Skip to main content

Elisabeth Anne Donovan

Divorce and separation Attorney at Irvine, CA

5.0   23 reviews

Licensed for 9 years

Free consultation

About Elisabeth

Learn Elisabeth’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    40%
    Elisabeth Donovan specializes in child custody, including: father's rights, move-away cases, post-judgment modifications and restraining orders.

    9 years

  2. Divorce and separation
    40%
    Elisabeth Donovan handles all aspects of divorce and family cases, including: division of marital property, child and spousal support, high asset dissolutions, annulments, post-judgment modifications, and pre-nuptial agreements.

    9 years

  3. Marriage and prenuptials
    20%

    9 years

Elisabeth Donovan is passionate and aggressive attorney with experience handling a wide variety of family law matters. Known by colleagues and clients as a "fireball," Elisabeth zealously advocates for her clients and does what is best for every family she works with.  Elisabeth has handled hundreds of family law matters across California. Named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine six years in a row, Elisabeth is recognized in Southern California as a top attorney. 

Elisabeth earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA, where she graduated with an Honors distinction. Elisabeth received her Bachelors Degree in Journalism, and in addition to being an attorney, Elisabeth is also licensed as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. 

In addition to her extensive family law experience, Elisabeth has successfully completed the esteemed National Institution of Trial Advocacy's intensive training program in Los Angeles, as well as the Advanced Advocates program in Washington, D.C. 

While in law school, Elisabeth worked in the Legal Department of the San Diego County Department of Child Support Services, where she assisted in enforcing court ordered child support obligations. As a certified law student, she also participated in Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic, where she helped disabled veterans handle their family law matters. 

During her time at Thomas Jefferson, Elisabeth served as the Vice President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and wrote for the student newspaper, The Jeffersonian. She also worked in Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Communications Department, where she covered the institution’s events, which featured prominent speakers and legal issues. Elisabeth served as the Law Student Editor of San Diego Lawyer Magazine from 2011-2102. 

Elisabeth is admitted to practice law in California, and is an active member of the Orange County Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Los Angeles Italian-American Bar Association. 

 

Photos and videos

Licensed for 9 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 2013
Updated 09/09/2022

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

Contact Elisabeth

Law Office of Elisabeth A. Donovan, P.C.

