Gary R. Stenzel

Gary R. Stenzel was born in Romulas, Michigan in 1948. His family moved to Portland, Oregon when he was a baby and remained there until he graduated from Cleveland High School in 1966. After graduation Mr. Stenzel went to college in Hawaii, at the Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus, majoring in Psychology and Speech. He toured the South Pacific as an MC with a musical variety show until he moved to the Provo, Utah campus of BYU to complete his senior year. He then graduated from Brigham Young University in 1972, after completing a two-year mission for his church to North Carolina and Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology and Speech, and then moved back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He met and married Karen Chandler, and they had four children; Aaron, David, Nicole, and Ashley. He has since increased his family with the addition of his four nieces and nephews Garrett, Darren, Kelli, and Traci, after the untimely death of their parents.

While in Portland he was hired as a Mental Health Therapist for the newly opened Psychiatric Unit at Providence Hospital. Mr. Stenzel was then trained in Gestalt Therapy, group therapy methods, MMPI interpretation, individual counseling methods, medical record keeping and charting, and mental health evaluations, attending over 150 hours in individualized training through Providence Hospital.

Mr. Stenzel then applied for the Masters program in Child Psychology and Family Relations at Brigham Young University and was accepted. While at BYU he taught undergraduate classes in child psychology and family relations for 2 years, and was invited to teach for a year at University of Wisconsin Stout.

Following the completion of his course work for his Masters in Child Development and Family Relations, Mr. Stenzel was hired by The Olalla Center in Lincoln County, Oregon. While there he developed their parent education handbook, and program. The Olalla Center was a DSHS supported therapy center for troubled youth and families in crisis.

After working with the Olalla Center for a number of years, Mr. Stenzel applied for Law School at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and was accepted. He graduated in 1986 from their 4-year night school program. While attending Gonzaga Law School he worked as a Psychiatric Aid/Therapist on the Nancy Reagan Care Unit at Deaconess Hospital. Then, in his last year of law school he was hired by the firm of Evans, Craven, and Lackie, PS as a legal intern specializing in medical cases, and family law matters.

After law school graduation Mr. Stenzel was hired by Underwood, Campbell, Brock and Cerutti PS as an associate to assist with their Family Law Department, and was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1987. In 1994 he was made a partner with UCBC, and supervised all Domestic Case matters.

In April 1995 Mr. Stenzel joined Michael P. Price, another Family Law Attorney in Spokane to form Stenzel and Price, Attorneys at Law. After 7 years, Mr. Price sought the judicial bench and was appointed January 2004 as a Superior Court Judge in Spokane County. Mr. Stenzel formed the Stenzel Law Office.

Mr. Stenzel has 30+ years experience as a Family Law Attorney in Spokane, and has another 10 years experience either teaching family relations and child psychology, or as a therapist. He is a certified mediator, was an original member of the Spokane County Superior Court Guardian Ad Litem committee, a GAL for 5 years, and assisted in drafting the local rules in Spokane County regarding the Mandatory Parent Education program for domestic litigants. He has taught at the People's Law School at Gonzaga University, and as a visiting instructor in Domestic Law at that same Law School. He has also authored the following articles or manuals:

Olalla Center for Children and Families Parental Handbook, 1978, Lincoln County, Oregon;
Family Law in Washington; Post-Decree Problems, National Business Institute publication 1992;
Defunct Marriage: Its Possible Application in Idaho Divorce Law, Idaho Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1994;
A Family Law Lawyer's Guide to COBRA, WSBA midyear publication, Family Law Section 1995;
Family Law Guardian Ad Litem Training Manual, Spokane County Bar Association, contributing editor 1996;
Child-Centered Residential Schedules, Spokane County Superior Court Family Law Department, contributing editor 1996;Ethics and Family Law;
WSBA annual meeting 2000;Domestic Law in Washington; Ethics Section, National Business Institute publication 2000;
2001 to 2011 annual CLE presentations re: Family Law subjects in Washington with the National Business Institute (NBI) Mr.

