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Vanessa G. McKinnon

Divorce and separation Attorney at Carlsbad, CA

4.2   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 8 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2015
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Vanessa

Learn Vanessa’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    Child custody matters are the most critical. The safety and well-being of your children are of paramount concern. Handling these matters requires distinct knowledge of the court process and the ability to navigate through the court system.

  2. Child support
    Having financial means to support yourself and your children is imperative. Support matters are often delayed by the Court which can cause extreme hardship for some families. It is important to have an attorney that understands the legal process.

  3. Divorce and separation
    Divorce and separation is challenging both emotionally and financially. Those involved may experience disruption of home life, income, parenting time, and companionship. We are experienced in handling these cases and can assist you.

  4. Estate planning
    Protecting one’s assets and planning for retirement are sometimes overlooked. We can prepare documents that will properly structure your estate so that you can have both a comfortable retirement and assets to pass to your loved ones.

  5. Uncontested divorce
    Family law matters can be resolved informally or through the court system. Our firm assists clients in mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, consulting, limited scope representation, and marital agreement preparation.

Vanessa G. McKinnon is a licensed California attorney, authorized to practice in both state and federal court. She has over a decade of experience working in the North County Family Law community. 
Ms. McKinnon graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2005, earning her Bachelors in Economics with a minor in Legal Studies. While earning her undergraduate degree, Ms. McKinnon worked as an intern for a San Diego law firm. She was determined to continue her education and advance her career in the legal field. 
Ms. McKinnon joined the family law community in 2004 working as a legal secretary and paralegal for San Diego’s most seasoned and prestigious law firms.
Ms. McKinnon is experienced in all aspects of family law cases, including child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, property division, premarital agreements, post-marital agreements, paternity and domestic partnerships, trial preparation, negotiation and mediation. She also has a great deal of experience in administrative proceedings, including National Security Clearance, Unemployment, Disability, and Child Abuse Grievance proceedings.
Ms. McKinnon continued her education at Western Sierra Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 2014. Ms. McKinnon strives to ensure clients attain their goals in the most diligent, efficient, and informed manner. She is committed to providing her clients with superior service and guidance. 
Ms. McKinnon is a member in good standing of the California Bar Association, San Diego Bar Association, San Diego Family Law Bar Association, North County Bar Association, and belongs to The Honorable Fiorenzo V. Lopardo American Inn of Court .


McKinnon Law Firm
2755 Jefferson Street, Suite 206
Carlsbad, CA, 92008

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4.2 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
Posted by Kevin | September 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing attorney
I hired Vanessa McKinnon from The Law Offices of Debra Caliguiri to handle my very high conflict and time sensitive post-judgment child custody matter. My child custody case was not an easy one. I highly recommend her and the firm she works for to anyone needing a family law attorney. I went to Vanessa two weeks before my hearing and hired her right away. She represented me with professionalism and always had my best interest at heart. Being a father of three and fighting for full custody while still on active duty had the makings of being a very uphill battle. With Vanessa's representation and guidance it was a victorious outcome for me and was above and beyond what I expected.
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Posted by Lisa | January 23, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable and caring lawyer!
Vanessa was very knowledgeable and caring when I needed to get my Estate Planning in place during my divorce. I would highly recommend her to anyone who needs legal assistance to protect their assets for their family!!
Posted by Tara L. | July 24, 2015
Vanessa helped us with a very sensitive family matter and prevailed against great opposition from the other side. She was able to achieve the exact outcome that we desired and was responsive and attentive throughout the entire case. As painful as this ordeal was, having Vanessa as such a strong advocate helped our family persevere and survive a truly tragic event.
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Posted by Miyako | July 24, 2015
Top Notch Attorney!
Vanessa has been working on my divorce case for almost a year now and she has been there by my side through this difficult time. Not only is she hardworking, honest and knowledgeable, she is also someone who is caring, sympathetic and beautiful inside and out! She is great at her job and she will fight for you with charcter and integrity. Vanessa is definitely one of the BEST Family Law attorney's out there!
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Posted by Corinne | July 24, 2015
Positive Experience
Vanessa is sharp and eager! She has represented me in a child custody/child support battle. She is very attentive and responds quickly to any questions. She also inspires trust and is very easy to talk too. What I really like about Vanessa is that she is a strategist, and always looking for the angle to win the case and she doesn't give up! I highly recommend her.
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Posted by anonymous | March 1, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
High conflict
I consulted with this attorney regarding a simple family law case. Her approach was aggressive and unnecessary. She seems to be a high conflict attorney and all I wanted was a simple 50/50 arrangement. I was able to find a reputable attorney that was able to write up our custody agreement.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 325-325 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 7.4 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Managing Attorney
  • McKinnon Law Firm
  • 2017 - Present
  • Senior Associate Attorney
  • Law & Mediation Offices Of Debra N. Caligiuri
  • 2014 - 2017
  • Law Clerk/Paralegal
  • Fleischer & Ravreby
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Managing Paralegal
  • Edmunds Law Firm
  • 2004 - 2012
View all work experience


  • Western Sierra Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2014
  • University of California - San Diego
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2005


  • North County Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Attorney Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • American Inns of Court
  • Attorney Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Attorney Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 2015 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (6)
Endorse Vanessa
Family Attorney | Dec 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Vanessa is a dedicated and passionate attorney, who is involved in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Dec 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Vanessa as a compassionate and strong advocate for her clients. She is competent and available to her clients throughout representation. She strives for a better result than the client expected."
Family Attorney | Oct 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I am impressed with Ms. McKinnon work ethics, intelligence, work experience, compassion and dedication for her clients. She was a paralegal for 10 years while putting herself through law school! This is incredible for her clients because she knows the civil procedure much more than other lawyers. Family Law is very form driven and Ms. McKinnon is well versed with all of them. My office refers family law clients to Ms. McKinnon."
Family Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Not only is Ms. McKinnon bright, diligent, and passionate in advocating for her clients, but she also has heart. Through her knowledge and professionalism, I see her as a rising star in the field of family law. As such, I strongly endorse Ms. McKinnon for all family law matters."
Family Attorney | Jul 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Co-worker
"For over ten years, I have had the pleasure of working with Vanessa as both a co-worker and as an adversary. Vanessa is very passionate about her cases, detail-oriented and knowledgeable in family law. I would have no hesitation in recommending Vanessa to my own family and friends."
View more endorsements
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