Catherine Bechtel

A Certified Family Law Specialist and the former managing partner of McManis Faulkner’s family law group, Catherine is a trusted advisor in all aspects of family law. She untangles sensitive child custody and visitation issues with confidence. Catherine has a deep and compassionate understanding of the impact divorce has on children. Her work in this area is always centered on the child, as part of the divorcing family. Catherine has expertise in the valuation of assets tied to professional practices and close corporations, venture capital funds, and the valuation and division of restricted stock units, stock and stock options. She has experience tackling the most complex financial issues in a dissolution with a proven track record of success. Assessment of support, tracing of separate property reimbursement claims, misappropriation of assets, and validity testing of pre-nuptial agreements are all part and parcel of her varied practice.

Catherine is a skilled trial attorney – decisive, practical, tough-minded, and energetic. She has extensive trial experience in custody matters, including move-away cases, abuse allegations, and restraining orders. She has tried financial matters involving support, the tracing of complex assets and reimbursements, and breach of fiduciary duty. Catherine is kind, yet pragmatic, to those she represents, fair, yet firm, to those on the opposing side. The focus and preparation she delivers in her trial advocacy lead to opportunities for early resolution. With every strategic move Catherine makes, she keeps her clients’ goals a priority. Her forceful execution, powerful instincts, and preparation get winning results.

Professional & Community Contributions

  • Former Board of YWCA Silicon Valley
  • Member, Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, California Chapter
  • Volunteers Her Time for Girl Scouts of Northern California and National Charity League

Awards & Honors

  • Top 50 Female Lawyers, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2018, 2022
  • Top 100 Lawyers, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2022
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2015-present (2022)
  • Leader of award-winning team “The Best in Family Law,” The Recorder, 2009 – 2015
  • YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award, 2012
  • Northern California Super Lawyers – Rising Stars, 2009


  • Certified Family Law Specialist,
    State Bar of California
    Board of Legal Specialization


  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Eastern Districts of California


  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1999
  • B.A., cum laude, University of California, Irvine, 1993