Christopher C. Melcher

Christopher C. Melcher specializes in complex family law litigation and the preparation of premarital agreements. He also handles appeals of family law judgments and writ proceedings from family law orders. His typical client is a business owner, celebrity, or trust beneficiary. Mr. Melcher has substantial experience in the financial aspects of divorce, including tax consequences of property division and alimony, corporate laws dealing with the division of a family business, and the definition of income for purposes of setting spousal and child support.

He served as Chair of The State Bar of California Family Law Section for the 2011-2012 term, which is the largest family law organization in the state with over 3,800 members. He was certified as a Family Law Specialist by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization after receiving specialized training in family law, meeting experience requirements set by the bar, passing an examination administered by the bar, and submitting to a peer review process.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), which is a nationwide organization of top family law attorneys. He serves on the Board of Directors of the AAML Southern California Chapter. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS).

Amber Heard had her first face-off with ex Johnny Depp’s lawyers on Saturday with regard to a permanent restraining order she’s requested against him, but family law specialist Christopher Melcher tells ET she could face a long road ahead.

He has presented over 75 continuing legal education programs to other attorneys across California and in other states on the issues of complex family law issues. He has authored treatise chapters and several articles on financial issues in family law proceedings. He is a partner in the family law firm of Walzer & Melcher LLP in Woodland Hills. Before entering family law exclusively, he practiced criminal defense and civil personal injury litigation. He earned his law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, and was admitted to the California bar in 1994. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. He holds the rating of AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell* and a rating of 10.0 (Subperb) by Avvo.com.

COMMITTEES

  • 2011-2012, Chair, California State Bar Family Law Section
  • 2010-2011, Vice Chair, California State Bar Family Law Section
  • 2007-2013, Family Law Executive Committee (FLEXCOM) The State Bar of California
  • 2012-2013, Board of Directors, Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
  • 2013-2014, Board of Directors, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) So Cal Chapter
  • 2009-2011, Task Force on Child Custody Consultation and Coaching, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
  • 2003-present, Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • 2012-present, Amicus Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) So Cal Chapter
  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists
  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • American Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – California Chapter

PUBLICATIONS

  • Make the Tax Code Your Friend – and Alimony More Palatable
    Family Advocate
    ABA Section of Family Law
    Winter 2012, Vo. 34, No. 3
  • Going Retro: Dealing with Retroactivity in Temporary Support Orders
    ACFLS Family Law Specialist
    Fall 2012, No. 2
  • Establishing, Modifying, and Enforcing Child and Spousal Support
    Chapter 7: Determining Spousal Support Amount
    Chapter 8: Grounds and Procedure to Modify or Terminate Spousal Support
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    June 2010
  • Mining Evidence Under the New Electronic Discovery Act 
    Family Law News
    The State Bar of California, Family Law Section
    November 2009
  • Evaluating the Enforceability of a Premarital Agreement Family Law News 
    The State Bar of California, Family Law Section
    May 2008
  • Use of Experts as Consultants and Witnesses in Financial Discovery Process
    Family Law Financial Discovery Handbook, Chapter 6
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    June 2008
  • New Business Valuation Standards – Statement on Standards for Valuation Services No. 1 (SSVS#1)
    Family Law News
    June 2008
    The State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • New Law Makes Significant Change to Notary Form
    Family Law eNews
    March 2008
    The State Bar of California, Family Law Section

