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Stacey Danielle Swenhaugen

Child custody Attorney at Tacoma, WA

4.3   16 reviews
  • Licensed for 14 years
    State WA
    Acquired 2009
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Stacey

Learn Stacey’s areas of practice.

Stacey Swenhaugen has established herself as a tenacious litigator and effective problem solver. Known for her determined litigation efforts and bear knuckle work ethic, Stacey has built a solid reputation for getting client's cases solved quickly without compromising core client values.  Besides Stacey's effective oral argument, one of her greatest strengths is in her legal writing.  Through written advocacy, Stacey effectively helps the Court to understand the strengths in her clients’ position before even stepping foot in the court room.

Despite her ability to advocate aggressively when the situation calls for it, Stacey is a firm believer that not every problem should be treated as a nail that must be hammered.  Many family law disputes, particularly those involving children, are better resolved with civility and diligent negotiation outside of the court room.  Stacey is passionate about listening to client needs and crafting remedies specific to each families’ unique set of circumstances.

Before joining the Law Offices of Sophia M. Palmer, Stacey worked for a family law firm in King County for three years.  As a result, she has an established reputation in King county, and has significant familiarity with the Family Court Commissioners and procedures there.  She returned to Pierce County in 2012, where she had started out as a Legal Intern in 2008, for Commissioner Diana Kiesel.

Prior to establishing her legal practice, Stacey volunteered as a King County CASA, investigating child custody disputes. This valuable experience has allowed her to successfully apply her inside knowledge of how GALs and Parenting Evaluators make their decisions in child custody matters.

Stacey graduated from Seattle University School of Law. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Washington. She has over twelve years of experience working directly in the legal industry. 

In her free time, Stacey enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, snowboarding, and rooting for the Seahawks. 

Photos and videos


Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer
615 Commerce St. #101
Tacoma, WA, 98402