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  23 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
0%
Posted by Trevor | May 24, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent divorce attorney
I hired Elisabeth with my divorce and custody hearings and I must say I was extremely impressed with how she was able to handle all the issues at hand. She was able to dive right in and find the best course of action to ensure a successful trial. There was little to no delay with any action needed for the case and I appreciated her due diligence in every matter.
Read less
Posted by Mary | May 5, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Service Ever
I hired Elisabeth to handle a DV Restraining Order matter for me. The whole process was so difficult as this situation caused me so much trauma. Elisabeth was responsive, attentive, and most importantly passionate about my position, my life and my safety. She was a beast in court and I could not thank her enough for being my voice when I believed that I had no voice. Thank you Elisabeth!!!
Read less
Posted by Richard | May 3, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
When you need the right Attorney
Elisabeth was not only a good listener and patient, she knew how important it was that I get the results I was seeking, she knows her stuff when it comes to family law, she was instrumental in helping me with my divorce case, after hiring 3 different useless attorneys, she was able to help me with my situation and was there to defend me and my kids! Thank you Elisabeth for all your hard work and sue diligence.
Read less
Posted by Amanda | September 5, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
God Sent/ Best Attorney Ever
After 7 months of no contact with my daughter’s father, one day I was served with a domestic violence restraining Order that granted him full custody of our daughter. This was the most traumatizing time of my life. My daughter’s father had always been an absent father since day one and even this year the last time he saw her was for a quick visit in February 2021. We had absolutely no contact and he hired the most dirty/wicked/Un-honest attorney to make up lies and mis-lead the court to make it look like I have been harassing him and he lied and said our daughter (that he knew nothing about) was in danger. He filed this non-sense DVRO because Child Support Services started garnishing his checks in June 2021 so exactly one month later he filed a ridiculous DVRO which we believe was triggered by child support starting to garish his checks. He was mad. Miss.Donovan was God sent.. 100%. I met her in line as I was trying to file a ex-parte to get custody back of my daughter. Scared, worried, heart-broken.. I met Miss.Donovan in line as I was trying to file a ex-parte. She was so sweet and took the time to talk to me. A few days later I was able to retain her and we had our VICTORY in court. I’ll never forget when she called me the day before our hearing and said “Amanda I need you to be in Prayer”. She advised me they were going to lie, lie, lie in court and to let it go in one ear and out the other. Miss.Donovan is Smart, Honest, realistic, & really treats you with respect. I know God uses her to help people like me who’s world got turn upside down due to a narcissistic person saying what they want to get back at someone. I was being punish by my daughter’s narcissistic father because I filed for child support. She believed me, never doubted me and was so for me. She had compassion. I am so blessed to had her represent me in my domestic violence case. That she SQUASHED in ONE court hearing!! I was so amazed and I know she was sent by God. She will give you wise Counsel. A fact about my case I did not have to say one word in court. Miss.Donovan was preparing me to testify and she crossed-examine the opposing counsel’s client & his false witnesses so well that after his testimony was done the judge granted her motion to dismiss the dvro against me. It all happened so quick. I didn’t even have to testify to all the lies!!! I really am thankful for her and Alex. Both are very sweet and have compassion. This attorney will fight for you as her client and care like a friend. She’s amazing. I am retaining her for my custody petition that came out of the dvro. I honestly feel like I’ve known Miss.Donovan since my daughter was born because she truly understands what has happened the whole past 2 years even though she is just getting sub on my case and sees what the opposing counsel & his client are trying to do. If you are looking for a honest, smart, aggressive attorney this is you’re confirmation to have Miss.Donovan for you!
Read less
Posted by Jeanette | August 30, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
This review is for my family attorney Mrs. Donovan.
I am so happy that god put her in my path. Not only did she take my case she believed in my case. She treated me with so much respect and always was compassionate and honest with me. When we went into court I felt like she fought for me as a attorney should, as a mother , and as as friend. I've never seen a attorney fight so hard for a client. She helped me gain 50/50 custody of my girls and for that I will always be thankful for her. You would not be disappointed in choosing her to represent you!
Read less
Posted by Wesley | February 10, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Real Deal
Elisabeth has been my council for 2 years now and has done an excellent job with my child custody case. She is smart, experienced, and easy to talk to. She exceeds expectations in both document preparation and speaking in the courtroom. She took the time to understand the complexitys of my situation. I would absolutely recommend Elisabeth as a custody attorney!
Read less
Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Skilled, experienced, exceptionally passionate, and ethical.
Skilled, experienced, exceptionally passionate, and ethical. These are just a few of the words that come to my mind with respect to Elisabeth. Trying to find one's way through the forest of divorce is not all that different from attempting to finding one's way through a marriage without having a healthy model to follow. All relationships are based on trust, and trust takes time. I initially contacted Elisabeth and attempted to protect myself in the context of a troubled marriage with a postnuptial agreement. I later decided against this approach. I next contacted her when my wife told me that she wanted a divorce. We then decided to try mediation, but this failed. I then retained another “high-powered” and very expensive attorney and quickly learned that contrary to urban legend, legal fees are driven higher by clients, not attorneys. Good attorneys will advise you based on their personal experience, statutory law, case law, and if necessary, their knowledge of the way local judges tend to rule. Based on my experience family law attorneys tend to be quite ethical and there is a reason why folks choose the field and become board-certified specialists. Much the same as there is a reason why people become therapists. My wife and I then once again went back to mediation. I decided to use Elisabeth as a consultant attorney rather than retain her to represent me. I learned that this is strictly a legal definition and has no relevance in terms of having an expert at your side. I would consistently hear the words from Elisabeth “this is the way a judge would rule”. Elisabeth was there to advocate for me, educate me, help me see my blind spots, review legal documents, and generally help me from going crazy! Divorce is not a lot of fun but having a skilled attorney allows one to move further along to the most important work, which is in my view, emotional healing and moving on in life. I am extremely grateful to have had Elizabeth by my side during this entire process.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | December 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Motion to Quash
I was referred by a lawyer from TX that Elisabeth handles family law cases. Which is what I needed. I called her, told her my situation and she immediately took the case. She definitely has the best interest of her clients. She responded quickly to questions and was very knowledgeable about what she was doing. I was nervous to hire at first but the first conversation we had I knew I made the best choice I could’ve. Will refer her to friends and family. 100%.