PRESENTATIONS GIVEN

  • July 10, 2013
    Bias: The Enemy of Persuasion
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Contra Costa Bar Association
    Contra Costa, CA
  • May 22, 2013
    How to Review and Challenge Business Valuation Report
    Christopher C. Melcher, Jack Zuckerman CPA, Judge Michael Convey, Terry Hargrave CPA, Robert J. Friedman
    Beverly Hills Bar Association
    Beverly Hills, CA
  • April 27, 2013
    45 Annual Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Symposium
    “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” — 6 hour program
    Peter M. Walzer, Chair
    Hilton Universal City
  • March 24, 2013
    Cool Evidentiary Tools for Savvy Lawyers
    Peter M. Walzer and Judge Mark Juhas
    ACFLS 2013 Spring Seminar
    Rancho Mirage, CA
  • March 23, 2013
    Get A Job! How the Experts Can Help
    Christopher Melcher; Lynne Tracy, M.A., CRC; Richard G. Rappaport, M.D
    ACFLS 2013 Spring Seminar
    Rancho Mirage, CA
  • February 19, 2013
    Goodwill Hunting. Extinction or Resurrection?
    Christopher Melcher; Alfred Warsavsky CPA; Patrick Greene, CPA
    Ventura County Bar Association
    Oxnard, CA
  • February 9, 2013
    American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Southern California Chapter
    Claws and Effect: Searching Out an Enforceable Prenup
    Peter M. Walzer and Bruce Cooperman
    Balboa Bay Club
  • January 30, 2013
    Up Periscope, Get a Good Look at Offshore Income and High Asset Divorce Taxation
    Christopher C. Melcher and Daniel J. Jaffe
    AAML
    Webinar
  • January 8, 2013
    Prenuptial Agreements: Drafting Provisions for Effective Distribution of Assets
    Christopher C. Melcher
    National Constitution Center Audio Conferences
    Webinar
  • October 13, 2012
    Family Law Update
    The State Bar of California 85th Annual Meeting
    Garrett C. Dailey, Judge Jeffrey Burke, Judge Michael Naughton and Christopher C. Melcher
    Monterey, CA
  • October 12, 2012
    Bias: The Enemy of Persuasion
    The State Bar of California 85th Annual Meeting
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Monterey, CA
  • September 13, 2012
    Family Law: Live Testimony and Declarations
    CEB The Basics Conference
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Santa Monica, CA
  • May 30, 2012
    Social Media in Family Law Cases
    Christopher C. Melcher, Shanon Quinley, & Fernando M. Luna
    Pasadena Bar Association
    Pasadena, CA
  • May 19, 2012
    I Love You Now Sign Here – Premarital Agreements for Professionals and Small Business Owners
    Christopher C. Melcher, Hon. David J. Cowan & Steven Mindel
    Los Angeles County Bar Association 44th Annual Family Law Symposium
    Universal City, CA
  • May 14, 2012
    When Love Becomes War: How to Attack and Defend the Premarital Agreement
    Peter M. Walzer & Christopher C. Melcher
    South Bay Study Group
    Manhattan Beach, CA
  • April 11, 2012
    Bias: The Enemy of Persuasion
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Indiana State Bar Association
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • March 24, 2012
    Double-Dipping: Bad Manners or Irresistible Temptation?
    Christopher C. Melcher and Michelene Insalaco
    Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
    Rancho Mirage, CA
  • March 7, 2012
    Webinar: Divorce Tax – Simple Answers to Complex Questions
    Christopher C. Melcher
    State Bar of California Family Law Section
  • March 6, 2012
    Dancing in the Minefield: Enforceable Marital and Premarital Agreements
    Christopher C. Melcher, Leena S. Hingnikar, Wendy Sharp, Nancy Brucker, Hon. Aviva K. Bob, David Yamamoto, & Seth Kramer
    The Southern California Family Law American Inn of Court
    Los Angeles, CA
  • February 15, 2012
    Divorce Tax – Simple Answers to Complex Questions
    American Bar Association (ABA)
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Webinar
  • January 11, 2012
    Family Law Fundamentals: Disclosures
    Christopher C. Melcher and Jennifer M. Riemer
    California State Bar Family Law Section
    Webinar
  • October 22, 2011
    Family Law Disclosures and Stipulated Judgments
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Los Angeles Paralegal Association Annual Conference
    Los Angeles, CA
  • October 10, 2011
    Divorce Tax 201: Practical Questions and Answers to Avoid Malpractice, Identify Issues and Construct Tax Appropriate Resolutions
    Christopher C. Melcher
    AAML – Illinois Chapter
    Oak Brook, IL
  • September 22, 2011
    Webinar: Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation Agreements: Strategies to Craft Enforceable Provisions and Attack or Defend the Agreement
    Peter M. Walzer and Christopher C. Melcher
    Strafford Publications
  • September 17, 2011
    Recent Developments in Family Law
    Christopher C. Melcher
    The State Bar of California Annual Meeting
    Long Beach, CA
  • August 23, 2011
    Webinar: Pre-Nups, Post-Nups and Cohabitation Agreements
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Strafford Publications
  • August 17, 2011
    Social Media Evidence in Divorce Cases
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Ventura Bar Association
    Ventura, CA
  • July 18, 2011
    “I Love You, Now Sign Here”
    Christopher C. Melcher and Peter M. Walzer
    Provisors Valley Lawyers and Legal Professionals Group
    Encino, CA
  • June 23, 2011
    Social Media Evidence
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Santa Barbara Bar Association
    Santa Barbara, CA
  • May 6, 2011
    Discovery: Creating your Plan; Propounding & Responding to Discovery; Handling Objections
    Christopher C. Melcher
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) and UCLA Extension
    Westwood, CA
  • April 15-17, 2011
    Social Media and E-Discovery in Family Law Courtrooms