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4.3 / 5.0
  16 customer reviews
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Posted by Latasha | October 12, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable and Professional
Stacey was a tremendous help to me during my divorce. She helped me successfully negotiate a settlement that did not include spousal support thanks to her knowledge of family law and the different factors that can impact spousal support obligations. This was no small feat considering that my ex was seeking 10 years of support and if he was successful it would have destroyed my life. She was also very responsive to my questions and concerns throughout the process and I was offered opportunities to reduce costs. I highly recommend Stacey to anyone seeking an attorney.
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Posted by Daphne | June 13, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Stacey helped us with our custody battle involving international relocation, passports, extremely short timeline, etc... a nightmare! Stacey was responsive to our questions and concerns, mediated a parenting plan with favorable terms, and won us reimbursement when the respondent failed to remove a state department hold on our child's passport application. We were able to move on time due solely to Stacey's tenacity in the courtroom! Thank you Stacey!
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Posted by Lynne | November 13, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Thorough Attorney
Stacey Swenhaugen is a terrific attorney. She and her legal staff and support personnel have at all times been very thorough and responsive. My case was handled with the utmost care and commitment. I greatly appreciate her legal counsel and representation; and I highly recommend her.
Posted by anonymous | August 9, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wish we would have hired Stacey 6 years ago!!!
Stacey is an absolutely outstanding attorney! She is always professional and to the point. Stacey is able to remove the emotion from situations when we can't and focus on the subject at hand. Stacey does not play games, is not intimidated and she will not tell you what you want to hear, which makes her perfect! We would strongly recommend Stacey as we will no longer use any other attorney. She has helped us accomplished more than we could have imagined and we are so grateful. She is worth EVERY penny we have paid!!! Stacey is one of the few attorney's that can fight for rights of fathers in the state of Washington without disappointment. Thank you Jason Benjamin for referring us to her!!
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Posted by Lynn | May 28, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Modification of Child Support
Stacey is both professional and incredible in helping me through my child support modification process. She has kept me well informed on my progress. She communicates with me frequently and provides sound advice on various avenues on how to best achieve my success with my case. She is extremely knowledgeable and persistent in achieving results. I would highly recommend her to other clients who are pursuing assistance in a divorce or any modifications in their case . Thank you Stacey for a job well done.
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Posted by Karen | February 24, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Impressed
Stacey has handled two emotionally-charged cases for me over a span of 3 years. Not only was she a beast in the court room, but she also worked very hard behind the scenes to attempt settlement so that we could try to resolve as many issues as possible outside of litigation. The entire process has been so draining, but Stacey communicated with me through every step of the way. She gave sound advice and made sure I was a part of the decision-making process. I was proud to submit the paperwork to the court that she had drafted - everything was very professionally done and she always stated my position perfectly. She made strong arguments to the judge and mediators, and always gave me the support I needed. While going through this process can be expensive, Stacey was always up front with me about her billing and the costs along the way. She answered all of my questions and in my opinion, she earned every penny paid. I have been very happy with the results in both cases. I hope I am done litigating at this point, but would not hesitate to go back to Stacey again if I need her in the future!
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Posted by J | December 1, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saw me through the LONG haul!
Possibly the most horrid custody case with about every obstacle possible, Stacey stuck right there and made the "battle" of 2-years as easy for me as possible even though it was very painful. She told me exactly what to do and what she needed and always right-on! Very professional, fast, accurate, and did not once waste my time. I can go on and on how much good she did in my case and for me and my daughter! I still thank her for all her hard work and dedication. She knew every detail about my case in and out of the courtroom. EXCELLENT!!
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Posted by Mae | August 28, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great attorney
Stacey was amazing during a time that was extremely difficult for me. I was dealing with an estranged husband who was absolutely unwilling to negotiate and consider the impact of our divorce on our young daughter. Stacey was always empathetic, articulate, and able to put things in perspective at a point when nothing seemed to make sense. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for quality legal representation.
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Posted by Angela | September 9, 2014
Stacey and I worked together for roughly 18 months on my petition for custody of my two children in Snohomish County. From the time we met until my case ended, I always felt that Stacey was fighting for me. Even when the results were not what I wanted she always had an alternative plan or her next move already lined up and ready to go. She has always been attentive to my battery of emails, phone calls and questions. She also always made me feel validated in each of my concerns. Stacey is the kind of no-nonsense represenation that any parent would want standing beside them. Her knowledge of the family-law system, preparation, organization and phenomenal arguing skills in the courtroom are just a few of her many assets.
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Posted by anonymous | June 4, 2014
Great Lawyer
Great job so far with my situation. Straight forward and to the point. Agreesive and handled my situation wonderful. I am very pleased with Stacey.
Posted by Rich | July 21, 2012
Highly Recommended
For the men out there looking for very good legal representation to protect your peace of mind as well as your assets.., I highly recommend Stacey Swenhaugen at the Engel Law Group. In my situation, Stacey filed a civil restraining order within 24 hours to stop some very negative interaction with a highly confrontational spouse. She then defended me against a very determined and very wealthy partner who was dead set on ruining my career and extracting every gain financially she could from the divorce. Stacey and her paralegal were very aggressive on my behalf in her research and litigation and was able to force a settlement despite the intentions of the other side to go to court. I appreciated the personal interaction with Stacey as well. She is a great listener and asks a lot of questions and always explains in detail the options and the best path forward. I got a very good result thanks to Stacey and avoided going to court thanks to her aggressiveness with the other side. I maintained the majority of my assets with no future monthly payments (a big thank you here) In addition, Stacey Swenhaugen was also very thorough and fair with explaining and managing charges. We developed a payment plan that fit within my budget and she did a great job managing the cost. For men needing legal representation in a divorce, I would HIGHLY recommend Stacey Swenhaugen at the Engel Law firm. She will listen to your situation, thoroughly prepare, aggressively protect you and your assets and always be fair.
