San Mateo, California 94402
Gretchen Wallacker has practiced all aspects of family law since 1993 and has substantial experience settling a full spectrum of complex family law matters that involve child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and property division. She is recognized by the State Bar of California as a Certified Family Law Specialist and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Drawing on more than 25 years of practice in San Francisco, the Peninsula, and Silicon Valley, Gretchen understands the Bay Area’s unique economic climate and is skilled at managing high-net worth cases that involve private equity and other property valuation and characterization issues. Gretchen also handles complex child custody and visitation issues. She understands the highly sensitive nature of these cases and compassionately works to ensure that the children’s best interests are prioritized.
While her background is in family law litigation, a large and increasing portion of Gretchen’s practice is devoted to Alternative Dispute Resolution processes that include mediation and Collaborative Practice. Whether Gretchen serves as a mediator, collaborative counsel, consulting attorney, or settlement judge, she works to minimize the emotional and financial cost to her clients and helps guide them toward a result that will meet their interests and the interests of their families. Gretchen believes that resolving issues outside of the courtroom allows both parties to retain control of the divorce process and provides them the opportunity to reach a resolution that is specifically tailored to their lives and situation.
In addition to the divorce portion of her practice, Gretchen also prepares premarital, post-marital, and cohabitation agreements. She offers her clients a variety of process options to create these agreements, including more traditional negotiations between counsel, collaborative 4-way meetings with counsel and clients, and mediation with consulting attorneys.
In 2018, Gretchen was AAML NorCal Chapter Fellow of the Year. She is a current AAML NorCal Chapter Board Member (President-Elect) and has served as Legal Counsel to the Board. Gretchen has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer from 2005-2020 and one of the top fifty women lawyers in Northern California from 2009-2020 and has received an AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell from 2009-2020. She has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 2011.
Gretchen is a current member of the San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, Collaborative Practice San Mateo County, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She also serves on the San Mateo County Family Law ADR Mediation Referral Panel. Gretchen has chaired the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association and Collaborative Practice San Mateo County. In addition, she was a member of Custody and Property North, sub-committees of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar.
Gretchen presented a child custody evaluation legal update at the Santa Clara Psychological Association’s 2019 Custody Evaluator and Domestic Violence Training, moderated a Mediation Panel at the 2018 AAML NorCal Symposium, and co-presented on spousal support at the 11th Annual Statewide Conference of Collaborative Professionals in 2016. She has also presented a Webinar on Effective Case Management Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Family Lawyers, led a discussion at a Loco Parentis Luncheon on Work/Life Balance in the Legal Profession, and presented on Disclosure Duties at the State Bar Spring Section Education Institute.
Gretchen received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1992, after graduating cum laude from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1988.