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Rhea J. Rolfe

Family Attorney at Bellevue, WA

4.9   14 reviews
  • Licensed for 47 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1976
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Rhea

Learn Rhea’s areas of practice.

Practice area

Rhea has seven children:  two biological children, four step-children, and an adopted child, along with eleven grand-children, three great grandchildren, and two dogs.  Her beautiful daughter Rebecca is a senior paralegal at Gilson-Moreau & Associates, P.S.  She enjoys Blues, camping, writing and playing music, singing, knitting, crocheting, making costumes, reading, and spending time with her family.


Client's Choice 2016
Client's Choice

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Gilson-Moreau & Associates, P.S.
410 Bellevue Way S.E.
Suite 104
Bellevue, WA, 98004


4.9 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
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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 Arlesha Cooper Revish | November 6, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Team
I'm AD military, was in an abusive marriage and in the beginning of our dissolution when I retained Rhea. I filed a military protection order a week post partum, after my spouse refused to return our son to me. My spouse violated the order and explained it away both times, all in the course of a few weeks, and was never penalized. When I sought a DVPO because he didn't respect the MPO, I was told it wasn't likely to be granted by other legal personnel, and wasn't given any help, direction or advice other than that. In the process of my filing for dissolution the following month I was served with his petition. It was like being sucker-punched. Originally I was happy receiving the paperwork, thinking that was one less step I had to complete, but then it was explained to me he had a lawyer, the best on my small island, and I had no idea what to do. I didn't even understand the language in the paperwork given to me. Rhea and her team were a Godsend. They stayed open late to help me, even on weekends sometimes, did their best to save me money where they could, and won court cases the honest way, unlike trying to use tricks like my spouse's lawyer did. They were always quick to contact me or return my calls and kept me in the loop during the entire process. When we weren't in court or preparing for it, they intervened and communicated with my spouse to resolve matters about our infant son whenever I needed the help, which, to a domestic violence victim is an incredible help as it limits the reach the abuser has. I am blessed; my abusive situation only went on 2 years before I decided to leave. In that 2 years I had been mostly silent about the abuse. When I finally did open up, after my spouse took our son, I felt like no one was listening, especially not the police. I was scared, low on funds because the marriage had been financially draining, and felt like I had no options. Rhea listened. She and her team made me feel like my son and I were a priority, and genuinely cared. Even after I had to have her withdraw, she gave legal advice. I highly recommend Rhea, Stephanie, and Rebecca. I didn't realize how truly amazing they were and how good they are at what they do, because I had never had an issue requiring services like theirs. Where I was used to getting a call or an email back in 72 hours, some lawyers may not contact you for a full 8 business days. Where I was used to Rhea breaking down all the legal jargen, other lawyers may simply leave you in the dark. Where I was given help and advice by Rhea to help me navigate in and out of court, other lawyers take your money, tell you what you want to hear, and leave you high and dry. Rhea, Stephanie, and Rebecca talked to me like a person - not like a breathing bank account; they didn't minimize my situation, nor did they coddle or try to steamroll me. They were the first to treat me with dignity. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GIBSON AND MOREAUX! RHEA ROLFE IS THE BEST OF THE BEST!
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Posted by Desiree | August 22, 2014
Rhea Rolfe is the best family lawyer available
Our case has not been finalized and yet, I don't need to know the final decision before I can recommend Rhea. She is a pillar of virtue in the family law practice and our community in Washington State. After working with her for over a year and watching her deal with a very unresponsive and absent minded apposing council I can't explain how fortunate I feel to have Rhea in my community as a resource, especially on my side. Upon first calling her office and speaking with her she gave me sound advice and council, upon our first meeting she gained a full understanding of our unique situation and was fully on board from the beginning. She put in tons of research, knew the topic thoroughly and stuck to the basics because the law is in our favor. Our opposing council attempted to throw her off on wild goose chases and such prior to trial while blindsiding her upon arriving to court with last minute documents and witnesses change of schedule. Through it all she remained above the tactics of opposing council and I feel I couldn't have been better represented. She wastes no time, is very upfront and communicative. I highly recommend Rhea Rolfe.
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Posted by Mauny | August 15, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing and ETHICAL
All I can say is that Rhea is extraordinary. Ethical, smart....and REALISTIC. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Wish we had found her YEARS before we did.
Posted by anonymous | August 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Experienced, professional, and compassionate attorney