Read less
Posted by ICJ | December 29, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Passionate, aggressive, honest, and dedicated
Elisabeth went above and beyond to represent me during my child support trial. She truly has the best interest for all her clients. I felt super supportive and she is very understanding. She doesn't play games and has the energy needed in this industry. She is quick wit and experienced. Being a women in this competitive field can be intimidating, but she can be aggressive and a true professional. I was so fortunate to have her as my client and I have recommended her to close friends who were also pleased with her practice. She is also working to obtain her MFT license which is always a plus. I highly recommend her and she is also affordable and won't ring up a bill like many other attorneys tend to do so just to get that extra buck. She definitely knows how to take care and keep her clients. She is also modern and very accessible.
Read less
Posted by Summer | November 5, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce/Child custody
I don’t even know where to begin. Hopeless and scared is the start. My ex was trying to take my girls away from me claiming abuse, because he had an attorney and I didn’t it almost worked. Until a good friend of mine referred me to Elizabeth not only did she put my mind at ease and take a load of stress off my chest. She listened she wanted to know THE FACTS from beginning to end. She was able to see what was really going on and show the court the facts as well. In the end she helped me keep custody of my girls. I would recommend her to anyone and if I ever needed to hire an attorney again she would be my number one pick! THANK YOU ELIZABETH!!
Read less
Posted by CARLOS | September 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
CHILD CUSTODY
Not sure how to start or explain how satisfied I am with Elisabeth and her team. I was dealing with a previous attorney before I reached out to her. My previous attorney was a little cheaper but did not do any of the following which she did; call back, respond, litigate, accept facts and evidence towards the case etc. She was a great responder and new answers to every single one of my questions as soon as she jumped on board. My case was even closed before any orders from the judge which turn out great for both parties. I would not hesitate to give her a call for any family law issues you might have you will not regret your time with her.
Read less
Posted by Jeremy | March 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custody & Divorce
I've been through some challenging and heartbreaking circumstances due to this situation. When I found Elisabeth she gave me the confidence and security that i needed to make it through. In the end with her knowledge she helped me achieve 100% custody of my children and a divorce that made it painless. I'm truly grateful for her and the outcome. I would highly recommend her to handle anyone's case! Thank you
Read less
Posted by Guillermo | February 1, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
People’s champ
Going to be bluntly honest. I despise the judicial system and almost every lawyer I met gave me a horrible feeling . I thought I would never find a decent honest human in any law firm I looked at. I had the great fortune to be recommended by a good friend . It’s been the best choice I’ve made in my fight for custody for my daughter Even though we are still in the thick’s of it I have nothing but full confidence in her abilities. Her sweet Passion and tenacity to fight for you ,can make any opposing counsel want to settle I feel a great sense of gratitude for her efforts Now I’ve been able to see my daughter again and that’s all that matters to me
Read less
Posted by anonymous | February 1, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child custody!
I highly recommend Elisabeth she was referred to me by a family member. A child custody dispute brings many feelings, emotions,questions and is never easy , she always remained positive, looking out for the best interest of my son. She retuned all of my phone calls and or emails that day having all questions answered.She fought for our child custody agreement,and I couldn’t be more happier with the outcome. Our move away case was granted, and everything we proposed was as well granted. Leaving the schedule fair for both parents. Very professional and knowledgeable. She worked after hours to ensure meetings happened, and always kept me calm and positive in court. Anyone in the mist of a child custody dispute I definitely recommend giving Elisabeth Donovan a call you won’t regret it!
Read less
Posted by Elizabeth | January 18, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child custody
Elisabeth Donovan was highly recommended by a friend we had already consulted with other attorneys but I felt they didn’t really care to help and just were interested in the money I would pay and how fast they can get it when we consulted with Elizabeth Donovan we explained our situation she was was kind dependable and was actually interested in helping us really genuinely. She has Fought for my child custody and has been Successful in every Court hearing I would highly recommend her.
Read less
Posted by George | January 9, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Alimony Reduction
Elisabeth is very professional, gave great advice and is a great negotiator. She was able to get my alimony reduced by over half. Very greatful for her knowledge and drive in my case.
Posted by Traci | December 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommended
For me, the process of getting divorced was overwhelming. When I was referred to Elisabeth Donovan, I was skeptical and unsure. I almost didn’t make the call, but I’m so glad I did. Her calm and straightforward demeanor, immediately eased any misgivings that I had. She was able to quickly set a clear course of action that was fair to both me and my ex-husband. She also ensured that we had a custody & visitation schedule that was best for the well-being of my children. Elisabeth has the ability to deftly navigate you though the confusing and emotional waters of divorce and family law. She made all the pieces fall into place. I highly recommend her services.
Read less
Posted by Rudy | September 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phenomenal Attorney
Elisabeth has helped me out tremendously. She handled my Child Support and Custody cases. My child support has been corrected and I now have Custody of my son. She also handled the Termination of parental rights (stepsons' father) and the Adoption of my 3 stepsons. My wife and I are extremely pleased with her professionalism, flexibility, persistence and ability to get us what we wanted and more. My whole family is better off having known and worked with her.
Read less
Posted by Alex | September 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Custody case
She deserves 10 stars, she took me from 1 day a week to 3 weekends per month, and holidays, to see my daughter, I can't think of anyone else that would have done a better job, Elizabeth was not only professional but to the point, never felt like I was talking to a stranger, always as a friend. As we were outside the courtroom people approach her, that's when you say that's a Great Attorney.
Read less
Posted by Dawn | May 3, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic lawyer!
I can't say enough good things about Elisabeth Donovan and her work as an attorney. From the very first phone call Elisabeth showed a tremendous amount of compassion towards my situation. Throughout the process she was upfront, and gave honest answers about what I could realistically expect. After looking over my court documents she also brought to my attention some very important points I had overlooked. Her confidence and knowledge of family law gave me the assurance to go forward with my decisions. During the proceedings she made sure I was comfortable with my choices before signing any agreements. In the end, I got exactly the settlement I was hoping for, and am so grateful she was willing to take my case.
Read less
View less reviews

Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 350-350 per hour
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Family Law Attorney
  • Law Office of Elisabeth Donovan
  • 2013 - Present
  • LEAP Attorney
  • Legal Aid Society Of Orange County
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Law Clerk
  • San Diego County Department Of Child Support Services
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Law Clerk
  • Thomas Jefferson School Of Law- Veteran's Legal Assistance Clinic
  • 2010 - 2011
View all work experience

Education

  • Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
  • CDFA Designation
  • 2017
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 2015
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 2014
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • J.D
  • 2012
  • California State University-Fullerton
  • B.A.
  • 2008
View all education

Associations

  • Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
  • CDFA
  • 2017 - Present
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • 2014 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • 2013 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • Rising Star
  • California Super Lawyers
  • 2020
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Certified Specialist - Family Law
  • State Bar of California
  • 2019
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2018
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2017
  • 10 Best
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2017
  • Pro Bono Honors
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • 2012
  • Dean's List
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • 2011
  • Merit Scholarship
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • 2009
  • Dean's List
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • 2008
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • State Bar of California: Modest Means Incubator Project of the Access to Justice Commission
  • Incubator Programs
  • 2014

Attorney endorsements

Received (12)
Given (12)
Family Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Elisabeth. She is regarded as one of Orange County's best family law attorneys. She is passionate, skilled, and driven to help her clients get the best result at a time when they need her most."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 08
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I fully endorse Elisabeth. I have met a lot of family law attorneys in my years, but none compare to Elisabeth. Her compassion, education, and experience shines through every case she handles. Being a family law attorney is no joke, Elisabeth makes it look easy. I would highly recommend her to any of my friends or family members."
Family Attorney | Jun 14
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Family law can be complicated and emotional but Ms. Donovan navigated through those challenges exceptionally well in our case."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"A professional, knowledgeable, and skilled attorney, Elisabeth is also compassionate and caring toward her clients. She completely explains issues to her clients to assist their understanding. She is a strong and tenacious advocate."
Family Attorney | Jan 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have been opposing counsel on several matter with Ms. Donovan and she is alway professional and polite while obtaining the most favorable outcome for her clients. She is fair and honest with attorneys and clients alike. I highly recommend this attorney."
Family Attorney | Dec 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Elisabeth Donovan for marital dissolution proceedings. She is knowledgeable and fights hard for her clients."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Elisabeth Donovan is a bright, skilled and compassionate advocate. She is passionate about her work and goes above and beyond for her clients. Fierce in the courtroom, and empathetic and patient when she needs to be. I endorse this attorney."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Elisabeth Donovan is a force to be reckoned with. She is a dedicated and skilled practitioner whom I recommend to anyone that needs a fearless advocate."
Family Attorney | Sep 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Whenever I see a client with potential or actual family law issues, I always recommend Elisabeth. Professional and knowledgable in the elder law field as well. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Sep 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Elisabeth is one of the hardest working family law attorneys in Orange County. I have had the privilege of working with her on cases and I can attest to her perseverance while fighting for her clients. Do not be fooled by her young appearance and the length of time she has practiced. I have not met another attorney who devotes more time to learning and mastering their craft. More importantly, she cares about her clients and rallies behind their cause to achieve the best possible outcome."
Family Attorney | Jan 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I hightly endorse this lawyer. Elisabeth Donovan is an aggressive advocate in custody and other family law related matters. She works personally with her clients."
Family Attorney | Mar 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. It is apparent that Ms. Donovan has a passion for family law and for continuously improving her craft. Any client would be lucky to have her as an attorney because she truly cares about getting the best possible outcome; and is diligent, patient, and a good communicator. Ms. Donovan is a also a vital part of our community as she gives up a portion of her time to assist low-income clients."
View more endorsements
Irvine Divorce and separation Lawyer Elisabeth Anne Donovan
Elisabeth Anne Donovan
Divorce and separation Attorney
Irvine, CA
Licensed for 9 years
Free Consultation