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Melissa Wheeler Hoff

Family Attorney

5.0   5 reviews

also known as Melissa Wheeler

  • Licensed for 9 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2014
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Melissa

Learn Melissa’s areas of practice.

Melissa has committed her legal career to supporting clients in complex family law matters. She is experienced in counseling clients through every stage of the marital dissolution process, including mediation, pre-trial litigation, settlement, evidentiary hearings and long-cause trials. Melissa also works closely with clients in post-judgment matters, including enforcement and modifications.

Melissa is passionate about family law and is dedicated to finding solutions that best protect her clients’ interests. She understands the strain that litigation can place upon families and is committed to reducing the emotional impact of these cases on clients and their children. Melissa strikes a balance between zealous advocacy and empathetic, no-nonsense representation. She is experienced in complex, high net-worth dissolution matters including property division, working collaboratively with financial experts and vocational evaluators to negotiate and craft settlement agreements that keep parties out of the courtroom if possible.

Melissa has handled family cases in 11 different California counties. She began her career in the San Francisco Bay Area before returning to her native Orange County. While representing clients in Silicon Valley, Melissa worked with business owners, start-up founders, CEOs, venture capitalists, software engineers, attorneys, military personnel, and stay-at-home parents. Melissa handles high-asset cases involving property characterization, stock option and restricted stock unit apportionment, business valuation, real estate, and other nuanced financial issues. She has experience with determination of child and spousal support. Melissa has also handled a variety of child custody and visitation matters, including contested “move-away” cases in various counties.

Melissa has successfully obtained and defended against domestic violence restraining orders for her clients. Like all family law matters, Melissa handles these cases with the utmost respect and discretion.

Melissa’s practice is limited to Orange County, where is a member of the Orange County Bar Association. She was named a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2019, 2020, and 2021, an award conferred upon the top 2.5% of up-and-coming attorneys in California following nominations, independent research, and peer evaluation.

Melissa is also a Founding Member of the American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators (AACFL), an organization dedicated to divorce financial education. A Founding Member is an individual who has been recognized by the AACFL as a leader in AACFL's mission of enhancing the family law community through advanced financial education. These individuals have been carefully selected by local Advisory Board members due to their exemplary reputation, integrity and dedication to being leaders in the education of the financial aspects of divorce.

Melissa received her Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she founded the Family Law Society and served as President of the organization. She was a Board Member and Oralist for the Honors Moot Court External program. Melissa also externed for Associate Justice Mihara with the Sixth District Court of Appeal and for the Honorable Judge Duong with the Santa Clara County Family Law Division.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Rhetoric from University of California at Berkeley. During her time at Berkeley, Melissa competed with the NCAA Division I Women's Water Polo Team.

Location

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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
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Posted by Nicole | January 3, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best decision I ever made!
Melissa and the entire staff at the firm were as efficient and helpful as one could hope for. My case started as a result of a move to another country here in Southern California. This began a two year journey having Ms. Wheeler Hoff act as an army on my behalf. She was always very direct with me (even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear) and was able to navigate me thru the legal proceedings in terms I could understand. She was critical in supporting my sons well being throughout as well. No matter what came up from opposing counsel, she had a plan and kept me calm (which was no easy task). My calls texts and emails were almost always answered immediately, if not it was within the hour no matter the time of day. In and out of court she was professional, firm, articulate and caring. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a more hardworking person. I genuinely felt that she wanted what was best for me and my family. These circumstances are emotional and intimidating, but I trusted Melissa entirely. She is well versed in the law, of course, but she is also patient, kind and compassionate. I do not wish these situations on anyone, but I would recommend her 100% to any person who finds themselves in need or representation. Without giving personal details, the results of the case ended up in our favor and life has settled into a peaceful positive place for us. I truly feel lucky to have had Melissa by my side as a crusader on my team. I cannot ever express the gratitude I have for her and the entire office.
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Posted by Elizabeth | September 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Johnson Lawyer Group ( Melissa Wheeler Hoff)
My Heart guided me to reach out to Johnson Family Law Group and was truly Blessed with Melissa Wheeler Hoff, Emily Ramirez and Nancy Lee's support throughout the processing of such a personal Life Change. Melissa Wheeler Hoff has such a Genuine Heart and her compassion was obvious from our initial communication . I appreciated that she had an understanding of how to pursue the Dissolution of Marriage because of her natural ability to understand Humans on a more personal level. Melissa Wheeler Hoff, Emily Ramirez & Nancy Lee collaborated to absolute perfection and had Ahhmazing communication with me so was informed of each stage in regards to the separation of marriage. It was of the utmost importance that I understood the legal jargon and they made it a priority to encourage me to ask questions that were pertinent to my case. They gave me adequate time to process and make timely decisions so their patience was much appreciated. Melissa Wheeler Hoff is a true gift to the Legal World in the overall Golden State of California !! She has this Uniqueness of being Down to Earth and Real which is most Valuable when someone is parting with their marriage . Thanks for all of your encouragement , team effort and supporting me with the normal stages of grieving during this integral chapter that has come to a close!! I'm Forever Grateful in my Heart for all of the kindness that Melissa Wheeler Hoff and other staff had given me!!
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Posted by anonymous | May 26, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Smart and impressive
I consulted with Ms. Wheeler Hoff and I highly recommend you consult with her. She is a smart attorney and had strong ideas on how to assist with my case. I ended up hiring a different attorney for reasons unrelated to Ms. Wheeler Hoff's impressive consultation. She is knowledgable and very strong.
Posted by Clifford | February 3, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing from beginning to end
I hired Melissa for my divorce and family law case involving my young son for custody. She was the first lawyer that I ever had, so I walked in not knowing what was coming. From day one she was amazing and made me feel comfortable in a way in which I am usually not with first time meetings with anyone. I am a combat veteran with PTSD and this was the first time that I felt at ease as fast as I did when meeting someone new. Throughout the whole two year process she was instrumental in keeping me cool during hearings and very good at keeping me grounded. One of her best qualities as a lawyer in my opinion was how straightforward she was when I was being hard to handle. There was more than one occasion where she pulled me aside, or called me to cool me down when things did not go our way in the beginning, but she always said to play the long-game and to trust her. She was amazing at explaining everything to me that was going on, and even though I would sometimes ask for the same thing repeated over and over, she stayed professional and always helped me understand exactly what was going on with what the judge ordered, and with legal documents, and things I needed to sign. She told me to trust her on day one of meeting her, and I did, I now have my son with full legal and physical custody and everything she told me would happen, actually did. I am grateful that Melissa was my lawyer and she has been instrumental in the success that I now have reached in life. I wish her all the best and hope she helps others as much as she helped me and my son.
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Posted by Daniel | January 29, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Family Law Attorney
In the latter part of 2019, after 6 great years of co-parenting with my ex, we were at a crossroads. My ex wanted to move with our son and remove him from his school in my neighborhood, which had already commenced. Our son did not want to move, nor did he want to change schools, so I knew I had to fight for him. I retained Melissa's firm at the time and she immediately dug deep into my case. She was experienced, intelligent, hard-working, tough, and always available to answer my calls or e-mails. I appreciated the fact that she was honest and reputable. I immediately got the sense that she would not simply tell me what I wanted to hear, but that she would lay it out straight. She learned the ins and outs of my relationship with my ex, as with many such cases, my ex began to make baseless claim. She became an expert of sorts in my work schedule, my custodial time with my son, child support payments I had made throughout the years, etc. In some aspects, she knew my life as well as I did, and I appreciated this dedication. Melissa was caring, thoughtful, personable, relatable, and an overall, excellent human being. As we prepared for trial, she really dug deep and I saw the effort she put into ensuring we were ready to put our best foot forward and come out with a positive verdict. In the end, months later, we did receive a positive verdict and the court ruled that our case was a move away case and that my ex was not allowed to remove our son from his school. This was one of the most trying, and traumatic, incidents of my life. I am glad that I entrusted my family in the hands of Melissa for this legal process. She has my sincere recommendation to anyone who may read this.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 400-450 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Senior Managing Family Law Attorney
  • Johnson Attorneys Group
  • 2023 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC
  • 2023 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, LLP
  • 2019 - 2019
  • Litigation Attorney
  • Cordell & Cordell
  • 2017 - 2019
  • Associate Attorney
  • Van Voorhis & Sosna, LLP
  • 2016 - 2017
  • Associate Attorney
  • Lakin Spears LLP
  • 2014 - 2016
View all work experience