Stenzel has been lead counsel in the following Court of Appeals cases:
-Marriage of Moore, In re, 993 P.2d 271, 99 Wn.App. 144 (Dec. 23 1999);
-Marriage of Combs, In re 19 P.3d 469, 105 Wn.App. 168 (Mar. 08 2001);
-Marriage of Dicus, In re 40 P.3d 1185, 110 Wn.App. 347 (Feb. 21 2002;
-Harwood v. Shields, 84 P.3d 905, 120 Wn.App. 108 (2004)
-In re Custody of Shields, 136 P.3d 117, 157 Wn.2d 126 (2006) [overturning Harwood]
-In re Littell v. Littell, Cause no. 28445-0-III Unpublished Opinion (2009)
-In re the Custody of S.C.D.-L. 243 P.3d 918, 170 Wn.2d 513 (2010) [overturning Littell]
-Many other unpublished Court of Appeals and Administrative cases

Mr. Stenzel has argued cases in the Federal District Court, Eastern District of Washington Bankruptcy Court, Idaho Supreme Court (as an intern), Oregon Circuit Court, and Washington Court of Appeals. He has participated in over 200 family law trials, has handled multi-million dollar divorces, and argued 1,000's of motions. He practices in all Eastern Washington Counties, from Pend Orielle to Benton/Franklin Counties. He has represented doctors, attorneys, farmers, business owners and blue-collar workers. He is familiar with all the Washington forms, and financial documents. He has 3 staff members to help him, including additional accounting staff, and billing personnel. His desire is to assist you with your case in a manner that will help you either save what you spend on an attorney, or help you with difficult parenting issues.

Curriculum Vitae


- Cleveland High School, Portland, Oregon 1966 – HS Diploma                 
- Brigham Young University, Hawaii campus, Laie, HI – 1967-1972                 
- Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 1972 – BS in Psych Dean’s List                 
- Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 1978 – Completed for Master’s in Family Relations/Child Psychology              
- Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA 1982-1986 – Juris Doctorate  

General Employment:  

- 1970 – 1972 Straub Hospital, Honolulu, HI; Emergency room clerk/receptionist                 
- 1973 – 1976 Providence Hospital Psychiatric Unit, Portland, OR; Mental Health Therapist                 
- 1976 – 1978 Brigham Young University Instructor Child Psychology/Family Relations & Research Assistant                 
- 1978 – 1979 University of Wisconsin Instructor Psychology/Family Relations                 
- 1979 – 1981 Lincoln County Center for Children as Family Therapist – Oregon                 
- 1982 – 1985 Deaconess Hospital Care Unit as Psychiatric/Addiction Therapist

Legal Employment:

- 1985 – 1987: Evans, Craven & Lackie PS - Family Law Intern then Associate                 
- 1987 – 1993: Underwood, Campbell, Brock & Cerutti PS; Family Law Associate                 
- 1993 – 1995: Underwood, Campbell, Brock & Cerutti PS Principle Partner over all domestic litigation matters            
- 1995 – 2003: Partner, Stenzel & Price Attorneys at Law, w/ Michael P. Price [now Spokane Sup Court Judge]            
- 2003 – Present: Principle owner Stenzel Law office dba – Family Law Spokane


- 1968 – 1970 LDS Missionary North Carolina / Virginia                 
- 1977 – President BYU Family Graduate Students Association                 
- 1998 – 2005 Boy Scouts Eagle Counsel Spokane Valley, WA.                 
- 1979 – 1981 First Counselor in LDS Bishopric Newport, Oregon Congregation                 
- 1987 – Award from Bar for Pro Bono cases                 
- 1968 – 2019 several church volunteer positions                 
- 2011 – 2017 Valley LDS Church financial clerk                 
- 2017 – present – Church employment specialist


