. A respected member within the legal community."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Great asset to the AVVO community as Mr. Gaertner is highly respected by his peers."
Child support Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"John really fights for his clients. I recommend him."
Family Attorney | Apr 03
Relationship: Other
"Excellent client reviews here evidence that Mr. Gaertner is a zealous advocate for his clients. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Gaertner is well respected in his field."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Gaertner is highly regarded in the legal community with an outstanding reputation for client advocacy and dedication."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He really knows his craft!"
Family Attorney | Feb 14
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"John is an immensely experienced lawyer who knows how to get results for his clients. I would recommend him for any family law case."
Family Attorney | Feb 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. You need John on your side. He is fearless, creative, and passionate about his work. All of the clients I have referred to John have been extremely happy with their individual outcomes and the reasonable fees charged to achieve those outcomes."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Other
"Highly respected and overall a great attorney. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known John for about 15 years. John is a great attorney who always goes the extra mile to get the most favorable result for his clients. I would recommend John to anyone"
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