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Neil S Holmes

Divorce and separation Attorney at Walnut Creek, CA

4.2   15 reviews

also known as Divorce for Men Only

  • Licensed for 40 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1983
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Neil

Learn Neil’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    Our approach is designed to "even the playing field" for men in a divorce -- especially with issues of child custody and emphasizing that both sides financially support themselves and their kids. We team with you to proactively take charge of your divorce case. We offer practical, and realistic advice; finding pragmatic and cost-efficient approaches to dealing with your spouse and the courts. We want to help make your divorce as smooth a transition as possible.

    40 years

  2. Child custody
    Our experience makes us especially adept at dealing with custody and parenting issues in divorce. Our 30 years of representing men enables us to share the experiences of other fathers who went through similar situations. We’ve developed strategies and approaches to help maximize the quality as well as the quantity of time with your children.

    40 years

  3. Alimony
    Unlike child support, the courts consider a wide range of factors when determining a “fair” alimony payment in terms of amount and duration. Important here is to early and often stress to the courts the need for non-working spouses to get educated, get into the workforce and financially support themselves to their maximum ability. Whether your spouse simply needs to update her resume or needs an entire vocational assessment, the sooner that effort begins the sooner this goal is accomplished.

    40 years

  4. Child support
    Unlike alimony (spousal support), the courts determine child support by and large with a rigid set of guidelines. We make sure that your income is accurately presented and that kept at the forefront is the legal requirement that both parents must financially support their children.

    40 years

  5. Domestic violence
    Domestic violence is a serious issue. So are false allegations of domestic violence and the misuse of the domestic violence procedures in the court system. It’s important early on to ascertain the reality of the situation and respond appropriately. There is usually a very short time table between the allegations and a court hearing so it is critical to address allegations with an attorney immediately.

    40 years


A Resident of Walnut Creek, Neil is a 1982 graduate of Loyola Law School.  The opportunity to focus on men's issues crystallized when the founder of Divorce For Men Only invited Neil to join their firm in 1992. 

Neil's forte is analyzing the issues and developing a "game plan" ahead of time to get through a case successfully but also efficiently.   Planning ahead helps men avoid making the mistakes that other men have made in divorce.

His approach to representation is very team oriented.  Together with his client, he discusses, brainstorms and delegates tasks to maximize time and cost efficiency.   
The goal with every case is to get the client through the process as efficiently and quickly as possible.  

Neil has served as a Judge Pro Tem in Contra Costa and Solano County Courts.
You may have heard him interviewed on NBC's Today Show, KGO News Talk and KCBS News Radio as well as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Conta Costa Times, Associated Press, Redbook and Diablo Magazine