- Stenzel & Price Attorneys at Law, “Top Family Law Firm” as rated by Fairchild AFB News 1996 to 2000                 
- Martindale Hubbell Superior Rating since 1990 to date                 
- Martindale Hubbell 2013 Client Distinction Award (Client rating 4.5 – 5 stars) top 5%                 
- Martindale Hubbell 2015 Client Distinction Award (Client rating 4.5 -5 stars) top 5%                 
- 2016 Named One of the Top Lawyers in Washington State by Legal Network for professional excellence                 
- 2016 Named to Top 10% of America’s Most Honored Professionals by the American Registry                 
- 2017 Named One of the Top Lawyers in Washington State by Legal Network for professional excellence r                 
- 2017 Named Top Attorney in Family Law in Spokane by Spokane Magazine                 
- 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 AVVO top family law rating by clients                 
- 2017 Top Family Law Attorney – Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine                 
- 2018 Top Family Law Attorney – Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine                 
- 2019 Top Family Law Attorney – Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine

Legal Volunteer:

- Lynden Cup Moot Court Chief Judge for Law Student comp 1999 to 2012                 
- Pro Bono attorney of the year Spokane Bar Association                 
- 1996 Peoples Law School, Gonzaga University Law School                 
- 250 Pro Bono hours on one case 2008 – 2014 (In re CMF went to State Supreme Court)

Legal Certifications & Licenses:    

- Rule 9 Legal Intern Washington State Bar Association 1985 – 1986               
- Washington State Bar Association since 1987               
- Certified License to Practice United States District Court 1988               
- Certified License to Practice United States Bankruptcy Court 1988               
- Pro Hac Vice License to Practice Oregon Circuit Courts 1998               
- Original member Spokane County Superior Court GAL committee (development of standards for GALs)               
- Original member Spokane County Superior Court Parenting Training Committee (parenting seminars rules)               
- Certified Mediation Training Dispute Resolution Center, Spokane, WA               
- Mediator for Spokane County Volunteer Week with 100% settlement record               
- Guest Instructor/panelist Gonzaga University Law School, various opportunities               
- Certified Guardian Ad Litem RCW 26 matters               
- Court Expert in area of Washington Family Law – Division III Court of Appeals               
- Spokane County Bar – Family Law Mediator list               
- Certified Mediator in Family Law for Spokane County Bar Association

Legal Instructor:         

1995 WSBA Family Law Midyear Instructor – Guide to COBRA laws                     
2000 WSBA Family Law Midyear Instructor – Ethics in Family Law                     
2004 NBI CLE Handling WA Divorce Cases Start to Finish – Instructor                     
2004 NBI Complex Issues in Divorce for the WA Practitioner – Instructor                     
2005 NBI Getting the Best Financial Settlement for Your Divorce Client in WA-                               
2006 SCBA/WSBA Year End Potpourri – Instructor                     
2008 NBI Preventing Critical Financial Mistakes during Divorces – Instructor                     
2008 Gonzaga Law School “Ethical Issues in Representing Family Law Clients” - Instructor                     
2009 NBI Family Law A to Z – Instructor                     
2009 Lexvid Service - Discovery in Family Law – Mediation Success in Custodial Cases – Video                                    
2009 Lexvid Service - Estate Planning & Divorce – Video Instructor                     
2010 NBI Handling Valuation Issues in Divorce – Instructor                     
2012 NBI Evidence & Expert Testimony Best Practices: Supporting Your Case                       
2013 Family Law Litigator’s Point of View – Special DCS/AG CLE Tacoma – Guest Instructor                     
2014 Serving up Family Law – Report of recent appeals cases – Speaker/Instructor                     
2015 End of the Year Family law CLE – Synopsis of new appeal decisions – Instructor                     
2016 Fall – NBI CLE: Finding Hidden Income & Assets in Divorce cases – Instructor                     
2019 Summer – NBI CLE: Divorce Law Boot Camp – Speaker/Instructor

Appeals cases:  

