About Me

Hello. My name is John Harding. This is my personal web space. Thank you for visiting.

This site is intended to give you a direct look at me and my law practice. It is designed to supplement the more formal web site for my law firm, Harding & Associates Family Law.

Now, about me.  First and foremost, I am a Northern California divorce lawyer and divorce mediator. I have handled every type of California family law case. On a daily basis I deal with divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, same sex cases, domestic violence and restraining orders, and enforcement and challenges to pre-nuptial agreements. My practice focuses on high net worth families, and serving high level executives, doctors, lawyers, athletes, and celebrities.

Because of my Fellowships in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, I have represented clients in international cases, and I have developed a consulting practice to assist lawyers around the country and around the world regarding California family law.  I maintain a world-wide network of family law lawyers of the highest caliber.  I am available to collaborate with counsel in other jurisdictions, and I can offer a critical overview and understanding of the issues in an international family law case so as to provide coordinated, coherent and effective advice to clients.

I have also served as a temporary judge with the Alameda County, California Superior Court, and as a privately retained discovery referee and family law judge.

I am based in the San Francisco Bay Area. My primary office is in the City of Pleasanton, California. I also have an office in the City of Walnut Creek, California (by appointment only). Distance issues are minimized with the use of video conferencing and other computer and internet technologies.  Travel to locations beyond the Harding & Associates California offices is available by arrangement. In addition to English as our native language, our staff includes Spanish and German speakers.

My credentials include the following:

  • I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College. I went to law school and earned my Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law.
  • I passed the California Bar Exam and was admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California in 1989. I was admitted to practice before all courts in Washington, DC in 1991. I was admitted to practice before all courts in the State of Wyoming in 1995.
  • I have been certified as a specialist in the practice of family law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization,
  • I enjoy the distinction of being a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (one of only fourteen in the San Francisco east bay) and the International Academy of Family Lawyers (one of only ten in all of Northern California).
  • I have an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings.
  • I am listed in Best Lawyers.
  • San Francisco Magazine has named me as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California.
  • I have been listed in the Wall Street Journal as one of the best Family law lawyers in Northern California
  • I have been a Northern California Super Lawyer from 2004 through 2018.
  • I carry a perfect 10.0 rating from Avvo.

What do I do?  I help good people get out of bad relationships.

How do I do it? In the first instance I am going to pursue a quick and creative settlement of every case. Settling a case fairly and quickly is always preferred. It saves the client money and reduces the anxiety.  Most family law cases settle, including in my practice. That having been said, I am not a “settlement lawyer.”  My reputation is as a trial lawyer. I have completed dozens of complicated trials and hundreds of contested family law hearings. I have tried cases dealing with divorce, post-divorce, parenting, paternity, property division, support, challenging and enforcing pre-nuptial agreements, and all other family law matters.

The bottom line is that fair settlements are a product of the lawyer’s reputation and skill as a trial lawyer. You cannot settle a family law case with any confidence if you have never taken one to trial. My trial experience allows me to assess a case from an outcome perspective so that I can advise the client regarding the likely outcome in court. With that information we can make appropriate compromises to get the case settled.  My reputation as a trial lawyer helps my clients to realize fair settlements. The other side is not going to be able to exploit us, and they know it.  They play fair and we get the case settled or we go to trial.  If a case does go to trial our clients are not at a disadvantage. They benefit from an abundance of real trial experience and success. I enjoy trying cases, and I enjoy going to court with other great trial lawyers.

Please take your time visiting my site, and learning about me. This is  resume layout, so there are other pages here that go into great deal regarding me and my professional activities.

If you want a lot more information about family law and divorce, please visit the much more comprehensive Harding & Associates Family Law website. It has a ton of information!

Curious about what I charge? Please click here for more information about fees.

Practice Areas


Helping good people get out of bad relationships starts with educating the client on the law and legal process.

Child Custody

Regardless of the acrimony good parents should always do what is best for their children. At divorce this can be a challenge, but it does not have to be impossible.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a family law procedure by which the two parties agree that they will not go to court, or threaten to do so.

Spousal Support

Commitments are made during marriage that create responsibilities at divorce. Spousal support is one of those issues.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is now well-known and widely accepted. Mediation means different things to different people.

Child Support

Child support is an ongoing periodic payment made by a parent for the financial well-being of a child.