Skip to main content

Elaine Ryzak Fraser

Divorce and separation Attorney at Burlingame, CA

5.0   24 reviews

Licensed for 38 years

Virtual consultation available

About Elaine

Learn Elaine’s areas of practice.

2
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    50%
    A divorce lawyer helps you if you no longer want to be married. Whether you want a legal separation or the marriage ended, divorce lawyers assist you to arrange financial and family matters, typically in a negotiation with your spouse's lawyer. Alimony, child custody, child support, and a fair division of community assets (like who keeps the house or how your checking and savings accounts are divided) are matters that a divorce lawyer is trained to help determine.

    37 years

  2. Family
    50%
    Family law includes laws of marriage, divorce, separation, property settlements, alimony, spousal abuse, child abuse, child support, and child custody.If you need help with a family-related legal issue, a family law attorney can advise in family disputes as well as represent you in lawsuits.

    37 years

With more than 35 years experience in family law, I bring a seasoned expertise to both the conference room and the courtroom. As an experienced trial lawyer in all phases of litigation, I can successfully navigate diverse disputes across a range of legal areas.

My expertise as a Collaborative Divorce practitioner means that I am equally effective in mediating or negotiating a resolution that, when appropriate, does not involve litigation. I also assist clients as a mediator or a mediation-consulting attorney.

I understand that every individual circumstance – every dispute – is unique and that one size does not fit all when securing a satisfying outcome. Whether you are in need of representation in front of a private judge or in a public court or seeking an alternative to litigation through Collaborative Divorce or mediation, you can rely on my empathy, experience and advocacy.

I have managed my own law practice for more than 30 years.

Licensed for 38 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1984
Updated 09/15/2022

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

Contact Elaine

Harris and Fraser
Elaine Ryzak Fraser
1220 Howard Ave #250
Burlingame, CA, 94010
Hide locations

