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Karen A Schoenau

Uncontested divorce Attorney at Scottsdale, AZ

3.4   15 reviews
  • State Years
    Arizona - AZ 36 years
    Colorado - CO 34 years
    Illinois - IL 38 years
  • Licensed for 36 years
    State AZ
    Acquired 1987
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State CO
    Acquired 1989
    Administrative - Not authorized to practice No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 38 years
    State IL
    Acquired 1985
    Administrative - Not Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

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Law Office fo Karen A. Schoenau PLLC
14301 North 87th Street
Scottsdale, AZ, 85260


3.4 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Matt | August 17, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Experienced Family Law Attorney
Attorney Karen Schoenau at Guymon Law has done a great job in my family case. Her knowledge, relationships, and abilities were all on display in my hotly contested matter. She has been responsive to email, phone and when needed, in-person meetings. I especially enjoy her hearing and trial abilities. Most attorneys are good at writing pleadings and negotiating issues but it takes a special lawyer who can win at hearings. Her support staff is helpful and friendly. I highly recommend her and her firm.
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Posted by anonymous | November 16, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best child custody attorney in the state of Arizona
Some years back Karen assisted me with my High conflict child custody case. Since then I have continuously referred clients to Karen due to her professionalism and in depth knowledge of child custody cases. Not only was she a true professional in every sense of the word she had a great deal of empathy Towards by very difficult situation. It was a pleasure to work with her and I considered her to be a friend to this day. She constantly reassured me of what exactly was going to happen and she never failed to gain the results that she promised. I am truly thankful that she finally put an end to that custody battle of 7 years. I put my total trust in Karen and she never let me down. She demonstrated her great reputation that she maintained with all of the legal professionals involved. I cannot recommend her enough! She is worth every penny! Karen got results where numerous other attorneys had failed so I have of no reservations in giving my full recommendation!
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Posted by anonymous | June 29, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She fixed a giant mess & I now have full custody of my kids!
I know we're directed by Avvo not to be too specific with our cases. I will respect this requirement, but I have to be somewhat specific in order for you to understand the full impact of what Karen Schoenau has done for me and my family. I'm a disabled father who has to use pain medication just to get around from day to day. Once a year I have spinal blocks/injections to keep the pain at bay. Karen told me that I have to release all of my medical records to the courts. I knew the court would scrutinize them and the stigma that comes with pain control. It looked bleak to me, but I did what Karen instructed me to do and she upheld my rights as a father. I ended up getting joint custody/primary residence with final decision making and a whole lot of stuff in between. That was huge! I was so grateful! Karen was everything she was cracked up to be! But, this is where the story gets nasty! If I didn't have Mrs. Schoenau I don't know what I would've done! About a year later I ended up in the hospital due to physical complications with my kidneys. This happened on the day of a hearing where my ex was asking for restoration of some of her parental rights. Mrs. Schoenau explained my situation to the judge and why I was absent. My ex wife contradicted Karen and informed the judge that I was being guarded by police at the hospital. She continued to explain that they were nursing me back to health so they could put me in jail for being a drug courier. The hearing, mind you was about restoring some of her rights that she lost because of her issues. Well, instead of verifying any of this information my ex was giving, the judge took ALL CUSTODY away from me and gave my ex wife sole custody of the children. I practically lost all of my parental rights. All the while I was unconscious in a hospital bed! Mrs. Schoenau assured me that she was strenuously objecting to the judge’s decision. She attempted to calm me down while I was in the hospital, reassuring me that there was nothing that we couldn’t fix. She said to me, “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it!” Ha, ha, ha! I pretended like I believed her and I promised I’d rest up. All I could think was, “How could this happen!” My youngest son says to me that night on the phone (7 years old), “Daddy, when can we come home?” That was the most painful thing I had ever experienced in my life. Now, here is why I view Karen as not only an outstanding lawyer but a phenomenal human being! I went into a depression, the likes of nothing I had ever experienced before. I did not know what depression felt like and I had no idea how debilitating it could be. I could barely move because my body was wracked with physical and emotional pain! Was that an overreaction? I don’t know, but that’s what happened. Immediately Karen responded by filing a plea or motion claiming a violation of my constitutional rights. She cited cases, codes, laws, and just the plain immorality of the whole situation. It was a masterpiece. It brought tears to my eyes because I saw hope. To our surprise her pleas in my behalf fell on deaf ears. Two judges ignored her. It just so happened due to a misstep by mother, another judge had to hear our case and make some adjustments to the parenting time. It was at this time that Karen was able to present the facts in my defense and I ended up with joint custody again! That was a relief. To make a long story short, we had to go back before the court again and I NOW I HAVE BEEN AWARDED SOLE LEGAL/PRIMARY CUSTODY. The lies that were told were eventually disproved. My random urine/hair testing came always came up negative for drugs. I remember a few years ago having a big disagreement with Karen about volunteering to undergo random drug testing twice a month. It was a great idea because it cleared my name. Karen Schoenau's approach: NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS, TELL HER EVERYTHING SO SHE CAN PUT THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER. Thank you Karen just doesn't seem to cut it, but thank you Karen!
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Posted by Mark | May 16, 2014
An Attorney you can trust
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues.
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Posted by Nolan/Brent | July 10, 2010
Saved us from cost abuse
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phx lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phx for six days from Mich. with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karens professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She new every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phx someday with interests for the child and his parent. If needed. Karen will be our top choice.
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Posted by Jim | October 16, 2009
In a heart Beat!!
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and tought me as "WE" went through it togeather. Karens easy going manor and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my Divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my Ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!!