Rhea Rolfe and her whole office are an amazing team of hardworking women. My case went on for several years and everyone there was always responsive, reliable, and encouraging. It was humbling to meet a group of lawyers who behaved ethically and were always looking out for the best interest of the child involved in parenting plan updates, as well as keeping us both safe and escape a domestic violence situation. Rhea and her team also helped with deescalation when the other party was sending threats to me and their whole office. On several ocassions, both Rhea and Monique Gilson-Moreau waited with me in the courthouse for my case to be called and anyone knows how hard it is to sit through other hearings nervously awaiting your turn. They were both compassionate and caring and help me have hope for the future for me and my child. They also kept me informed of my options and updated on my case at all times and avoided running up my tab by declining to engage further with the other party, who at some point was sending daily non nonsensical emails to their office. I can't recommend their offices enough. If you are looking for an experienced attorney with integrity who is ready to fight for you without creating unnecessary conflict, look no further. Rhea is an outstanding attorney.
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Posted by Jonathon | July 25, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Lawyer
She fought hard for my rights and didn’t budge when the other side brought in ridiculous requests. I would recommend Rhea for anyone going through a divorce.
Posted by Aaron | October 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved my life!
There is a 4K character limit for this review & that is not enough for me truly express just how fantastic Rhea & her team truly are. My life would not be what it is today if it weren't for Rhea. I went through a pretty nasty divorce, with some pretty terrible (false) accusations made which resulted in restraining orders & me not being able to see my kids. It truly was the most difficult period I've ever faced in my life. With Rhea by my side she was able to squash the restraining orders, get me regularly scheduled visits with my kids (50/50 bi-weekly) during the divorce process and eventually came out of the divorce with joint 50/50 custody and a rock solid & very fair custody plan that is about as even as you could possibly get. Hard to imagine when in the beginning my ex was seeking full custody & made some pretty outlandish & wild claims of abuse, etc. Everyone's situation is different of course, but I will tell you that there is nothing more I could have asked or hoped for from an attorney, or her team. She truly saved my life, as my kids are everything to me. If you are reading this review, chances are you need an attorney. I would not wast a minute more in doing more research. Hire Rhea. It will be one of the best decisions you ever make in your life.
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Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend
Rhea helped me in a time when I needed it most. She guided me through my options concerning myself, my children and they're dad. She was always very professional, honest and up front with me regarding my case. I never had to wait long for a response to an email or phone call if I had any questions.
Posted by anonymous | July 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
What a relief!
Rhea and her assistant were extremely helpful through our whole case. She answered our million questions, small and big. We were always provided with quick responses. During the time in court and our mediation she assisted us with great, sound advice. We would definitely recommend her to anyone we can! Very professional and very helpful!
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Posted by Rob | July 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
International Child Abduction & Dissolution of Marriage
If you want THE BEST, call Rhea first. Rhea J. Rolfe is thorough, effective and proficient in the field of law. Rhea resolved my case so quickly that even officials in Washington D.C. were stunned with awe that Rhea was able to present her facts so correctly, so logically, and with such tenacity as to get a decision without delay. Rhea presented herself, and my interests, so solidly, so bullet-proof, and her knowledge of 'law' so succinctly, that the judge responded with an immediate and reasoned decision, and my only response was to hug Rhea. My child was the victim of International Child Abduction. Rhea's confidence, her knowledge, and her professionalism saved my child from being starved to death - as my daughter was assessed as suffering from 'failure to thrive' and 'growth retardation' due to nutrition during her abduction. Rhea is beyond SuperHero for our family. Rhea is a beautiful standard of truth, justice and moral correctness that you can only understand upon calling her, meeting with her, or knowing her. After my daughter was abducted, there was no way I could remain married to my spouse, the abductor. Rhea flawlessly initiated and resolved my dissolution of marriage, and seamlessly helped me get my life back on track. Rhea knows RCW thoroughly, and her advice is always correct and important to remember. LISTEN TO RHEA!!! Rhea J. Rolfe. Thank you <3 Rhea has earned respect because of her many years of experience, because of her confidence in presenting truth and justice, because of her involvement in legal activism, and because she is very fair. I highly recommend Rhea to be your representative if you want positive results, transparent communication with your attorney, and kind, courteous service from her office administrators, Rebecca and Stephanie. There is no end to the thankfulness I have for Rhea, Rebecca and Stephanie in seeking justice and fairness on behalf of my family, when we needed help and assistance. Rob
