McGaughey & Spirito

Headquarters: Redondo Beach, California

3 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

1 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America award

Best Law Firms Edition 14 National Badge Visit Best Law Firms profile for McGaughey & Spirito Visit Website

South Bay Divorce Lawyers Offering You Options

McGaughey & Spirito (M&S) is located in Redondo Beach, California. It was established in 1990 and has been consistently recognized for professional excellence. M&S is committed to addressing our clients’ needs effectively and efficiently. We are a full-service law firm with an emphasis on Family Law (divorce, paternity, child custody, support, restraining orders, and other related issues). We also represent and advise clients in the areas of estate planning, trust, probate, conservatorship, guardianship and real estate law.

Dissolving a marriage is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Our South Bay divorce lawyers focus on finding the right fit for you in an increasingly diverse “divorce” world. Because M&S attorneys have a wide range of legal and dispute resolution experience, we can and do offer representation that is tailored to your needs and the needs of your family. We are staffed to handle litigation, trial work, mediation, collaborative law, and limited scope matters. We understand and recognize that our clients are coming to us during difficult and trying times. We have the experience to guide you to resolution.

Founding partner Joe Spirito focuses his practice on resolving divorces through mediation or collaboration and helped introduce Collaborative Family Law to Southern California. Collaborative Law encourages family members to settle divorces and other disputes “consensually.” When Mediation or the Collaborative approach is applied, it affords the parties an opportunity to resolve their issues privately and avoid the uncertainty of dissolving a marriage where the ultimate decision-maker is a judge. Joe has served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Family Law section. He has also served as president of the South Bay Bar Association (2009), president of A Better Divorce (2006-2008), president of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association (2014) and an Officer and Treasurer of the Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Family Law Section. In 2018, Joe was honored as the South Bay Bar Association's Lawyer of the Year. Joe’s leadership among and experience with Los Angeles family lawyers is a strong asset to the firm and our clients.

When consensual resolution is not available, M&S has a full complement of trial and litigation attorneys who are highly skilled in guiding your case through the court system:

Partner Erin McGaughey, a former President of the South Bay Bar Association, is recognized as a Super Lawyer, a recognition she has received yearly since 2017.

Erin has the great distinction of being included in Super Lawyers annual List of Top 50 Women Southern California attorneys, a list that includes attorneys across all practice areas of the law. She is now among a select group of California attorneys who hold the State Bar Certification of Family Law Specialist.

Partner Lauren Bass has been awarded her certification as a Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Specialization. She is especially adept at analyzing intricate and complex family law issues.

Attorney Steven Spitzer brings his 30 years of family law experience and Masters of Business Administration to the division of retirement plans, Child Support Services Department matters, and other exacting areas of law.

Attorney Alison Spirito is an Executive Committee member of the Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section, is co-Chair of the South Bay Bar Association Family Law Section, and most significantly is an MC3 Certified Mediator, handling divorce mediations.

Founding partner Terence McGaughey leads the firm’s estate planning and business practice. Terry also handles conservatorships, guardianships, probate proceedings, and real estate matters. Terry’s background as a former FBI agent helps him cut through his clients’ complex legal issues with sure-handed counsel. Terry is active in various community organizations and Stanford alumni matters.

McGaughey & Spirito has received numerous awards. It is particularly honored to have been named, for the ninth consecutive year, a top Tier 1 Family Law firm in Los Angeles by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”. The U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluation, peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field, and the review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Martindale-Hubbell, the foremost authority on evaluating attorneys, has continually ranked M&S at the highest level of professional excellence and our firm is listed in their National Bar Register as “Preeminent Lawyers” in the field of Family Law.

The attorneys at McGaughey & Spirito are supported by experienced, first-rate administrative assistants:

Rebecca Roman joined the firm in 2004, working primarily in the highly-charged area of family law and divorce ligation. Rebecca’s efforts support partner Erin McGaughey and the rest of our litigation team.

Ann Bergesen’s affiliation with McGaughey & Spirito began in 2005. Ann’s many years of estate planning and administration experience supports founding partner Terrence McGaughey and other attorneys in the firm. Ann serves McGaughey & Spirito’s clients when notary services are needed.

Office and Information Technology Manager, Susan Rubio, has been assisting M & S since 2005. Susan is available to help our clients with billing and payment issues.

Joining us in 2021, Nicole Alvarado is the newest member of our team but has over twenty five years of experience in the legal profession. Nicole is a certified paralegal and assists the M & S attorneys in complex divorce cases and divorce litigation.

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  • Family Law

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