Skip to main content

Michele Marie Charbonneau

Divorce and separation Attorney at Irvine, CA

5.0   9 reviews
  • Licensed for 32 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1991
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Michele

Learn Michele’s areas of practice.

Practice area
  1. Divorce and separation
    Divorce, Family Law, Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Modifications, Mediation, Trial.

    33 years, 400 cases

Ms. Charbonneau is a highly regarded Orange County family law practitioner and was a founding partner in one of Orange County’s premier law firms. Ms. Charbonneau is well known for her uncanny ability to get to the heart of a case and get it resolved. While compassionate and understanding, she is tenacious in her resolve to get divorcing couples to focus on common ground to reach a fair and responsible resolution. She is very skilled in dealing with the range of emotions that go with a divorce and is able to relate to the parties like few others! Ms. Charbonneau has worked in Southern California for over 28 years and has handled countless family law matters. She has tried and settled various notable family law cases throughout her career, some of which have resulted in published law-making cases. Ms. Charbonneau has been involved in many highly contentious divorces, giving her a unique perspective into the problems, motivations and potential solutions in marital disputes. She has no problem thinking out of the box if that will get a case resolved. Ms. Charbonneau is experienced in all aspects of Family Law including: Divorce, Mediation, Child Custody & Custody Investigations, Child Support, Spousal Support Custody & Support Modifications, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Property Characterization Transmutations. Ms. Charbonneau has been an accomplished and award winning lawyer since her days in law school. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Salutatorian of Western State University College of Law. She was selected to the prestigious Law Review, serving as the editor of law review for two terms. Ms. Charbonneau was also one of the very few individuals selected to work as a judicial extern for Justice Wallin at the Court of Appeal. Ms. Charbonneau was a law school adjunct professor at Western State University for several years.


Photos and videos

View more


Brown & Charbonneau, LLP
420 Exchange Suite 270
Irvine, CA, 92602

Divorce lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Brian | February 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney review
Michele Charbonneau & Gina Michel deserve more than rating numbers. They have been amazing to work with for the past year. They truly understood the background of my case and guided me through the legal system. Both, were great listeners and offered advice that helped me through a challenging time in my life. Gina was wonderful with follow-ups and Michele fought to ensure I received the max on my settlement. I’m sorry that our professional relationship is ending but certainly consider them a friend. I would 100% recommend this team for any future legal proceeding.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best choice I’ve ever made…
Going through my divorce was very hard on me emotionally and financially. I am so thankful to have dealt with such professional, kind people during the process. I was always kept up to date on all progress and I ALWAYS felt like Gina and Michelle were looking out for my best interests. Not to mention my settlement was the best outcome I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend them; they made my divorce as smooth and painless as possible.
Read less
Posted by Jim | June 15, 2015
Attorney Review
Both Michelle and Gina are very knowledgeable. They have kept me very informed throughout the process. They have treated my case as a priority and have always been very well organized. They communicate extremely well. They communicate with opposing counsel extremely well. They have kept the case moving by asking me for documents actively. Michelle handled the mediation very well. She was reasonable and at the same time strong to enable the case to move forward to a good resolution. Michelle is very kind and understands the challenges of these situations and works well to assist me in many areas outside of the basics of the case. I appreciate her very much. Gina is outstanding in keeping things moving. She is not afraid to tell me I am missing something or need to get moving on something. I appreciate her as well. She is an outstanding Paralegal. Michelle is outstanding in her field. I am sure I will look to her if I have other legal needs in the future.
Read less
Posted by Jill | February 4, 2015
Attorney review
Michele Charbonneau and her Paralegal (Gina) were wonderful to work with and did a fabulous job with my complicated divorce. I would highly recommend them.
Posted by Darryl | February 4, 2015
Divorce from heck!
I am so grateful for Michele, Eileen and Gina for everything that they did for me. I had non stop issues and felt like I was underwater most of the time. They were the calming point and let me know what to do and when to do it. In the middle of the divorce I had a civil case pop up due to the divorce, and they handled that, as well. I am forever grateful!
Read less
Posted by Danny Peykoff | January 29, 2015
Attorney Review
Michelle and her staff were excellent! They were completely professional whilst making me feel comfortable and NOT like I was dealing with attorneys. Divorce is very tough, but Michele certainly helped to soften the blow.
Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2015
The Right Choice
Michele Charbonneau's skills as an attorney are second to none. I've used Michele to handle my own personal matters as well as referring potential clients to her. On each occasion I have been extremely satisfied as to how Michele handled the matter.
Posted by Laurie | January 1, 2012
Well respected attorney
Michele Charbonneau was recommended by a friend who knew I was not getting anywhere with my first lawyer. After Michelle took on my case, I felt much more in control of my situation. She understood my priorities, helped me understand where I stood legally and what I needed to do in order to move forward. My divorce was not amicable, Michelle and her staff made the entire process bearable. They understood my needs, kept me on track to make the decisions that needed to be made and helped me get the settlement I deserved. I would recommend Michelle Charbonneau to anyone looking for a smart attorney that is willing to fight for her clients rights. She knows the law, knows how to "fight" for you, does it well and is well respected.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2011
An Excellent Ally and Advocate - With Great Staff
Michele Charbonneau has been the perfect attorney to represent me in my recent divorce and custody proceedings. She carefully listened to my concerns and objectives, raised issues that I had not considered and worked with me to accomplish the most amicable, fair outcome possible. She encouraged me to pursue the points that were most important to me and offered wise counsel when things felt so confusing and out of hand. Her team was responsive to my calls and even kept the process moving when I was having difficulty making decisions and doing my part. They followed up with emails and phone calls so that I could focus on doing the next thing that was required of me and I didn't feel overwhelmed. I recommend her with the greatest confidence. Divorce can be a heart wrenching, financially and emotionally devastating experience. However, Michele seems to understand that, while always remaining the professional and seeking her client's best interest. She and her team are great allies to have on your side.
Read less
View less reviews