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Posted by anonymous | June 30, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Law is Rhea's Strength
Rhea is by far the most confident and knowledgeable attorney I have ever met, and I have met my fair share in many different states. Rhea knows the RCW extremely well, and she is tenacious in representing her clients based on what the law allows. Other attorneys will make whatever argument suits their purpose. Rhea has no need to do this because she knows how the law applies to her clients cases, and she is good at communicating the issues of the case in light of the law to the judge/commissioner. My cases involved interstate custody, a combination of criminal cases and domestic violence issues, the JAG and a major modification. Rhea fought until she won my case even in the appeals court after two judges and a commissioner had miss-interpreted the law. Rhea knows what she is doing; she works well with people. She and her staff are responsive and caring in working with you especially when issues are difficult, complex and highly sensitive. When you are going through some of the most difficult times of your life, you need someone who knows what they are doing. Rhea has been that person for me.
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Posted by Evelyn | March 26, 2015
Hague Convention and Family Law Expert!
Rhea J. Rolfe was my lawyer when I needed one to help me recover my 4 children back, after my husband in 2011 kidnapped them from Guatemala to Seattle without my knowledge or permission. The US State Department recommended her to my good fortune. We fought in court a total of 2 months and I returned to Guatemala with my 4 children ages 3, 10, 12 & 14. She had over 25 years of experience, she knew how to handle each appeal and she fought with knowledge and expertise. She worked with an outstanding team, was organized, professional and continuously updated me on everything. She also recommended a great appeals lawyer, a forensic psychologist, and everything needed in a court case. Even after the case ended she facilitated a mediator, considering my ex-husband´s lawyer had quit, and we resolved many unfinished issues, like dividing goods, a jewish divorce and a parenting plan. Lawyers work on a case, Rhea solved my case and returned my family to me. To this day we remain in touch and when I visit Seattle we get together. She is efficient, passionate and dedicated. She is also respected amongst her peers. Do not hesitate to take her on a case!
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Posted by Tamara | August 27, 2012
Absolute God Send!!
When I came in to file for my divorce, I was very apprehensive. I had just left an abusive man and just walking into her office was difficult let alone file for divorce. Monique, her partner, got me started and filled me with enough confidence to get the ball rolling. Rhea and her paralegal Rebecca, kept me going each step of the way, even when I didn't think I could do it. Rebecca was always very patient with me, kept me well informed and answered all my questions. When I wanted to quit, Rhea or Rebecca would contact me to check in and see how I was doing. It was just enough for me to take the next step. I don't think my divorce was a difficult one, but it was a long drawn out process and Rhea was with me every step of the way. When we went to court, she was well prepared and was able to keep me calm while we waited. Divorce is not an easy process. Rhea made it feel like I was on a journey to a new life, one that I so deserved! Rebecca her paralegal is an absolute gem and would often turn my tears into a smile! I would recommend Rhea to anyone who asks about an attorney~worth every penny!
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Posted by Gerty | July 30, 2012
She saved my bacon and I owe her
Rhea came along, through a referral from someone I trust, when I needed someone I could trust, a lawyer, to help me get out of a dangerous situation. This situation involved my kids and we had to go through the whole family court, guardian ad litum, restraining order bloody battle. Rhea gave me sound, unemotional advice, and I made it through a legal maze with my kids, safe and sound. I'll always feel a sense of obligation to this marvelous buddha nature woman, who practices law but there's alot more to her and the calling she has to help families like mine through a daunting and difficult process, divorce. Hire her, you won't regret it.
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Posted by anonymous | July 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce attorney
It would be difficult to say any experience surrounding a divorce is 'excellant', however I was very blessed to have had Rhea as my attorney. Her advice through out was solid from the beginning and her experience was clear. I have recommended Rhea to a friend and another family member now going through a difficult and frustrating divorce.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 420-480 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Hearing Examiner pro tem
  • City of Seattle Civil Service Commission
  • 1987 - 2002
  • Investigator
  • Delany, Siegel, Zorn & Associates
  • 1985 - 1987
  • Session Attorney
  • Washington State Senate Committee on Energy and Utitilies
  • 1985 - 1985
  • Staff Attorney
  • Washington State Bar Associaiton
  • 1982 - 1984
  • Instructor - Business Law and Urban Law
  • Western Washington University Urban Center
  • 1979 - 1987
  • Legal Advisor
  • Seattle Office of Women's Rights
  • 1979 - 1980
  • Instructor - Women in the Law
  • University of Washington
  • 1978 - 1985
  • Conciliation Officer
  • Seattle Human Rights Department
  • 1978 - 1979
  • Investigator
  • Seattle Human Rights Department
  • 1976 - 1978
View all work experience