Client's Choice 2014
Client's Choice

Photos and videos


Divorce For Men Only
1000 Ygnacio Valley Road
Walnut Creek, CA, 94598-1812


4.2 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
5 Star
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Client's Choice 2014
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 John | September 23, 2014
Best Family Law Attorney In Town
Neil is great! He's been my family law attorney now for almost a decade. I know his strengths to be the law and his reputation as a top attorney. Additionally, he also tells you what you need to know so you can make informed decisions. I many not have always liked what he told me, but his honesty saved me thousands and a ton of stress. Ultimately, I feel like anyone else that would have handled my case would have cost me twice as much and done half the job. In the end, I'm a dad who now has 80/20 Visitation, kept the family home, and has an order in place that has brought sanity back into my life.
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Posted by Juan C. Carrasco | September 23, 2014
Thnaks for your help during difficult times!!
Neil is a great sensitive Attorney with excellent ethics and moral values. With his great knowledge he bring a realistic approach to any situation and develops the case based on facts. I strongly recommended Neil!!
Posted by John | July 8, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good family law attorney
In a difficult time Neil and his team were compassionate, attentive and agile toward all of the needs and obstacles that arose. They did a wonderful job in this time of adverse conditions to get the job completed for all parties involved. My thanks to Neil
Posted by Greg | June 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good Choice...
Neil Holmes at Divorce For Men Only in Walnut Creek was a good choice for me during the difficult time of my divorce. Mine was a so-called "high conflict" divorce and also involved two young, precious children. Neil somehow was able to keep me relatively not-nervous during the year-long process. This was a brand new experience for me and Mr. Holmes managed to steer things somewhere in between emotional understanding and financial responsibility. He also kept me well informed regarding how and why I was being charged for individual items all along the way. This increased trust. I would recommend Neil Holmes for anyone during this difficult time.
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Posted by Sean | December 25, 2014
A good lawyer
Neil has done a great job educating me I'm the divorce process, and keeping me up to date as things progress. A divorce as a very stressful period in a persons life. Neil is very good a helping clients dealing with the stress and turbulence and making wise decisions and actions.
Posted by Serafino | December 18, 2014
He works tirelessly to provide the best results for his clients
I am a real estate broker, and I have worked with Neil on several occasions now to help him sell a home for a client. He is a pleasure to work with, and he works tirelessly in the best interest of his clients.
Posted by Janie | November 18, 2014
Kind and Thoughtful in the midst of turmoil
I highly recommend Neil and his Law firm to anyone needing an expert in family law. Any divorce is always nerve wracking and Neil was helpful and knowledgeable in all aspects of family law. He took the time to explain the process of child custody and made sure I felt comfortable with everything. He is a tremendously talented divorce attorney who genuinely cares about his client's best interests.
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Posted by Joy | September 16, 2014
Neil is a professional and also has that personal touch
I wholeheartedly recommend Neil Holmes and Divorce for Men Only if you are going through any of the very emotionally taxing events such as a divorce, are dealing with child custody or support issues. It's hard enough to go through these things, so to know that the attorney you hired has your best interest in mind, is supportive and knowledgable, and also has years of experience, makes the process that much better. Thank you Neil and the whole Divorce for Men team!
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Posted by Julie | June 25, 2013
Truth and Justice prevailed!
I had been trying for almost 4 years to gain access to funds awarded to me by the courts during my divorce. I also had a problem with the ex-spouse not paying court-ordered support payments. Neil and his staff worked diligently and professionally to bring my case to a swift and just conclusion. He and his staff fought for me and my rights, and made me feel as though my case mattered.
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Posted by Mary | May 17, 2013
The best lawyer makes all the difference
Mr. Holmes made all the difference in the world in my son's recent custody case. His knowledge, professionalism, and genuine desire to do what's in the best interest of the children helped my son win his case. He is an expert in his field and has sincere empathy for what my son and grand-daughters were going through. Because of Mr. Holmes and his team my son won his custody case and my former daughter-in-law can not move my grand-daughters out of their current county, nor did she win "sole custody." Thank you Mr. Holmes , you are the BEST !
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Posted by anonymous | March 18, 2013
Neil Holmes, Thank you!
In a time when your heart is broken by promises long since forgotten and your faith destroyed by a level of deceit never before realized or even imagined, it becomes nearly impossible to trust anyone. So you try to fight alone. For so long your words and your efforts have been in vain. The will to survive is waning. Weary from the battles, the war rages on and the white flag is at the ready. Uncertain of what direction to take, frustrated by the barrage of rhetoric and confused by the perceived inequity of the rules of engagement. I took a chance and reached out for an advocate, I contacted Neil Holmes. His confidence is reflected in the professional, calm, straight forward way in which he speaks. Neil is patient and strives for clarity with each conversation and communication. He has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the applicable laws and has represented me from a firm position. My intention was simply to receive fair treatment in the eyes of the Court. No malice or ill will intended. With Neil Holmes representation, I believe that goal will become a reality. Without Neil's representation, I can state with complete confidence that a gross injustice would have been committed.
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Posted by anonymous | November 16, 2012
Unmatched Integrity
I honestly didn't know there were attorneys like Neil Holmes out there. His first concern was about me and learning what ends I hoped to accomplish, even if it was reconciliation (which means no case or fees paid to him). At each step of the process, he not only kept me informed but shared various options, always pointing out which was the most cost-efficient. There were many tasks I was able to accomplish on my own (that I know other attorneys would do and charge for). He also was straightforward about disappointing news and always explained the legality behind it. His integrity is unmatched. If you're looking for an experienced attorney who is intelligent, strategic, focused and compassionate, I would highly recommend Neil.
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Posted by Michael | February 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Zero effort
If you want an attorney who will absolutely do nothing but take your money, this is your guy. He will let your ex take whatever she wants and sit there like a baby. He will ask for nothing and give everything
Posted by Terri | October 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Did not finish my divorce found out still married 24 years later
I paid for a divorce in full in 1992 when Mr.Holmes was with Jacoby & Meyers that was supposedly completed only to find out 2 years ago that I am still married and my case is still open online on the Superior Court website! When I contacted Mr. Holmes regarding this he told me he was not obligated to help me because I signed a document in 1993 for Dept. Of Child Support Serv. Stating I was not represented. I did not know that Mr. Holmes had not finished my divorce a year after we went to court for our final hearing! And I had to sign that document with DCSS in order to collect CS from my deadbeat (I thought) ex husband! So now after 25 years I have to start my divorce all over again and I am out the 3000.00 I paid to Jacoby and Meyers for my incomplete divorce. This attorney has no integrity and has no moral compass what so ever. He knows he is in the wrong and blatantly refused to correct it because of a document I signed so I could collect child support. I am filing a a complaint with the state bar assoc. and hopefully I can get some sort of resolution..beware of this attorney, retain at your own risk. Terri
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Posted by anonymous | April 19, 2010
Do not work with this lawyer
I met with Neil for a $300 consultation to help me with a fairly straightforward child support modification. He said he only works by retainer. He agreed that it was straightforward and did not think it would require all of the $2,800 retainer. He said the balance would be kept in my account and could be used on an ongoing basis when/if I had questions. I paid the $2,800 retainer. He burned through it in the next 3 business days and firmly demanded another $750. I asked him for clarification on where all the hours were spent which he found personally offensive. From the moment I questioned his hours he went from responsive to incredibly unresponsive. I was de-prioritized as a client for questioning him. Last week I expressed my disappointment to him after waiting for nearly 3 weeks for a response to a basic question. In response he fired me as a client. Neil knows the law but he is incredibly arrogant. If you don’t mind tip toeing around his fragile ego and opening your bank account you will be fine. If you dare expressing any opinion about his work, his hours, or his fees you should be prepared to be fired as a client. BUYER BEWARE!!!
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Response from Neil Holmes September 25, 2014
It is highly unusual that a "straightforward" child support case would involve 7-8 hours of work in the first three days. Typically $2800 (for 7-8 hours of work) covers a child support modification matter. More realistic here is that either the client waited until the last minute to hire an attorney -- which means we pushed all other work aside in order to prepare his pleadings and appear in court over these three days -- or there was some other emergency with the case that all had to be handled immediately. Normally child support paperwork is prepared and the court hearing occurs several weeks later. We provide detailed and specific billing statements so the client knows exactly what services were provided.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 425-425 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.1 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner/Owner
  • Divorce For Men Only
  • 1989 - Present


