I’m Neil Forester, the owner of Forester Family Law PC, a virtual law firm “in” California.
I help clients resolve divorce, parenting disputes, and other family law conflicts with time-sensitive factors. In the aftermath of COVID, my practice prioritizes confidential out-of-court solutions — a blend of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, and discrete advisory counseling.
Family Law Experience
Because I have spent much of my career negotiating and litigating divorce cases, I can offer expertise and an insider perspective about the realities of family court. My practice emphasizes mediation and arbitration whenever possible as a more efficient alternative to lawsuits, court hearings, and expensive lawyering. When litigation is unavoidable, I provide specialized counseling and representation in the courtroom.
For more than 18 years, my work has covered marital dissolution, business valuations, property division, child custody orders, child support calculations, and spousal support awards. I also help individuals with prenups, adoptions, cohabitation agreements, LGBTQ+ legalities, and pet parenting contracts. A portion of my time is donated to domestic violence survivors, with a focus on safety planning strategies.
- JD, McGeorge School of Law, with distinction, 2004
- California Bar License #232395
- Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
- Certified Arbitrator and Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Certificate in Dispute Resolution (expected December 2022)
- LLM in Dispute Resolution, concentration in Mediation, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law (expected December 2023)
There’s rarely a good time to get divorced, but I hope a silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is that couples and their lawyers have reason to be more pragmatic about their cases.
The pandemic reframed my professional outlook. The family law court system is not built for the advances we’ve seen in technology in recent years and struggled to adapt to the forced transition to remote dispute resolution. Mediation, arbitration and private judging solutions can provide a best-case option for couples seeking efficient and cordial outcomes, with or without lawyers involved. With a virtual business model, I extend these tools to a broader clientele while maintaining my focus on client service.
As a child of divorce and the youngest of four brothers, I grew up appreciating the value of compromise over conflict. Being on the high school debate team taught me the power of language and sparked an interest in law as a career. Over the course of 13 years, I dropped in and out of college, taking breaks to learn people skills while managing restaurants. From Sacramento State to McGeorge Law to private practice in three regional firms, including five years as a managing partner, I gained the know-how and leadership to carve my niche today.
Beyond my practice, I serve on the executive committee for NorCal Boxer Rescue. As a past president, board member, and legal department chair for WEAVE, I support Sacramento County’s crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2022, I joined ProVisors as Group Leader of SAC1, our region’s first local cohort for the national networking organization.
In an ode to the movie “Office Space,” I’m proud to show off my pieces of flair. I’m named on the Northern California Super Lawyers “Sacramento Top 25” List. You’ll also find me ranked among peers in the Sacramento Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” and Sacramento Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” lists. In 2014, I was honored to receive a Hero of Human Services Award from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for my role as a chief architect of WEAVE Legal, the redesigned program that ensures DV victims have access to free and discounted legal assistance. My 10-plus years of community service to WEAVE were further highlighted by receiving the Placer County Bar Association’s Annual Pro Bono Award in 2019.
I’m a Certified Arbitrator and Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), a designation awarded by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization. These credentials underscore the nuanced experience I bring to complex cases, particularly those that may not fare well in courtrooms where traditional litigation drives unpredictable and protracted outcomes.
Writing and public speaking are comfortable ways for me to share insight. You’ll find my byline in diverse places — from Outword Magazine to CEB Practice Guides to the McGeorge Law Review. I’ve hosted workshops and given talks for many different audiences, including CFLS test-takers in CEB’s Family Law Intensive Course, peers at Sacramento County Bar Association lunchtime Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs, and community members attending WEAVE’s free legal clinics.
Some of my pastimes include the daily NYT crossword, discovering new foods to smoke/sous vide/torch/bake, early mornings cheering Tottenham on the pitch, and teaching ASL commands to our deaf Boxer Marlee and her support companion and fellow Boxer Jasmine.