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Posted by Gloria | February 23, 2012
Not only would I recommend Stacey Swenhaugen but, I plan to use her in the future. During the hardest time of my life Stacey was amazing. She was professional and friendly during the entire process and I really felt like she cared about me as a person and was doing what was best for me.
Posted by Kai | February 23, 2012
Stacey helped save my family
If it were not for Stacey Swenhaugen and Eric Engel and all of their colleagues at Engel Law Group, my daughter's and my life would have been destroyed. Stacey was amazing in the courtroom. Her confidence and knowledge was a great comfort during the most stressful and insane period of my life. The fact that she didn't just pretend to care, as many attorneys do these days, made the whole experience with her that much better. These great attributes are not just her's, but they apply to all of her colleagues also. The whole firm was involved and very supporting to both her and me and my family. If not for Stacey's involvement, there would have undoubtedly been permanent psychological and emotional damage on my daughter -- almost entirely imposed by the court itself in ignorance. In my opinion, Stacey is one of the best attorneys I have ever met, and I'm sure ever will. Words cannot explain how thankful I am to have met her.
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Posted by Tim | March 12, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Working at Benjamin, probes culture of dishonesty
Stacey passed me to another attorney after she alludded to her lack of ability or someone better qaulified. I was charged twice for waste of time. I paid double wrongly just to be passed onto secret partner who asked for ten grand. This cohart was willing to break countless rules of conduct and behind my back helped other side until I terminated. Even after I paid for nothing or false advise this firm continued to break rules and set me up for disaster. I tried to call, email and compose letter for response yet firm to cowardly to respond. If I did make contact after many efforts, it was meaningless as honesty not a virtue. My case is irrefutably bias and outcome of destruction affected by insanity of professionals that sell one out. It's a shame, as entire charade has destroyed every possible thing in life yet these cowards pretend above reproach in twisted system of horsetrading lives and utter abuse of power. Due process is a joke in Pierce County and unless your on dirtyside good luck as these folks ensure no confidence and have no place acting as they imply. It's utterly nonsense how they wreck lives while system plays along for a buck.
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Response from Stacey Swenhaugen July 18, 2019
"Stacey passed me to another attorney after she alludded to her lack of ability or someone better qualified". This appears to be the only complaint by this reviewer directly related to me. I referred this reviewer to another attorney because I was leaving the firm (Benjamin & Healy) and starting my practice at my current firm (Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer). I have no knowledge of how this case was handled after my departure; however I do have the utmost confidence in the attorney I referred my former client to. I do believe that in my short time on the case, this reviewer received positive court outcomes. I wish him the best and certainly hope that he received fair treatment in Pierce County.
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Posted by anonymous | February 17, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Regret hiring her and the law firm she works for
I hired Stacey and at first it seemed she was on track, but towards the end I started realizing that she was all about money and not much else. I noticed that I had to repeat myself several times through emails and phone calls about the same topic and every time I would get an email back from her asking the same thing again. When the documents came for my review it had the same errors I had pointed out to her months before, but there they were again. I understand oversight, but continuously I don't. Additionally, upon reviewing the billing I noticed I was charged for those emails and calls that were done because, for some reason, someone, or her, at her law office was not paying attention to my emails or calls. When my case was done, I received an email from her office saying so, and when I called her to inquiry if that was it, she said it was and because I called her she was charging for that phone call. I have never heard of an attorney charging a client for a phone call to say that the case was done. Right there and then, it made me realize I had made a bad choice by hiring her. When I reached out to Benjamin Jason, the attorney/owner of the law firm she works, he took his time to answer and pretty much said he trusted his attorney and not to contact him anymore. Then, I received an email from Stacey saying she was giving me a credit of $27 and I thought to myself, how someone that overcharges hundreds of dollars, is not embarrassed to offer a $27 credit when we all know it was much more than that due back. I am not even sure now that my case was handled properly. That is my opinion and I will not recommend her or Benjamin & Healey law firm, where she works, to anyone.
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Posted by anonymous | December 4, 2013
Civil DV Restraining Order
After I told my neice to make arrangements to move out, she filed a DV Restraining order on me and accused me of molestation, and said she was scared for her and her daughter's life, etc, and Stacey told me... "no big deal" just ask for a continuance on the restraining order because their might be criminal charges pressed... I wanted her to join me at the hearing and she said it was not a big deal... I asked for a continuance and the Judge ordered a DV Restraining Order for 1 year. She has not returned 2 phone calls and 2 times of going to her office leaving a message to call me. I am very dissapointed and am trying to find another attorney.
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Response from Stacey Swenhaugen April 20, 2014
I strive to give all of my clients a positive experience in the most difficult of times; however, this reviewer was never my client. He never hired me, and never paid a retainer fee. I cannot take precious time away from my actual clients with urgent court deadlines and highly emotional stakes to assist non-clients. It is unfortunate that this reviewer had a bad outcome in court without an attorney there to assist him, and I certainly wish him the best.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 295-295 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.5 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Senior Associate Attorney
  • Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer
  • 2018 - Present
  • Associate
  • Benjamin & Healy/Envision Family Law
  • 2013 - 2018
  • Attorney
  • Engel Law Group, PS
  • 2010 - 2013
  • Attorney
  • King County Bar Association Family Law Mentor Program
  • 2009 - 2013
  • Legal Intern
  • Diana Lynn Kiesel, Inc, P.S.
  • 2007 - 2009
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate
  • Family Law CASA of King County
  • 2007 - 2013
  • Legal Assistant
  • Cairncross & Hempelmann, P.S.
  • 2004 - 2006
  • Marketing Office Intern
  • University of Washington Athletics
  • 2002 - 2003
View all work experience


