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Kathy A Minella

Divorce and separation Attorney at San Diego, CA

4.6   28 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 13 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2010
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Kathy

Learn Kathy’s areas of practice.


Minella Law Group was established in 2014 by Attorney Kathy Minella.  Kathy Minella began practicing family law right out of law school in 2010 working for one of the largest family law firms in Northern San Diego County.  She then ventured into a smaller boutique law firm where she ran the family law department.  Finally in 2014 Kathy Minella opened the doors of the Minella Law Group.  Kathy Minella has handled hundreds of contested and uncontested family law matters all over San Diego County.  Minella Law Group is located in the heart of beautiful Bankers Hill conveniently located close to the Family Law Courthouse and major freeways the 5 & 163.


AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2016,2013
Client's Choice
2016 2013

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Minella Law Group, APC


4.6 / 5.0
  28 customer reviews
Client's Choice 2016
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Christina | June 9, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best decision to have Kathy represent me!
Kathy and her team are truly top notch! I have to admit that my divorce case was not a walk in the park. I had been representing myself the first few months and no attorney could give me a straight answer on my very complicated case, leaving me feeling unsure of the murky waters ahead and no hope in getting a fair settlement. Kathy was open, honest, personable and most important of all, consistent. She didn't tell me what I wanted to hear like the other firms (and I talked to maybe 25+ attorneys)- she told me what I NEEDED to hear based on all the facts and what the most probable outcome would be according to Family Law. Her level-headed approach and "calm cool and collected" demeanor was key in dealing with my ex-husbands aggressive (dare I say, psycho) attorney. Kathy's team worked diligently to prepare my case and put together the most amazing, detailed responses with factual data. Her legal advice and knowledge is outstanding. She remained consistent to the end and I was able to get the outcome we discussed at our very first meeting. As someone who was going through divorce for the 1st time... it is very scary and you don't know what to expect. Kathy and her team put me at ease and treated me like a friend vs. just a client. There was no way I could have done that by myself or with anyone else representing me. Hiring Kathy is the best decision you could make.
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Posted by Stephanie | October 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend.
Kathy and her office, specifically Matt Baker, have been phenomenal. I initially reached out to her when I was pregnant and she's been an invaluable resource since. Not only is she realistic and professional, she legitimately seems to care about me and my son. She's a talented attorney and a good person, I'd vouch for her 100% anyway.
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Posted by Erica | March 31, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Compassionate and Knowledgeable
When I made the decision to divorce my husband of twenty-four years, I was terrified. In this marriage, I fulfilled a traditional role; I married at 18, and was a stay-at-home mom, raising our four children. My husband on the other hand, is college educated with an Engineering degree, and was able to focus on advancing in his career. Throughout the marriage, my husband was overly controlling, financially and emotionally abusive, as well as emotionally neglectful. The emotional neglect had especially taken a toll on our four children, and this is when I made the decision to start the divorce process. I interviewed six attorneys, but in the end chose Kathy. She was a very attentive listener, as well as empathetic to not only my situation, but that of my children too. I liked that she was straightforward with me on our initial call and gave me realistic expectations. I especially appreciated how well versed she was on the law. Divorce is a very scary process, and more so when dealing with a high conflict personality such as that of my husband. Kathy has helped me win regarding practically every issue we’ve had to go to court on. Early on, when my husband learned of my decision to divorce him, he retaliated against me and our children. When I told Kathy the emotional distress he was causing, especially on the children, she quickly came to our aide. In a week, she served my husband a temporary restraining order, as well as an additional order asking him to vacate the family home. When my husband would not provide regular financial support for the children and myself, Kathy requested the court grant me a wage garnishment— and it was approved. Thanks to her, my husband was also ordered to give me access to a physical credit card. Financial autonomy was something I never thought was achievable considering the severity of abuse in our relationship. As the divorce process continued, the temporary restraining order was about to expire; Kathy explained that I had enough evidence to ask for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. At first, I was confused because my partner never hit me. Then, Kathy explained coercive control and how my situation fit the description of this part of the domestic violence umbrella. She did an outstanding job representing me during that trial and the court sided with me. Although my case is still outgoing, I recognize the preparation and organization Kathy and her team (Cassidy De Vito, Jasmin Dimson) have put into my case in order to attain these favorable results, which again, I never really thought would be granted. I am very appreciative to her and her team for being compassionate, supportive, understanding, and helping me win on almost every issue we’ve attended court for. As unfortunate as the circumstances are, Kathy has proven herself to be an outstanding lawyer.
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Posted by Alex | January 8, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Kathy is an outstanding divorce attorney who will win your case!
Kathy did a superb job during my divorce. She was diligent and organized and mastered all the key legal points of the case. She did not run up the bill but was measured and fair every step of the way. She is connected to many of the family practice judges in San Diego and knows their likes and dislikes personally, so she can tailor her arguments and strategy appropriately. When the day came for the trial, she absolutely destroyed the other side. They lost on every singe point, and she put our side in the best negotiating position possible with all the leverage. We won. It was not even close. She was worth every dime. I recommend her without reservation.
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Posted by Alesha | July 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She’s Amazing <3