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  24 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
0%
Posted by Alyssa | August 4, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend!
Elaine was recommended to me for my separation, custody and child support case that I previously tried to file on my own. She was extremely knowledgeable, kind, heartfelt and honest with me regarding my unique and complex case. During quite possibly the hardest time in my life, Elaine guided me with important information, prepped and represented me in multiple court hearings and never dragged things out or made me feel like she didn’t have my best interest in mind. Through my year and half custody battle she eased over a lot of stress I had and I can honestly say I couldn’t of done it without her and her rockstar legal team. Julie, Elaine’s paralegal was whom I initially spoke to over the phone and was my first impression of the firm. I could tell right off the bat that this was the law office I wanted to retain. Multiple time sensitive things that got dropped from opposing counsel last minute always got resolved and I know Elaine and her team always made sure my tail was covered. Thank you again to the Harris&Fraser firm and especially to Elaine.
Read less
Posted by Mary | January 18, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce with dignity
Elaine was the attorney I worked with for my Collaborative Divorce. She was patient and really listened to my story, which was important to me. Her patience and calm demeanor became my touchstone during the team meetings. In Collaborative Divorce it's important that both parties first learn about Family Law and then navigate together to a conclusion that brings into focus empathy and humane values. This is especially true when you are working to dissolve a long-term marriage where there are children and hard-earned assets involved. My divorce was the most important negotiation of my life. Elaine helped me to more clearly realize what I wanted from the negotiations, then to ask for what I wanted. I am grateful and happy for the outcome and the minimal impact the process had on my family. I believe I had both a good marriage and a good divorce. I'm glad I had Elaine on my team during a difficult period of my life and would recommend her to anybody who wants to divorce with dignity.
Read less
Posted by Simmi | February 14, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Bridge over troubled water
Ms. Fraser was my consulting attorney during my mediation process. I was 'switching off' as I was anxious, stressed out and terrified through my divorce since each of our mediation sessions was like reliving the trauma of my marriage in a 2 hour time capsule. Ms. Fraser patiently broke it down and explained the nuances of the proceedings giving me context and perspective that made sense to my anxious brain, but she was also gently empowered and encouraged me to speak up and question things for myself. I got through this daunting process thanks to her thoughtfulness, thoroughness, kindness and her humor!
Read less
Posted by Jennifer | January 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
You want Elaine Fraser on your team!
My path to Elaine was unusual. After discovering my now ex-husband had been leading an "alternative life" I made the decision to divorce him. Not having a clue as to how I would find a lawyer I reached out to a friend who recently divorced her husband. My friend had consulted with Elaine but was unable to retain her. She told me not to make the same mistake. While researching other attorneys I knew an acquaintance who was in the process of divorcing his wife. I knew whoever he retained should be someone I needed to interview. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was Elaine. I met with Elaine for an initial consultation. I liked her immediately. She is a very warm and compassionate person which put me at ease immediately. My number one goal of the divorce was to protect my children. Elaine basically said these exact words to me before I could get them out. I knew right then she was who I wanted on my team. I opted for a Collaborate Divorce process rather than mediation. My original intent was to mediate but Elaine explained how that might not be the best route to take in my case. I am so grateful I listened. Elaine was incredibly responsive to all my questions no matter what. I would hear from her if not immediately then within an hour or two. I felt that she heard my concerns and understood my fears and emotional pain. She is not reactive but very thoughtful and methodical which was incredibly helpful. I appreciated her creativity in presenting ideas for compromise with my settlement. Her ability to be creative was accomplished by her knowledge and years of experience. In a way Elaine made me feel safe in a very scary experience. For what is not an enjoyable experience, Elaine made it tolerable. I would absolutely recommend Elaine Fraser and have to someone recently who retained her.
Read less
Posted by Dona | July 21, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent lawyer and person
I needed to get a divorce after a 30 years marriage. I found Elaine very knowledgeable, tenacious, well prepared and she has great skills negotiating. She is also very empathetic, kind and because of her training in cooperative practice divorce she is very careful with words and behavior, so that emotions don't get out of hand and disrupt the meetings. Elaine is a solid lawyer with 25 plus years of experience, and the results reflect that. I was happy and very grateful for the way she handled my divorce.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent
Hired Elaine & Allison at Harris Fraser for divorce representation. Excellent representation and strong professional defense. Both have strong reputation in family law arena providing high credibility with judges and attys as well as deep knowledge of process/players. Elaine and team care about their clients, and will help ensure your interests are protected to max extent possible
Read less
Posted by Karen | November 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Collaborative Divorce
Elaine Fraser makes the divorce process much less painful for individuals and families. She was supportive and empathetic while imparting rational and logical legal advice, allowing me to make informed decisions. During a very emotional and painful time, she was able to help me see reason and communicate clearly with the collaborative team in a productive way so that I was able to reach an outcome that I would be at peace with. When I came across unfamiliar topics about my divorce (finance, real estate, etc.), Elaine put me in contact with fantastic experts who were able to guide, educate, and empower me to make sound and sensible choices. Elaine is very personable, friendly, down to earth, and has a great sense of humor (which was VERY appreciated!) but is also firm, authoritative, and commands respect from all members of the team. Divorce is never a fun process but I believe that I owe my sense of peace, calm and resiliency during what was a very difficult time to her! I highly recommend Elaine and her expertise.
Read less
Posted by Joe | January 16, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Elaine Fraser, great attorney and team!
Almost 20 years ago I was facing a divorce and fortunately I met Elaine. She was honest, tough and fair. More importantly she brought the human element to a very stressful and life changing time in my life. She handled business and made my children and I a priority! Jump ahead to now, my daughter was facing a custody issue with her son's father. Without hesitation I called Elaine and I'm so glad I did, after almost 20 years she was my go to. Elaine, Allison and Jo make up a great team that once again brought knowledge, experience and compassion. Compassion and the human element was just as important to me as was a competent attorney and with Elaine you have it all. A family law attorney, like insurance, is something you hope you will never need but when you do you need the best! In my experience Elaine and her team are the full package. I hope never again to need a family law attorney however if I do I'll call Elaine, that's a given!
Read less
Posted by Qianyi | August 7, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Elaine and her team are great
Elaine and her team are professional, efficient, and helpful. There were some complications in my case but eventually everything came out smoothly. I don't know many family law attorneys but I guess you can at least compare your attorney with the other party's. And I think Elaine and her team are way better and more efficient than the other team. I am grateful I had appointed Elaine as my attorney.
Read less
Posted by Andres | June 11, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Happy Client
I would highly recommend Harris & Fraser Law Firm. Elaine, Allison and Jo make sure to always keep your best interests in mind and are very mindful of the situation you are in. They operate efficiently and with the utmost professionalism. Thank You Harris & Fraser for closing one chapter in my life and helping me start a new chapter in my life.
Read less
Posted by Mike | May 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best Divorce lawyer