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Posted by Patrick | October 16, 2009
Relocating with Minor Children
When I hired Karen to represent my family there was a significant legal mess that required attention. After a difficult divorce and custody battle, I lost my job and could not locate one within the state. Due to my specific industry and skills, I was offered a position with a Fortune organization 2,000 miles away. Neither the kids’ mother nor the presiding judge wanted to allow me to leave with the kids and suggested that I take the job and leave my babies behind. The attorney I originally had representing me did not do me any favors, but expected full payment for his “services”. When I approached Karen she reviewed the case and, although so much damage was already done from previous counsel, she approached it optimistically. Many lawyers would not have taken my case under the circumstances. Needless to say, I relocated across country with my kids and have been enjoying my new position for the last year. Karen is an amazing and caring attorney. After I settled into my new home she contacted me to ensure everything was working out well. I recommend Karen to anyone, but don’t repeat my mistakes; make her office your first stop when you need competent legal counsel.
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Posted by James Johnson | October 15, 2009
Best Custody Attorney in the West
Karen and her firm represented me for 18 months during an interstate custody dispute, she was not only an awsome attorney, she was also my life counselor, and kept me from going crazy as I sat in Florida while my lovely xwife attemped to destroy my charactor. She kept my Son out of harms way and fought my case from her heart, in fact she fought like a Bulldog and kicked butt in Court against 2 attorneys. She and her firm never gave up for the entire 18 months, and without Karen I would have lost my mind, and my Son. Thanks again for everything Karen, I LOVE YOU, Jim
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Posted by Deanna | October 15, 2009
Deanna Jordon
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation.
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Posted by anonymous | September 14, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I wish i could put zero star for her. She failed to complete the job we paid her for. Karen never answered phone calls and didn't return messages in a timely matter . Do to her lack of knowledge, our divorce cost us so much more. She is just there for money. I absolutely not recommend her to anybody.
Posted by anonymous | August 3, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She's CRAZY!!
The women create more work for herself then to try to finish the job. Stay as far as you can from her. Lawyer like her gives bad names to other lawyers.
Posted by anonymous | July 26, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Unprofessional and Incompetent (Negative Star -1 if I could)
I cannot express enough how utterly disappointed and furious I am with Karen A. Schoenau's handling of my custody case and spousal support matter. From the very beginning, it was clear that she was the epitome of incompetence and lack of professionalism. First and foremost, communication with Karen was virtually non-existent throughout the entire process. It felt like pulling teeth just to get a response from her, and when she did finally decide to acknowledge my existence, it was only on the day of the court hearing. I received no legal advice whatsoever leading up to the court date, leaving me completely unprepared and blindsided by the proceedings. Karen's work ethic is nothing short of appalling. She proved to be a sloppy and inconsistent lawyer, incapable of producing accurate and error-free documents. Whether it was paperwork sent to the opposing counsel or documents submitted to the court, they were riddled with typos and incorrect contact information, including crucial dates and times for parenting arrangements. As a result, important correspondence was always sent to the wrong addresses and emails, leaving me completely in the dark about vital information. The most egregious error was Karen's complete lack of knowledge about Arizona's statute of limitations on spousal support. It's utterly mind-boggling that a supposed "professional" lawyer would be so ignorant of such a basic and critical aspect of family law. Her incompetence cost me dearly, and I can never forgive her for her negligent handling of this matter. To make matters worse, Karen seemed more interested in rambling on about her personal life than focusing on my case. She wasted valuable time that I was paying for by talking about irrelevant matters, all the while racking up her bill. It was a complete disregard for my time, money, and the gravity of my situation. In conclusion, I firmly believe that Karen A. Schoenau should retire immediately and refrain from offering her services to anyone else. Her lack of competence, professionalism, and basic knowledge of the law make her a danger to anyone seeking legal representation. Save yourself the agony and avoid her services at all costs. I wish I had never hired her, and I sincerely hope that no one else has to endure the nightmare she put me through
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Posted by anonymous | August 29, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
If you are OK with aggressive ethics to win…
Hired to help end child support payments, she’s exactly what was needed. Karen is close to the “right” people, not afraid to make remarks that are less than pleasing, or true, so it can sound worse than it is, but they sure do grab the attention of the judge. Small tasks like mailing services too late to the opposing party so they are short of time to respond, filing incorrect dob on their end to make records request impossible for them. This kind of lawyer is the right one if you need fast, used-car-sales tactics….For lack of a better phrase, it’s all about being real and playing dirty in the court room. Aside from filing our court papers with a completely diff case “by accident”, and trying to expose the other sides mental health records just to push extra buttons, on top of dragging it out even longer to extend that $bill, Karen is just the right lawyer to win your case so you do not have to ever actually pay for your kids but still sound like a hero.
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Posted by stuart | January 25, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Posted by anonymous | May 24, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Big Mistake
Karen seemed like a good lawyer initially, but what a mistake it was to hire her. She did not an advocate for me like she said she would. Karen agreed with me that the other lawyer lied and insulted me many many times, however she did not stick up for me. Karen told me she could be aggressive if she had to, but she just rolled over and barely fought for me at all. In addition, Karen talks and talks and rambles about her personal life, things completely unrelated to my case, which wastes time and increases her bill. I wish I could have fired her and hired another attorney, but I had no money to start over. Of course, now I see that I lost so much more money by staying with Karen.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-300 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Law Offices of Karen A. Schoenau PLLC
  • 2010 - Present
  • Partner
  • Cates, Hanson, Sargeant & Schoenau PLC
  • 2006 - 2010
  • Associate
  • Wilson & Clark
  • 1998 - 2006
  • Employee
  • Aspen Ski Corporation
  • 1971 - 1981
View all work experience


