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Professional Associations and Memberships
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Fellow, 1989 – Present
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers, Fellow, 1997 – 2021
  • Orange County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
Certified Legal Specialties

Family Law, California State Bar – Board of Legal Specialization

 Areas of Practice

100% Family Law

 Bar Admissions

California, 1978


Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California

J.D. Cum Laude

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Major: English

Honors & Awards

Hall of Fame, Western State University School of Law, 2014

Named “Orange County Family Law Attorney of the Year” Best Lawyers in 2010

LA Times Magazine Super Lawyer, every year since 2004

OCBA Family Law Section – Charles Garrity Award, 1999

Family Law Trial Attorney of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association,1998

U.S. News “Best Lawyer” every year since 1995

2022 Family Law Person of the Year Award, Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)

Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell

Awarded with ACFLS Orange County Excellence in Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019


Eleanor Stegmeier is a founding partner of Stegmeier, Gelbart, Schwartz, & Benavente, LLP and is considered one of Orange County’s most accomplished family law attorneys. She has been licensed to practice law since 1978 and has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 1983.

Ms. Stegmeier is certified in mediation by the Pepperdine University School of Law, Strauss Institute, which is one of the top mediation training programs in the United States. She has completed two programs with the Strauss Institute. One was a program which focused primarily on Family Law custody issues, and the other was a six-day training program for Dispute Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case.”

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She is also certified in mediation by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which offers its training program exclusively to Fellows of the AAML.

In 1989, Ms. Stegmeier became a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She currently is President of the Southern California Chapter and serves on the Long-Range Planning Committee for the Southern California Chapter of the AAML. She is also a Founding Fellow of the Society of Fellows of the Orange County Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors for the National AAML Foundation.

Ms. Stegmeier has been named a U.S. News “Best Lawyer” every year since 1995, which is determined by a peer vote among Orange County family lawyers. In 2010 she was awarded the publication’s highest award for family law in Orange County: “Orange County Family Lawyer of the Year”.

In 1998, Ms. Stegmeier was named the Family Law Trial Attorney of the Year by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.

In 1999, she was the recipient of the prestigious Charles Garrity Award, which is given only periodically by the Family Law Section of the Orange County Bar Association. This award is given for excellence and professionalism in the practice of Family Law.

Ms. Stegmeier was named one of the Best Lawyers in Orange County by Orange Coast Magazine every year that the magazine published a list.

Ms. Stegmeier has also been listed in the Los Angeles Times Magazine’s “Super Lawyers” edition each year since 2004; she has also been honored with the “Top Attorneys In Southern California” distinction by Los Angeles Magazine.

She is one of only two Orange County Family lawyers inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Stegmeier was a member of the State Bar of California’s Family Law Advisory Commission for four years, including two years as Chairperson.

In 2014, her alma mater, Western State University, School of Law, honored her by induction into their Hall of Fame. Ms. Stegmeier has been lecturing statewide on Family Law subjects for numerous educational, civic, and professional organizations since 1981.

In November 2019, ACFLS Orange County recognized Eleanor Stegmeier with the Excellence in Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award.