This past year was honestly one of the roughest situations life could have thrown at me, but let me tell you how Kathy Minella and her AMAZING Team helped me breathe through Covid-19 like it didn’t exist. Kathy literally stepped in as my attorney on my family law case the night before my initial hearing, with no hesitation that with the little bit of evidence I had from past abuse spoke for itself. She is an organized, stress relieving, empowering Attorney that I would never have to think twice about recommending to someone. She made sure my story was heard and kicked ass on her first ever video trial!! Kathy Minella and her ENTIRE team never let me down! The constant communication between them and their clients was just a plus side of being able to have her with me every step of the way. I am forever grateful for this Angel:) Thank You So Much Minella Law Group for helping us keep our family safe!
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Posted by Stephanie | January 14, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A year plus.
I've been working with Kathy for over a year now and can't say how often I would (and have) recommend her. She's honest, an advocate and more importantly, hears what you want and will fight for it. She realistic, direct and answers her cell. My simple custody agreement turned into a mess and Kathy kept me level headed but never left me in the ring alone. If you want what's best for your family and an advocate for you, there's not a better family attorney out there.
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Posted by Amber | July 20, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She did a GREAT Job!
I hired Kathy to help me with filing separation from my husband and to pursue a divorce. She was willing to travel over 3 hours to attend court in regards to custody and settlements. She did an outstanding job and not only was she competent and strong in front of the judge, but she always made me feel supported. I appreciated having her on my side of things and would recommend her to anyone who needs a family law attorney.
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Posted by Evgeniya Fedenko | July 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney!
Kathy Minella is a brilliant lawyer!!! I'm glad that she handled my case in the Family Court of San Diego in December 2015. During this time, she has done a tremendous job, it is the most difficult case associated with the establishment of parental rights, custody and visitations. Also it includes questions of immigration and international law. When I met Kathy, I was a little nervous because of her young age, I thought whether she has enough knowledge and experience? But I was knocked out by her sincere interest and fast thinking and learning. And I was right by choosing her to represent me! Excellent professional knowledge, ability to remember the smallest details of a huge case, the ability to form a strategy and brilliant conducting of the 6-days of trial!!! That's what Kathy Minella has done for me! She defended the rights of my son, as he was her own. When it became necessary to involve consultants in specialized areas of finances and law - Kathy created a great team in a short time. And for all her merits and hard work, she costed me less than 3 previous attorneys (including the most famous), who only charged me and almost did not do anything. Kathy Minella, remember this name, she has a great future!
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Posted by James | July 6, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent help
They did everything that I asked them to do. Everything to filing motions to taking care of all the paperwork. For me it was reassuring knowing they took the time to explain my options and what my best course of action is.
Posted by Amanda | June 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely helpful
I came to Minella law group 2 years ago for a child support and custody case. I felt extremely confident and comfortable after my consultation that I knew I had to use Kathy. Here we are 2 years later and anything I've needed gets done, I get told exactly what's going to happen, always informed, and I've pretty much gotten everything I've asked for in front of the judge. I would highly recommend Kathy and her office in any of your family law needs.
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Posted by Vincent | June 1, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommended
This review for Kathy Minella of Minella Law Offices is long overdue. I contacted Ms. Minella in the middle of a very long divorce battle. I had to hire a new attorney as my original counsel was going out on maternity leave. The divorce should have been settled long before this period of time so hiring new counsel was very frustrating. Ms. Minella was recommended to me by my first attorney. When seeking new counsel, I required an attorney who was fair yet firm. In over a year and a half, very little had been accomplished in the divorce proceeding. The opposing counsel was very difficult to get a hold of and the settlement agreement was a constant point of contention. Ms. Minella sent out an email to the other counsel within days of initially speaking with me. She had reviewed quite a bit of information in a very short period of time and started working for me immediately. I was impressed with her knowledge of the case. It felt like she had been working for me the whole time. It goes without saying; divorces cases are extremely emotional and very difficult. Ms. Minella was able to keep me on track and temper my emotions through the entire proceeding. She was honest with me and always gave me the best advice. Contacting her offices was never a problem. More importantly, we never went to trial and ended up settling amicably. I would highly recommend hiring Kathy Minella for any of your family law needs.
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Posted by Joanne | December 25, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Kathy A Minella
She was quick to respond to my initial call and consistently responsive to calls and requests throughout my case with her. I like that she answers my questions in a way I really can understand and, in my situation, I found her sensitivity and quick grasp of my situation so reassuring. I am thankful to have found her in my time of need. At a very scary time she was one of the people I could trust.
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Posted by Moises | May 12, 2015
My opinion
Kathy Minella helped me out a lot in my case. Long story short Grandmother from the other side of the family not my mom. Grandmother tried to get joint custody of my daughter and unsupervised visits over the weekends and also requested holidays too. Everything got dined from the judge. Because she didn't have a lawyer and she didn't have anything legal. This was my first time going to family court and my first time hiring a lawyer. Kathy is a professional at her job, I recommend her for anybody that needs a lawyer. Kathy answered my emails immediately, I had a chance to chat with her before my hearing date. she is a awesome person to work with.
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Posted by Lindy | May 5, 2015
Child support, custody and more!