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1985
  • University of Colorado - Boulder
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1974


  • State Bar of Arizona
  • 1987 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top Pro Bono Attorney
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • 2013
  • Attorney of The Month
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • 2003

Attorney endorsements

Received (18)
Given (15)
Endorse Karen
Family Attorney | Jun 25
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Karen is knowledgeable, collaborative, and overall a pleasure to work with. In family law, that's a rare combination of traits. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. She is a wonderful, caring person and she does great work for her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Aug 13
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 26
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer for their dedication to their clients."
Family Attorney | Jun 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have worked with Karen in the past, and always found her to be prepared, competent, skilled and well versed in the law. Karen served her clients well, and did not allow the emotional aspects of family law to interfere with her handling of the case. I definitely endorse Karen's skills and abilities in Family Law."
Family Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Karen has always been a pleasure to work with in family law matters."
Family Attorney | Mar 07
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Sep 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Karen is a very experienced family lawyer. I highly recommend her."
Family Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Schoenau is an excellent Attorney. She also truly cares about her clients and their children."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 25
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse Karen Schoenau. I have known Karen for many years and have had the opportunity to litigate against her on several family law cases. She is tenacious yet fair and always has represented her clients well."
Family Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Karen is a very experienced and highly qualified family law attorney. She works tirelessly on behalf of her clients and is able to achieve, through her dedication and passion, more often than not significant and positive results for her clients."
Family Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have worked with Karen as opposing counsel on divorce matters and know her to be competent, "no-nonsense", and a strong advocate for her clients."
Family Attorney | Jul 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Karen is effective and smart. I know that when dealing with Karen, I'm going to be challenged at every level."
Family Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse Karen. I have worked with Karen on legal matters and find Karen always professional and willing to negotiate."
Family Attorney | Feb 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 14
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have known Karen for many years and was her law partner for many years. She is very conscientious and and hangs in there under the worst of circumstances. She cares a great deal about all her clients."
Family Attorney | Dec 28
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Karen Schoenau is an excellent attorney with a stellar reputation in the legal community. Karen used to be a partner in the firm I worked for and I often worked closely with her. The amount of time and effort that she puts into each one of her cases is amazing. Clients are always pleased with the personal manner with which Karen tends to her clients. Each client is not merely a case, but a person with needs that she seeks to acquire for that client."
Family Attorney | Dec 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Karen and I were partners for over 5 years. She is a very good Family Law Attorney. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone needing a Family Law Lawyer."
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