- In re Marriage of Moore, 993 P.2d 271, 99 Wn.App. 144 (Div. 3, 1999)             
- In re Marriage of Moore, 43 P.3d 20, 145 Wn.2d 1036 (Wash. 2002)             
- In re Combs, 19 P.3d 469, 105 Wn.App. 168 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2001)             
- In re Marriage of France. Unpublished re: Affidavit of Bias issues (2003)             
- In re Custody of Shields, 84 P.3d 905, 120 Wn.App. 108 (Div. 3, 2004)             
- In re Custody of Shields, 157 Wn.2d 126 (Wash. 2006) Overturned lower court             
- In re Bays, 413 B.R. 866 (Bkrtcy.E.D.Wash. 2009)             
- In re Long and Fregeau, 244 P.3d 26, 158 Wn.App.919 (Div. 3, 2010)             
- In re Custody of S.C.D-L., 243 P3d 918, 170 Wn.2d 513 (Wash. 2010)             
- Petrolino v County of Spokane, CV-07-228-FVS (2010)             
- Scheib v Crosby, 249 P.3d 184, 160 Wn.App. 345 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2011)             
- In re Marriage of Bowen, 279 P.3d 885, 168 Wn.App. 581 (Div. 3, 2012)             
- In re Matter of J.E. Shelly Finch et ux v. R. Maling, directed decision (2012)             
- Simpson v. Fairfax, 286 P.3d 55 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2012)             
- In re Parentage of C.M.F., 179 Wn.2d 411 (2013) Overturned Div. 3             
- In re Parenting Plan of Hall, 339 P.3d 178 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2014)             
- In re Estate of Herrin, 3205-1-III Div. 3 Court of Appeals of Wash.             
- In re Custody of S.R., 334 P.3d 1190 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2014)             
- In re Lambert v. Moehlman, 32441-9-III (Dec 2015)             
- In re Parentage of ELC, Cromer v. Thorn 32585-7-III (Dec 2015)             
- In re ALD 363 P.3d 604, 191 Wn.App. 474 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2015)             
- In re Marriage of Cook, 33243-8-III (Wash.App. Div. 3 2016)             
- In re Marriage of Welsh, 34392-8-III (Wash.App. Div 3 2017)             
- In re Marriage of Ruddick, 35416-4-III (Wash.App. Div 3 2018)             
- In re Marriage of Minderman 34829-6-III (Wash.App. Div 3 (2019)             
- In re Marriage of Dorland 34987-0-III (Wash.App. Div 3 (2019)             
- Stenzel & Banks, Defunct Marriage: Possible app. in Idaho Divorce law. Idaho Law Review Vol 30, No. 4 (1994)


Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals
Eastern Washington US Federal Court
 Eastern Washington US Federal Bankruptcy Court 
 Washington State Supreme Court
 Washington State Court of Appeals
Spokane County Superior Court 
Spokane Juvenile Superior Court of Washington 
 Spokane County District Court 
 Spokane County Municipal Court
 Spokane County Administrative Variance Court
 Washington State Administrative Courts
 Washington State Administrative Court of Appeals
 Stevens County Superior Court 
  Ferry County Superior Court
 Benton County Superior Court
 Franklin County Superior Court
 Chelan County Superior Court 
 Asotin County Superior Court 
 Grant County Superior Court 
 Douglas County Superior Court  
 Okanogan County Superior Court 
  Pend Orielle County Superior Court 
  Whitman County Superior Court 
 Lincoln County Superior Court
 King County Superior Court 
 Grays Harbor Superior Court
(And other Superior Courts of Washington)
Crook County Circuit Court Oregon (Pro Hac Vice)
Oregon Court of Appeals (Pro Hac Vice) 
Idaho Supreme Court (As rule 9 Intern – Pro Hac Vice) 
Federal Social Security Adm Court
 DCS Admin Court for Child Support

Request a Consultation

Please fill out the form or give us a call

Law office of Gary R. Stenzel

  • Phone: (509) 327-2000

  • Fax: (509) 327-5151

  • E-Mail:

Follow Us On Social Media

We're passionate about delivering the best ...... Fill in with Client