I hired Kathy while at the tail end of my 1 yr deployment to Afghanistan. My ex wife had opened credit cards in my name, mistated income causing me to pay over $600 extra a month for over 4yrs and used my career as leverage to keep me as a financial crutch. Keeping in mind as father, I have my children 50% of the time (2 weeks a month including weekends). After hiring Kathy she quickly reassured me of my rights as a parent and everytime my ex tried to pull from me monetarily or just acting out of spite, she quickly found a subject matter expert in Family Law on my side. Not only did Kathy protect me from the nuances of my ex wife, she assisted me even further when our case took a surprising turn. When going after my ex wife for fraudulent credit cards while I was deployed, my ex wife decided to secretly file for bankruptcy while I was in Afghanistan to wash her hands of the illegal activity in which she used my personal information for her financial gain. I had been a victim as a co signer to my ex wife's Discover Financial Services student loan for $15,000, an American Express Card for $8000 and a Citibank account I had never opened. Before court, my ex wife tried every trick in the book to justify keeping her child support above California guidelines in such a manner that she filed for full custody to increase her custody split once she knew support would be adjusted to the correct parameters. My ex wife wanted to say that the distance of me living in Murrietta to their school (Poway) was too far and that it would benefit my children to only see me every other weekend when in fact their school is on my way to work (Miramar) and it was a seamless transition. When my day finally came in court, Kathy had every thing she needed in evidence, laws, consistent untruths of my ex in such that her lawyer had no grounds to even fight back. Kathy covered every base painting the picture of my ex wife's character in in court. In the end, I retained 50% custody, a specific schedule covering every day of the year, tax exemptions for children, child support lowered to California guideline support of $1048 (vice $1500) and then a $250 sanction against my ex for fraudulent actions further lowering my support to a total to $800 a month. She also worked with me as costs started to rise due to the complexity of the case and the actions taken by my ex. Kathy and her assistant Edenia kept me as calm as can be despite this long process and it was the best money I could have ever spent...a piece of mind as I sit here this evening packing my children's lunches for school :) I highly recommend Kathy and her services to anyone...ESPECIALLY MILITARY!
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Posted by Ryan | February 18, 2015
I can say Kathy was very honest, professional, and helpful. She handled my case in a timely manner with updates in times when there was a waiting period. She was also very open to what I wanted out my situation and did her best to accommodate me. Her price was reasonable to where it didnt break my bank. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a good professional lawyer.
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Posted by Erin | December 15, 2014
So glad we chose to be represented by Kathy Minella!
Attorney Kathy Minella is a truly worth 5 stars! Both Attorney Kathy Minella and Paralegal Edenia are outstanding in what they do! Kathy has represented me for the last 2 years with a Child Custody case as well as a Domestic Violence Restraining Order case including going Ex Parte on multiple occasions to address these issues in emergency situations to protect my son and myself. Kathy has taken a personal interest in our case showing her commitment to bringing the necessary legal changes for our family while still staying professional in her approach, especially at court hearings. For two years I have had nothing but excellent phone and email communication, excellent guidance on what would be the most efficient way for me to approach various issues, excellent responses to time sensitive court filings and hearing preparation, and excellent cooperation allowing me to be involved and able to voice my needs with her responding to them every single time. Edenia, the Paralegal who works with Kathy, is equally as impressive. She is detail oriented and efficient in her communication, working together to get documents to me to be signed, often in a same day time frame, prior to having these documents submitted to court. Her turn around time for updating declarations and making necessary changes to information being submitted to court has been outstanding! Choosing to be represented by Minella Law Group has been the best decision for me and my family. I have recommended them to multiple friends and family and extend this same recommendation to whomever is reading this. You will be making the right choice by choosing Kathy to represent you.
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Posted by anonymous | November 19, 2014
Kathy Minella 5 Star Review!
The 5 star ratings that I rated Kathy are not nearly enough! We started the process of step parent adoption with Kathy and from the beginning she was very trustworthy, very knowledgeable, and always got back to us promptly. She explained how the process would work, and in our case it played out exactly how she advised us. Our case went to trial, and she was a rockstar in the courtroom! Our case was not easy as the case worker ruled against us. Needless to say there was a lot to prepare for and a lot of facts to prove, and a very detailed time line. When it came time for the trial it all played out how she had planed and prepared, and we WON! I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for an attorney, because had we not had her and her ferocious drive who knows where we would have ended up.
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Posted by Paulo | October 28, 2014
Kathy understands very well her job, in addition, she will go above and beyond.
It was very difficult to find the right attorney to defend my case. A huge concern of mine was to find a lawyer that not only would represent me, but would also put the best possible effort on my behalf to make sure my rights were protected. Before I met with Kathy I talked to other lawyers and I felt that they were promising too much without really knowing anything about my case. She instead gave me a clear picture of the situation and explained to me possible outcomes and more than once she went out of her way to get things done. My custody case was tremendously difficult, it included a move away request that thanks to Kathy's hard work and competency, it was denied and my little one was able to stay with me.
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Posted by anonymous | February 13, 2014
Friendly and understanding!
Kathy was terrific. My wife and I were separated by a temporary restraining order. There wasn't any violence involved but our arguments were very heated. I had no idea what to do or how to proceed and Kathy clearly explained the situation and my options. She met with me twice for brief discussion and promptly answered emails. At the end of the day, my wife and I independently worked things out and I didn't need Kathy's representation in court. At that point, she agreed to return the retainer as she didn't "work" on the case! And yet her help was invaluable to me. I would highly recommend her to anyone - she is absolutely personable, knowledgeable and honest.
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Posted by Johnna | December 23, 2013
Kathy was a great attorney to work with. She kept everyone on their toes and worked hard in getting our case done with a timely manner.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.8 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • President and Founding Attorney
  • Minella Law Group, APC
  • 2014 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Ashford University
  • 2012 - Present
  • Attorney
  • San Diego Law Firm
  • 2011 - 2014
  • Associate
  • Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP
  • 2010 - 2011
View all work experience