    Christopher C. Melcher & Mark Ressa
    Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
    Indian Wells, CA
  • April 15-17, 2011
    Getting The Facts: Comparing Discovery and Disclosure
    Christopher C. Melcher & Dawn Grey
    Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
    Indian Wells, CA
  • January 25, 2011
    What is “Income” for Purposes of Support?
    Christopher C. Melcher
    State Bar of California
    Sections Cyber Institute
  • January 7, 2011
    Avoiding the Double Dip in Family Law Cases
    Christopher C. Melcher
    28th Annual National CLE Conference
    Vail, Colorado
  • November 18, 2011
    2011 Family Law Conference
    CEB
    San Francisco, CA
  • October 27 & 28, 2011
    Bias – The Enemy of Persuasion
    American Bar Association Family Law Fall 2011 Conference
    Las Vegas, NV
  • December 11, 2010
    Bias: The Enemy of Persuasion
    Peter M. Walzer, Christopher C. Melcher
    American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
    Southern Califonia Chapter Meeting
    Newport Beach, CA
  • October 21, 2010
    Identifying and Solving Tax Issues in Family Law Cases
    American Bar Association (ABA) Family Law Section
    Forth Worth, TX
  • September 25, 2010
    Annual Family Law Update
    The State Bar of California Annual Meeting
    Monterey, CA
  • September 24, 2010
    Drafting and Litigating Premarital Agreements
    The State Bar of California Annual Meeting
    Monterey, CA
  • July 30, 2010
    Crossover Issues in Estate Planning & Family Law
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Irvine, CA
  • May 21, 2010
    Law Practice Symposium
    LexisNexis and The Disability Rights Center at Loyola Law School
    Los Angeles, CA
  • March 28, 2010
    Trial Techniques for Enforcing or Attacking Transmutations
    Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
    Indian Wells, CA
  • February 20, 2010
    Drafting and Litigating Premarital and Postmarital Agreements
    UCLA Extension
    Westwood, CA
  • February 17, 2010
    Evidence for Family Lawyers
    American Bar Association Teleconference
  • January 21, 2010
    Conducting e-Discovery on a Budget
    California State Bar Solo and Small Firm Summit
    Long Beach, CA
  • January 8, 2010
    Tax Issues Facing Family Law Practitioners When Dividing Assets or Making Support Orders
    27th National CLE Conference
    Law Education Institute and Colorado Bar Association
    Vail, Colorado
  • November 6, 2009
    2009 Family Law Conference
    (Moderator and Speaker)
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
  • November 4, 2009
    Hot Issues In Family Law
    Appellate Judicial Attorneys Institute
    California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
    Long Beach, CA
  • November 3, 2009
    Un-Real Estate
    American Inns of Court, Southern California Family Law Section
    Beverly Hills, CA
  • September 12, 2009
    Recent Developments in Family Law
    The State Bar of California 2009 Annual Meeting
    San Diego, California
  • July 28, 2009
    Initial Pleadings in a Family Law Action
    State Bar of California (webinar)
  • April 8, 2009
    Family Law Ethics
    State Bar of California (webinar)
  • February 7, 2009
    Coaching a Parent for a Child Custody Evaluation: A Call for Guidelines Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), California Chapter
    San Francisco, California
  • January 31, 2009
    Family Law Financial Discovery Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • January 17, 2009
    How to Draft a Valid Premarital Agreement
    State Bar of California
    Section Education Institute
    Berkeley, California
  • November 14, 2008
    2008 Family Law Conference
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    San Francisco, California
  • October 27, 2008
    Electronic Evidence: How to Get it and How to Use It
    San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Family Law Section
    Encino, California
  • September 25-28, 2008
    Family Law Update
    The State Bar of California 2008 Annual Meeting
    Monterey, California
  • June 5, 2008
    Crossover Issues in Estate Planning and Dissolution: When Death and Divorce Collide
    Continuing Education of Bar (CEB)
    San Diego, California
  • May 30, 2008
    Crossover Issues in Estate Planning and Dissolution: When Death and Divorce Collide
    Continuing Education of Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • May 16, 2008
    Crossover Issues in Estate Planning and Dissolution: When Death and Divorce Collide
    Continuing Education of Bar (CEB)
    Costa Mesa, California
  • May 14, 2008
    Drafting Premarital and Postmarital Agreements
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension
    Westwood, California
  • March 18, 2008
    Roadmap Through Divorce Proceedings:
    – On the Road: Your Key to Getting Started
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Pasadena, California
  • February 9, 2008
    Ethical and Effective Coaching One Parent During a Child Custody Evaluation: Reconciling the Demands of Advocacy and Impartiality
    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – California Chapter (AFCC-CA)
    Santa Monica, California
  • January 19, 2008
    Death and Divorce
    The State Bar of California Section Education Institute
    San Diego, California
  • January 6, 2008
    Cross-Examining Psychologists in Custody Cases
    Law Education Institute (LEI) and The Colorado Bar Association
    Vail, Colorado
  • November 30, 2007
    2007 Family Law Conference – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Legal and Professional Standards for Conducting Child Custody Evaluations
    – Parental Alienation – Problems of Proof and Remedies
    – Rules of Evidence Concerning Psychological Testimony
    – Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations

