Donna M. Hougen Founder
Experienced and Dedicated Arizona Family Law Attorney
I am a tried and true divorce lawyer. My passion is helping people who are going through difficult family law issues take care of their children and keep their fair share of their estates, whether their cases involve complex property division and transaction issues, general marriage issues, domestic violence matters, or drug charges affecting custody. My goal is to strategically represent you, directing and managing you and your experts to effectively impact your legal matter making appropriate impressions before the Court and others involved in reviewing your matter. Protecting your children and your assets, making sure support is fair and appropriate to your circumstances and standing by you during this very difficult time working matters and discussing benefits and burdens along the way is what I do.
Despite the horrendous emotional upheaval divorce and custody litigation causes in many family situations, I know people find great peace in knowing they have done all they reasonably can to secure justice. I have seen people find great joy in moving forward, letting go and getting past relationship dysfunction. While encouraging clients to get the most out of their situation for themselves as to property and debt distributions, protection of children is paramount and directing clients in that arena is particularly satisfying and nuanced. It can be very hard for people who are emotionally involved in a situation to effectively and appropriately secure what they deserve and protect their loved ones.
Sometimes clients are defensive or feel guilty for wanting to move on, and sometimes they are very scared or have an understanding of what is right that does not comport with the law. In such cases I try to get past emotional and rationalization barriers with review of the statutes and rules impacting the case hoping to reach my client and work toward a more beneficial ways to handle a situation because we do not want to lose a bargaining position or parenting time based on a temporary mental state.
Generally, I am on call 24/7, so when I play, I play pretty hard. When I take some personal time, you might find me paragliding, on a photo excursion, exploring a mysterious and supposedly haunted place, four-wheeling in my Jeep or riding a dirt bike in a gnarly mud hole.
When I am not taking care of clients or on a minor adventure, I am professionally interacting with my staff and associates as well as the community. I volunteer at schools and speak against inappropriate drug and alcohol use, and I educate youth about the legal process. I regularly attend educational seminars to learn from and meet with professionals in my field, keeping current on legal issues relevant to my practice. I interact with a large circle of professional peers in various disciplines to aid development of responsible and cost-effective relationships that can assist with specialized issues.
My clients are offered a wide variety of representation alternatives from completely customized and personalized representation strictly performed by me to that performed by an associate overseen by me to limited scope representation and legal assistance on a consultation basis for the self-represented person with a focus on direction and education often including negotiation assistance, as well as a variety of personalized plans in between. An advance fee is required upon hire, and different attorneys will have different hourly rates based on their experience and speed in handling issue.
Areas of practice
My areas of practice are relatively diverse. My primary focus is on Arizona Law under Title 25, though I handle real property and personal property division actions under alternative partnership principles and some criminal law matters and juvenile law matters. Some matters I regularly deal with include:
Admitted to practice
- Arizona, 1998
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1999
- University of Arizona, J.D., 1996
- Arizona State University, B.S., 1993
- Born in Anchorage, Alaska
- Charter Member, Gamma Beta Phi
- Founder and Past President, Gamma Beta Phi Theatre for promotion of literacy among youth
- Pilot member of USHPA