  • California Western School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2009
  • Columbia College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2003

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Respond to Appeal
  • Trial court affirmed, appeal denied
  • Step Parent Adoption
  • Win
  • Move Away
  • Opposition Successful


  • Big Brother Big Sister
  • Big Sister
  • 2014 - Present
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Certified Specialist - Family Law
  • State Bar of California
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyers
  • San Diego Business Journal
  • 2015
  • Jack Berman Service selection
  • The California State Bar
  • 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • Domestic Violence Class
  • Family and Domestic Violence
  • 2011

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (7)
Endorse Kathy
Family Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Kathy is a fighter, no question about it. She's incredibly tough and always a strong advocate for her clients. Kathy does not back down. She's well-informed on the law and on the facts of her cases. Kathy is also open to out of court settlements and we've successfully settled some high conflict, high emotion matters."
Family Attorney | Nov 01
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Kathy is a very good, hard working attorney. I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jul 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kathy is a very down to earth person and a great family law attorney who fights hard for her clients."
Child custody Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Ms. Minella. She is a knowledgeable and well-respected attorney who is a great choice for anyone seeking legal representation."
Family Attorney | Sep 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Kathy Minella for several years now. She is competent, caring, responsible, and an extraordinarily talented attorney. She is a zealous advocate for her clients. I consider her not only colleague, but also a friend. I often receive calls from individuals needing representation pertaining to family law and adoption issues. I never hesitate to refer them to Kathy. I strongly endorse her."
Family Attorney | Jun 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Very knowledgeable attorney."
Unknown Attorney | Sep 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Alimony Attorney | Sep 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Kathy is very experienced in her area of law and is committed to providing superior service to her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kathy is an excellent family law attorney. Extremely knowledgeable, effective in the courtroom and dedicated to her clients."
Unknown Attorney | May 29
Relationship: Friend
"I have known Ms. Minella for over 7 years. Ms. Minella is hard working, represents all of her clients zealously- with the utmost attention to detail. No task is too great for Ms. Minella. She will move mountains for her clients. I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Mar 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Dec 19
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Sep 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
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