  • Hourly Rates $ 250-450 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Brown & Charbonneau, LLP
  • 2002 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Western State University College of Law
  • 1993 - 1995
  • Partner
  • Kring & Brown
  • 1992 - 2002


  • Western State College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1991
  • University of San Diego
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1987

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Wife Wins Share of Home
  • Wife Wins Share of Home
  • Church Molestation Case Settled
  • Confidential 7 Figure Settlement
  • Divorce Trial in Favor of Client
  • Favorable to Client
View all legal cases


  • National Association of Professional Women
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Lead Counsel
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Orange County Women Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Mediator
  • 2012 - Present
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Orangewood PALS
  • Board Member
  • 2007 - 2009
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Family Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • A+ Rating
  • Better Business Bureau
  • 2014
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Divorce Mediation Certified
  • Davis Mediation
  • 2010
  • Board Member Contribution
  • Orangewood Children's Foundation/PALS
  • 2003
  • Salutatorian/ Todd Brower Award
  • Western State University, College of Law
  • 1991
View all awards


  • Inland Empire Business Journal
  • Wage Garnishment
  • 2002
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Claims Seminar
  • Vehicle Code Section 11580.9(b)
  • 1997

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (4)
Endorse Michele
Family Attorney | Sep 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I've known Ms. Charbonneau for many years and consider her to be at the very top of the profession. I would recommend her to anyone."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is well known for her competence, patience with difficult clients and cases, and that she can be counted on to follow up on all issues in any case. She is my recommended "go to" attorney in family law matters. She won't let you down."
Family Attorney | Jan 22
Relationship: Co-worker
"Michele has demonstrated a unique ability to "think outside the box" to reach great results for her clients and maintain a professional and amicable working relationship with opposing counsel. Michele is always well prepared to advocate for her client's needs. In highly contested litigated cases or in a mediation setting, Michele has achieved great results for her family law clients."
Family Attorney | Jan 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly endorse Michele as a hardworking and highly-skilled family law litigator and mediator who is widely respected in the legal and mediation communities. Michele always has her client’s best interest in mind when advocating for them, and she has demonstrated the ability to obtain extraordinary results for her clients, whether in the courtroom or through settlement. Michele is always professional, focused, and thoroughly prepared to handle her client’s needs."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse this lawyer. Michelle is very competent and dedicated attorney who cares about her clients and is a well-respected lawyer in the family law legal community known for being able to be both reasonable with opposing counsel while also being a strong advocate for her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Family member
"I am pleased to endorse Michele M. Charbonneau. I have worked with her for many years. She is one of the most intelligent and hard working lawyers that I know. She is uniquely able to get cases resolved early in the case, while still focused on her client's needs."
View more endorsements

Avvo Contributions

0 Legal Answers 7 Legal Guides
Irvine Divorce and separation Lawyer Michele Marie Charbonneau
Michele Marie Charbonneau
Divorce and separation Attorney
Irvine, CA
Licensed for 32 years