I made a mistake when initially looking for a divorce lawyer. He made tons of mistakes and incredibly bad at communicating what was going on with me. I was referred to Elaine by a family friend. I called and talked to Jo and she was very friendly and easy to talk to. After meeting with Elaine there was no decision to be made. Elaine, Allison and Jo we're all very friendly and easy to talk to. They took my case, cleaned up all the previous mistakes and did an amazing job from start to finish. All 3 of them are very knowledgeable and on top of everything that's going on. They are the only office I'd recommend to anyone.
Read less
Posted by Maria | October 19, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Poised and Professional
In the initial meeting with Elaine, I was so impressed. She was poised and professional. A divorce is not an easy process, but Elaine will get you through it. She is straightforward, treated me with respect and never wasted my time. I appreciated her insight in showing me other options to allow me to make my decisions.
Posted by Young Mi | October 4, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Smart, tough, compassionate
Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and you find yourself needing a family attorney. I was in such a situation and when I met with Elaine, I basically told her I didn't even know what questions to ask. I was lost. Not only was Elaine compassionate and understanding, she thoroughly explained the divorce process and let me know what were my rights. I walked out of that first meeting feeling better and empowered. Every step of the way, Elaine looked out for MY best interest. She would explain the ramifications of some of the verbiage in our Settlement Agreement and would make recommendations to ensure I was protected. She understands that YOU are the client and ultimately, everything is the client's decision, but she provides information so you can make a well-informed decision. I would HIGHLY recommend Elaine to anyone who is in need of an attorney.
Read less
Posted by Joan | May 31, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Representation for car crash
After a car crash I was in need of an attorney to represent me and help to settle my case with the insurance company. I visited the office of Harris & Fraser & spoke with Jo at the front office who was very kind to listen to my story and referred me to Elaine. I got a phone call the very next day to come in for an appointment! What a positive experience it has been to deal & work with Jo, Allison who assists Elaine & Elaine herself who was always available for any questions. I totally felt supported by them in every way even though my case was a minor one. My case is settled now and I can't thank all of them enough and highly recommend them.
Read less
Posted by greg | May 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Honest, Winner, Honest, Thorough, Honest
here is the email I sent Elaine after more than 6 years going through my divorce: Elaine and Allison, What a great team win! I can't thank you enough for your hard, well thought out approach. You know this process has been hard on me, you have seen my frustrations first hand. But you kept me on the tracks and after a long hard fight the good guys have another great win. I hope she has learned her lesson, though I don't think that to be the case. When we sat down years ago I told you two things were important to me. Standing way out at the top of the list was time with my kids, it took a while but the court finally got it right. Even before, as much as I didn't like it, I had more time with my kids than most divorced dads in CA. But this latest win with my youngest son "insert son's name" is a testament to your hard and meticulous work. I saw it especially when we arrived at court, in stark contrast to "insert ex-wife name" myriad of attorneys, you were always completely prepared and ready for any curveballs. The second thing I really desired was for "ex wife's name" not to share in my future upside. With this latest ruling moving to 3% of my upside that provides another win. Congrats to us all, what a team we all made. Elaine (and Allison) were head and shoulders above the 6 different attorneys my ex-wife hired over the years. Elaine was always honest with me, she never sugar coated my chances, she helped me understand that common sense and the rules for our family courts do not always go hand and hand, there are rules judges and courts have to play by even if they don't like them. I didn't always like the rulings along the way, though on balance, the results were always pretty good for me as a dad in California and a system that clearly favors the mom. Elaine was never outworked, never un-prepared, and her strategies were always on target. In the court room, Elaine shined, it was clear she was respected by the judges and the court room personnel. She always made the attorneys on the other side look like amateurs. In the end, through very hard work and great strategies, I was able to gain custody of my youngest son. I spent 4 and a half years flying from my home in Florida to CA (where my ex wife had taken the kids without my consent) every weekend to be with my kids. I have never heard of another father, even if common sense dictated that it was in the best interest of the child to do so, who was able to have the court rule that a child should move 3,000 miles across the country to be with his dad. In my case, this clearly was best for my son, but to have a court rule that way is not a normal occurrence. I don't wish divorce upon my worst enemy, but if you are in san mateo county CA and you need representation, you could not find a better attorney than Elaine Fraser (and her team)
Read less
Posted by Rob | December 17, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Incredibly Helpful and Professional Attorney...
Worked with Elaine over the dissolution of my marriage of 19 years in a collaborative divorce process in 2015. She was amazingly professional, warm, caring, nonjudgmental, and very helpful to me as I went through this process. I may have come in thinking that the collaborative process was a bit of a waste of time, but she and the team helped me understand that the process helped both sides feel that they had an equal voice and would be supported throughout the process. As "my" attorney in the process, she guided me through decisions and framing with the expertise of somebody who's been doing this for quite a long time and understands the possible scenarios and permutations very well. She worked very well with the other lawyer and the collaborative team, but I also felt that she "had my back" throughout the process as well. Couldn't recommend her more highly - I'm a professional / consultant myself, and I hope that my clients feel as strongly about my work as I did about hers...
Read less
Posted by Marjorie | October 31, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer!!
I can't say enough positive things about her. She met me during a rough time (everyone says that - sorry if it's trite!). She helped me resolve some difficult settlement issues. She was sympathetic, reassuring, kind, and of course extremely knowledgable. She helped me even after it was done. I know there are many many good attorneys. But not that many who are great. She is. I can't recommend her enough!!!
Read less
Posted by Karen | July 1, 2015
Great attorney!!
I used Elaine last year for an alimony settlement. My ex-husband wanted to lower his alimony payments to me, or completely eliminate support. Elaine and her staff were so helpful and kept me up to date with everything. We ended up going to mediation, and I couldn't have been prouder to have Elaine as my attorney that day! She was so professional and informed. Her staff is a pleasure to work with as well.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | June 29, 2015
Excellent Highly Skilled Attorney
I hired Elaine Fraser for my divorce and custody issues. Getting a divorce is never easy, but mine was further complicated due to domestic violence. Elaine and her team worked tirelessly to keep my children and I safe from further harm. She made me feel as if I were her only client, even though I knew she was busy, taking time time to return calls and emails. I never felt neglected, even during the weeks when I knew she was in court with other clients. Elaine was up to date in recent changes regarding domestic violence and restraining order laws and made sure the judge and opposing attorney were aware as well. Without her my children and I would not be living the wonderful life we do today. I would not hesitate to recommend Elaine to anyone in need of an attorney.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | September 1, 2014
Highly Recommend Elaine Fraser and her staff
I have been a client for around 10 years with a very complicated child custody situation. Elaine and her staff helped me with through many difficult (and bizarre) situations and I always felt well represented. I would highlight Elaine's commanding presence in the court room and her ability to stress the important points to the judge. In my experience, Elaine is always incredibly prepared and organized for whatever twists and turns happen in the courtroom. I truly value Elaine's expertise and advice in family law and I appreciate her emphasis on what is best for the child .
Read less
View less reviews

Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 320-585 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Harris and Fraser
  • 1989 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Elaine Ryzak Fraser
  • 1987 - 1989
  • Attorney
  • McGlashan & Sarrail, Professional Corporation
  • 1984 - 1987

Education

  • U of San Francisco SOL
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1984
  • California St Univ Long Beach
  • Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Teaching Credential
  • 1974

Associations

  • Collaborative Practice of San Mateo County
  • Executive Committee
  • 2011 - Present
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • San Mateo Country Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board of Directors
  • 2002 - Present
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Member
  • 1986 - Present
  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1985 - Present
  • San Francisco Superior Court Pre-Arbitration Settlement Conferences
  • Panelist
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Superior Court
  • Civil and Probate Advisory Committee
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Superior Court
  • Family Law Alternative Dispute Roster Committee
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Superior Court
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution MAP Oversight Committee
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Superior Court
  • Judicial Arbitrator
  • N/A
  • San Mateo County Superior Court
  • Family Law Advisory Board
  • N/A
  • CP Cal
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Collaborative Practice San Mateo County
  • Co-chair
  • 2013 - 2014
  • San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Past President
  • 2006 - 2007
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2020
  • Top Lawyer Award-Divorce
  • Avvo
  • 2020
  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyer
  • 2018
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2017
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2016
  • Top 5% peer review
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Top 5% peer review
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Top 5% by peer review
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Top 5% by Peer Review
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Top 5% by Peer Review
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2011
  • SuperLawyer, top 5% by peer review
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2010
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2010
  • Local Trial Lawyer Association President of the Year
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • 2007
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • How To Be Effective in Judicial Arbitration
  • Judicial Arbitration
  • 2007

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (1)
Endorse Elaine
Family Attorney | Aug 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have see Elaine in Family Law Court arguing cases at hearings. Because she does personal injury law as well, she is an expert on the Evidence Code. She is able to get your evidence in and then argue persuasively to the judge. Many other family law attorneys will refer cases to her when they are highly complicated, involving high earners and lots of documents. She is smart, prepared and the judges like her and respect her. She also is a kind, understanding person who knows how important custody and visitation issues are. Her patience and empathy will help you get through one of the worst times in your life. She is in demand so she is efficient with her time and your money. She is extremely conscientious and responsible yet good-hearted and reasonable. That is why she has a great reputation in our Court."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Feb 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Mar 08
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Jul 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Elaine for many years and worked in the same suite as her office for seven years. I saw her interact with her family law clients and I know she did an excellent job for her many clients. She is intelligent, hard-working and compassionate - a rare and effective combination!"