Education

  • Santa Clara Univ SOL
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2014
  • Univ of California Berkeley
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2008

Associations

  • Beverly Hills Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators (AACFL)
  • Associate Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • California Lawyers Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • California Lawyers Association - Racial Justice Working Group
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • Orange County Women Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • California Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2019 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2019 - Present
  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Member
  • 2020 - 2021
  • San Francisco County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - 2018
  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - 2019
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2013 - 2015
  • SCU Family Law Society
  • President
  • 2013 - 2014
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2022
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2021
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2020
  • Top Contributor
  • Avvo
  • 2020
  • Recognition for Professional Involvement
  • Lawyer Legion
  • 2020
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2019
View all awards

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • SCU Family Law Society & EQ | SCU Joint Meeting
  • Family Law & LGBTQ+ Crossover Issues
  • 2018
  • Office of Academic & Bar Success
  • Preparing for the California Bar Exam
  • 2016
  • SCU Family Law Society Panel Discussion
  • What to Expect as a New Family Law Associate
  • 2015
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (14)
Endorse Melissa
Family Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I highly endorse Melissa. I worked with Melissa for several years in a supervisory role. I can say without a doubt she possesses a rare skill set that is the right mixture of being tenacious in the court room and empathetic and client centered in the conference room."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer based on her thorough and knowledgeable answers on this forum."
Family Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"The answers of Ms. Hoff are consistently accurate, full of analysis, and customized to the needs of the Avvo askers. These are exactly the qualities that every client would look for when hiring a lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Melissa is an exceptional family law attorney. I highly recommend her services to anyone seeking an attorney who has both solid experience as well as compassion for her clients."
Family Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Melissa is an excellent family law attorney. We worked closely together on many cases over several years. She is compassionate, hard-working and strongly advocates for her clients. She is well-respected by fellow attorneys and the family law bar."
Family Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Co-worker
"Melissa is a dedicated, skilled, and compassionate family law attorney. A true advocate with unfailing diligence, and a pleasure to work with. You can trust Melissa with your family counsel. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Nov 22
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Melissa is a true advocate for her clients. I highly recommend her and will look forward to the next time I see her name as an opposing counsel. This is because I know her experience in family law will make solving the issues that much easier."
Family Attorney | Nov 21
Relationship: Co-worker
"Melissa Wheeler Hoff is an excellent family law attorney. Melissa has the empathy and experience needed to work with her clients through difficult situations to find the best possible results under the circumstances. She is both an accomplished litigator and negotiator."
Family Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer. Melissa is a compassionate and great advocate for clients. She has a strong attention to detail and great Courtroom demeanor that demands respect. An all around excellent attorney and great co-worker."
Family Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Melissa is a dedicated and talented attorney. She relentlessly advocates for her clients and provides them with sound practical and legal advice."
View more endorsements

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

Family Lawyer Melissa Wheeler Hoff
Melissa Wheeler Hoff
Family Attorney
Licensed for 9 years