    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • November 16, 2007
    2007 Family Law Conference – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Legal and Professional Standards for Conducting Child Custody Evaluations
    – Parental Alienation – Problems of Proof and Remedies
    – Rules of Evidence Concerning Psychological Testimony
    – Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations

    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Garden Grove, California
  • November 9, 2007
    2007 Family Law Conference – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Legal and Professional Standards for Conducting Child Custody Evaluations
    – Parental Alienation – Problems of Proof and Remedies
    – Rules of Evidence Concerning Psychological Testimony
    – Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations

    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    San Francisco, California
  • October 9, 2007
    Preventing Critical Financial Mistakes In A Dissolution of Marriage:
      – Tax Traps
    – Ethics for Family Law Attorneys
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Pasadena, California
  • September 28, 2007
    How to Prepare a Parent for a Child Custody Evaluation: An Ethical and Effective Approach
    The State Bar of California 2007 Annual Meeting
    Anaheim, California
  • September 24, 2007
    California Family Law Practice :
      – Ethical Issues for the Family Law Attorney
    National Business Institute
    Pasadena, California
  • April 27, 2007
    The Power of Perception: Protecting Clients from Themselves
    American Bar Association, Family Law Section
    Monterey, California
  • March 30, 2007
    Roadmap Through Divorce Proceedings:
      – Get the Lay of the Land: Discovery Tools and Tactics
    – On the Road: Your Key to Getting Started
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Pasadena, California
  • December 8, 2006
    2006 Family Law Symposium – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Handling a Contempt Action
    – Tax Traps
    – Allocating Separate Property
    – Advanced Support Issues
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    San Francisco, California
  • December 2, 2006
    2006 Family Law Symposium – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Handling a Contempt Action
    – Tax Traps
    – Allocating Separate Property
    – Advanced Support Issues
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, CA
  • July 24, 2006
    California Family Law Practice:
      – Child and Spousal Support Issues
    – Ethical Issues for the Family Law Attorney
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Pasadena, California
  • April 28, 2006
    Fundamentals of Family Law Practice:
      – The Beginning of the Case
    – Disclosures and Fiduciary Duties
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • December 10, 2005
    2005 Family Law Symposium – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Who is the Parent: Paternity, Parentage, and Surrogacy in the New Millennium
    – Advanced Spousal and Child Support Issues
    – Valuation of the Professional Practice
    – Premarital and Postmarital Agreements – Drafting and Enforcement
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • September 16, 2005
    Obtaining the Best Result for Your Client in a Marital Dissolution – Procedures and Strategies for Effective Settlement and Litigation in California:
      – Getting a Marital Dissolution Case off on the Right Foot
    – Dividing Assets and Debts
    – Ethical Perils in Dissolution Practice
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Pasadena, California
  • February 2, 2005
    What Every Family Law Forensic Accountant Needs to Know about Support Programs and the Income and Expense Declaration
    Walzer & Melcher LLP
    Calabasas, California
  • December 4, 2004
    2004 Family Law Symposium, Analyzing the Critical Issues – Moderator and Speaker:
      – Handling a Child Custody Case – Start to Finish
    – Family Law Alternative Dispute Resolution
    – Property Issues in Family Law
    Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    Los Angeles, California
  • October 29, 2004
    Handling California Divorces Cases from Start to Finish:
        – Ethical Perils in Divorce Practice
    National Business Institute (NBI)
    Anaheim, California
  • September 23, 2002
    Domestic Violence: Family Law and Criminal Law Considerations
    San Fernando Valley Bar Association
    Encino, California

* Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.