  • University of Puget Sound School of Law (Now Seattle University)
  • J. D.
  • 1976
  • University of Washington - Seattle
  • B. A.
  • 1970

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Holder v. Holder
  • Ruled in my client's favor, remanded to the District Court


  • Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Chair
  • 2018 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Executive Committee
  • Elected Committee Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • King County Bar Association
  • N/A
  • Washington Women Lawyers
  • N/A
  • Snohomish County Bar Association
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Keeping the Blues Alive
  • Washington Blues Society
  • 2008


  • 2016 Family Law Midyear Meeting and Conference
  • Summary of Washington Relocation Cases
  • 2016
  • 2015 Family Law Section Midyear
  • UCCJEA and Relocation Issues
  • 2015
  • Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)
  • Navigating International Family Law
  • 2012
  • The Intersection of Family and Elder Law
  • What to do if you Believe Your Client (or theirs) is Incompetent
  • 2009
  • King County Bar Association Young Lawyers Practice Manual
  • Law Against Discrimination
  • 1980
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Law Basic Skills Training
  • Client Declarations
  • 2018
  • 2016 Family Law Section Midyear
  • Relocation
  • 2016
  • 2015 Family Law Section Midyear
  • 2015
  • Navy Invitational
  • WA Relocation and International Custody issues involving The Hague Convention
  • 2014
  • Family Law Section Fall CLE
  • Interstate and International Family Law Issues
  • 2013
  • Family Law Midyear
  • How to Win a Custody Fight
  • 2010
  • The Intersection of Family and Elder Law
  • CLE-Dealing With an Incapacitated Client
  • 2009
  • Lunch Seminar
  • Habeas Corpus and Hague Convention
  • 2008
  • Building Your Family Law Practice
  • Attorney-Client Relationships
  • 2006
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (5)
Endorse Rhea
Family Attorney | Mar 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I strongly endorse this lawyer. When I need a second opinion she is the first attorney I consult with and I have repeatedly referred clients to her. In addition to her other areas of expertise, Rhea is highly skilled in dealing with domestic violence issues and the complexities this brings to family law cases. She applies a refreshing common sense perspective to the law and is well respected by the court. She is also a fearless and compassionate advocate for her clients and understands how to settle a case and when to go to trial."
Family Attorney | Jul 11
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer. She's experienced, well-respected and cares about her clients. She is one of a few lawyers that is knowledgeable regarding the Hague Convention on abduction of children and has helped several parents regain custody of their children. She's been on the Family Law Executive Committee of the Bar Association for a number of years and is knowledgeable in all aspects of family law."
Family Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. My GOODNESS! Where does one begin? For one, every time I certify a foreign judgment, I tell my clients that I know the lawyer, RHEA, who drafted these forms. Before then, every lawyer was on their own. Then of course, she is THE Hague Convention lawyer. I would never refer a case with out-of-country issues to anyone but her. She is extraordinary and worth every dime. Honestly. (I never use exclamation marks this often but she is truly worth it.)"
Family Attorney | Apr 24
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer. Rhea is on the short list of fellow family law attorneys that I consult for second opinions on my cases. Along with her many years of experience in family law, she is most expert in cases involving international child custody and abduction."
Family Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly endorse Rhea Rolfe for her outstanding legal knowledge and advocacy skills."
Family Attorney | Nov 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Rhea is a highly competent lawyer who has great experience and an understanding of the law and its application to client's needs."
Child custody Attorney | May 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Rhea is the "go to" person for all questions about custody and especially interstate and international cases. Her vigor to get her clients justice is unmatched. Jurists pay attention when she speaks."
Family Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I have known Rhea for several years and highly respect her work."
Family Attorney | Apr 15
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Rhea has been my opposing counsel on several cases and a colleague and friend for many years. She knows when to take a strong position and when to negotiate an amicable outcome, basing her recommendations on deep knowledge both of the law and of human nature."
Family Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. She is perhaps the most knowledgable person I know dealing with the Hague Convention. She is also dedicated to her clients, concerned about everyone and a person who can be trusted."
Family Attorney | Feb 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rhea Rolfe is one of the most distinguished attorneys in the State of Washington. I have known her for many years and known her well; we work together on cases regularly. She is often consulted by other attorneys, including me, because of her expertise in Family Law, built up over many years of practice. In particular, she is the state's leading expert in representing custodial parents whose children have been abducted by the non-custodial parent, especially to another country. She is a very caring person who takes good care of her clients. She works in both King and Snohomish Counties, and is also available for appeals. If I were getting a divorce, I would hire Rhea Rolfe. I recommend her enthusiastically and unconditionally."
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