Partner • Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Attorney
Paul is a divorce lawyer and family law attorney who specializes in representing business owners, medical professionals, and farmers in difficult divorces.
How My Divorce Shaped Our Firm.
by Paul Lerandeau, Lerandeau & Lerandeau, Divorce Lawyer
There is no shame in getting a divorce, nor is there any stigma for having had one these days. The overall divorce rate in California is close to 60 percent. It can happen to anyone, at any age, for any number of reasons. While I am sure that you feel the whole experience is very overwhelming and hard to accept at this time, you will eventually recover and enjoy life once again, just as I did after my divorce. Just how long this will take, however, is not the same for everyone. Each of us is a different person, and so are our circumstances.
I grew up a long time ago when you rarely ever heard of a divorce lawyer. My parents were never close but stayed together because that’s what they thought they should do. So many years later when I had my own marital problems, I did the same. I went through a cycle of trying to solve the problem, thinking it was her problem, thinking it was my problem, and finally thinking I could just live with the problem. However, after many years of this, I had been so emotionally worn down that it was all I could think about. I finally realized that life was short and I had to be happy, so I resolved to do something about it.
Once I had made that decision, the biggest hurdle for me was the feeling of being overwhelmed. How was I going to do it? How could I find a place to live where I could take my pets? What would I tell my family? How would I move out, etc? In retrospect, it was not that difficult. At the time, however, it felt virtually impossible due to the emotions I was going through. I only managed to overcome my fear by just taking the first step. Once I did that, each subsequent step became progressively easier until finally, I had completed them all.
I never realized just how much my emotions would impact my ability to make good decisions during my divorce, or almost any decision for that fact. I was acting just like everybody else going through a divorce despite the fact I had been a family law attorney for many years and should have known better. I felt vulnerable and no longer in control of my life. What I needed the most was to be able to talk to my attorney when I had a question, honest advice about what was going to happen, a realistic assessment of what things were going to cost, and to know that my case was a priority to him.
This experience transformed the way I practiced law. I did not want clients to feel the same way I did and resolved to make customer service the hallmark of our firm. I wanted each and every client to have whatever we could provide to reduce the anxiety of their divorce and to know that their needs were a priority to us. That’s why I make sure that we are available whenever they have a question, take whatever time necessary to educate them about how the process works, and always give them honest advice about the merits of their case and what things are going to cost. I want clients to know that we appreciate their business and will gladly do whatever necessary to make their divorce a better experience.
Loyola Marymount University, J.D., cum laude, 1989
California State University, Fresno, B.S., 1985
California and U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1989.
Family Law (100%)
- Order of the Coif;
- St. Thomas More Law Honor Society;
- AV Rated – Martindale Hubbell;
- Northern California Super Lawyer;
- Firm of the Year Award, Central California Legal Services, (2016 & 1997);
- President’s Pro Bono Service Award, 5th District, State Bar of California, (1999);
- Attorney of the Year Award, Central California Legal Services, (1999);
- Judge Pro Tem (Family Law, 1999-2008), Fresno County Superior Court;
- Member: Fresno County Superior Court Advisory Committee, (2001-2003); and
- Child Custody Program Advisory Board, (2002-2003).
- Fresno County Bar Association (Family Law Section Vice Chair 2000-2001, Chair 2001-2002, & Pro Bono Services Section Chair: 2001-2009)
- State Bar of California (Member, Family Law & Tax Law Sections)
- American Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section)
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Forensic and Valuation Services Section (Associate Member)
- California Society of Certified Public Accountants
- International Academy of Collaborative Law Professionals