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. During COVID-19 conditions, my practice prioritizes confidential out-of-court solutions — a blend of Advanced Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, and discrete advisory counseling.
Family Law Experience and Attorney Roles
Clients engage me to serve as arbitrator, private judge, consulting attorney, and litigation concierge. Because I’ve spent much of my career negotiating and litigating dissolutions of marriage, I can offer experience and real-world perspective about the realities of family court. My practice now emphasizes creative ADR options that lead to reasoned outcomes — instead of lawsuits, court hearings, and expensive lawyering.
For more than 16 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 custody 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
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.
Our global pandemic has reframed my professional outlook. The coronavirus poses new problems for cases with big financial stakes, and our traditionally adversarial court processes are leaving families in limbo. Arbitration and private judging solutions can provide a best-case option for couples seeking flexible, efficient, and cordial outcomes. Thanks to my virtual business model, I can extend these tools to a broader clientele while operating in a contactless, paperless, cloud-based, and eco-minded environment.
Background and Story
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 shareholder, I gained the know-how and leadership to carve my niche today.
Passionately Committed to Community Service
Beyond my lawyer life, I show up for the communities I care deeply about. I’m on the executive committee for NorCal Boxer Rescue and coach Folsom High School’s Speech and Debate team. 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. The UN describes the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside COVID-19 — it’s never been more important to stand up for vulnerable people and nonprofits like WEAVE.
Accolades, Accomplishments, and Flair
In an ode to the movie “Office Space,” I’m proud to show off my pieces of flair. I’m named on the 2020 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.
Presentations and Publications
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.
Hobbies and Homelife
Just as self-care is important to anyone going through a divorce or similar crisis, the demands of a family law practice require a commitment to well-being so I can give my clients my best. For me, self-care means smoking ribs in our Big Green Egg, cheering on the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, dreaming of a vaccine and future foodie getaway, puzzling over the NYT crossword, binging on a true-crime podcast, closing all three Activity Rings on my smartwatch, or couch-cuddling with my wife and our rescue pup Marlee.