  • Seattle University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2008
  • University of Washington
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2003


  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Attorney endorsements

Received (16)
Given (12)
Endorse Stacey
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 21
Relationship: Co-worker
"Stacey and I worked at the same law firm for a number of years. She is someone I look up to because of her commitment to her clients. She was a pleasure to work with and someone I trust to handle all sorts of family law matters."
Child custody Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stacey Swenhaugen is a very effective attorney who represents her clients with skill and passion. I have worked with her in the past, and she is a strong and capable advocate for her clients, and she gets results. If you are looking for a great child custody lawyer, then I highly recommend her."
Family Attorney | Feb 21
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | May 04
Relationship: Co-worker
"Stacey is a very skilled and tireless advocate for her clients. I highly endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Stacey as a hard-working, knowledgeable family law attorney. Her tenacity and skill set her apart as someone you would want on your side in resolving a family law case."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Co-worker
"Stacey is a fantastic attorney. She has a commanding presence in court and is an effective advocate for her clients in negotiations. She is driven to get the best results for her clients, and I enthusiastically endorse her."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have had the pleasure of working with Stacey for aporoximately two years. In that time, I have observed that she is incredibly thorough and she tailors her approach to each case based upon the specific circumstances it brings. Having been in practice for many years myself, I appreciate the time and energy that Stacey offers to her clients and I endorse her without reservation."
Child custody Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Co-worker
"Stacey is the perfect blend of tenacious advocacy and compassion. She serves her clients well in negotiations and litigation, if necessary. I enthusiastically endorse her."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer. Why? Because I know Stacey to be both aggressive in her advocacy and unmatched in her strategic approach to cases. Stacey is an invaluable asset to her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"Stacey is one of the most tenacious attorneys I have seen in court. She is a zealous and effective advocate on behalf of her clients. I enthusiastically endorse Stacey."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Stacey and I previously worked together at the same law firm. She is very knowledgeable and advocates strongly on behalf of her clients."
Child custody Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Stacey was recommended to me recently when I could not go to court for an emergency hearing due to be ill. With 4 hours notice, she made time to review everything, talk to me, and went to court on my client's behalf. She was professional, kept me posted, and did a great job. For these reasons, I highly recommend her to anyone needing an attorney, or to other attorneys who need help or want to refer a case out to someone."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Stacey for almost a decade and she is a hard working attorney who is extremely dedicated to her clients. I refer clients in need of family law services to Stacey on a regular basis and feel confident doing so."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 19
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Readily Available to clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 19
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 11
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"Stacey does a fantastic job representing clients in contested litigation matters. She'll work hard to try to achieve a successful result for her clients."
View more endorsements
Domestic violence
Divorce and separation
Divorce and separation
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Bankruptcy and debt

Avvo Contributions

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Tacoma Child custody Lawyer Stacey Danielle Swenhaugen
Stacey Danielle Swenhaugen
Child custody Attorney
Tacoma, WA
Licensed for 14 years