  • Loyola University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1982
  • University of California - Riverside
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1980

Honors and Awards

  • Number One Grandpa
  • Penelope and Millie
  • 2001


View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • KGO Talk Radio
  • Ongoing Divorce Advice
  • 2005
  • TV interview
  • Father's Custody
  • 1994

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (11)
Endorse Neil
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Neil is honest, hardworking, and he is a well respected attorney. Neil is determined to find the best solutions for his clients. Neil is always a pleasure to work with."
Family Attorney | Jan 08
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had various cases with Neil Holmes over the past 30 years where I am the opposing counsel. He has good trial skills. I have always found Neil to be honest, very knowledgeable about the law, and an excellent advocate for his clients. Neil is an attorney that works well with other attorneys to reach settlements. He is well respected in the legal community. When I am booked and not accepting new clients, Neil is on my list of attorneys that I refer people to. Neil cares about his clients."
Family Attorney | Dec 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Whenever I see that Neil is on the other side in a case, I know that my Client and I are going to get an honest, no nonsense lawyer who will listen to reason and do his best to resolve cases short of expensive litigation if at all possible."
Family Attorney | Dec 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had a number of cases over the years with Neil on the other side. He is experienced, knowledgeable and a formidable attorney in court. Neil also is resolution orientated and professional when in his dealings with opposing counsel. I highly recommend Neil Holmes."
Walnut Creek Divorce and separation Lawyer Neil S Holmes
Neil S Holmes
Divorce and separation Attorney
Walnut Creek, CA
Licensed for 40 years