Melissa J. Harman, Family Law Attorney at Forester Purcell Stowell PCMelissa J. Harman


Puzzle Enthusiast, Mother of Hounds, Garden Club, Star Wars Nerd, Sacramento Native, #shoesarelife
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It’s gratifying to help my divorce clients work toward a fresh start. They should feel like they have been heard and have had someone on their side, empowering them through a complicated process.


I have a unique perspective on family law cases – because I am a child of divorce. I can remember a lot about how my life was impacted by my parents’ divorce. Luckily, they were (and continue to be) excellent co-parents. This experience helps me bring a real-world perspective to my clients, to be honest with them and build trust in the attorney-client relationship.  

Melissa Harman’s family law practice encompasses divorce, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and property division. She is particularly drawn to helping clients navigate complex property characterization issues and taxation impacts, including business valuations and cases involving forensic accounting.

While in law school, Melissa worked as a Judicial Extern with the San Francisco Superior Court, Family Relations Courthouse and clerked for established and well respected private attorneys in both the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. Over more than a decade in the family law field, Melissa has advanced from roles as court runner and legal assistant to now a senior attorney at Forester Purcell Stowell PC in Folsom, California.

Beyond her law practice, Melissa enjoys gardening, cooking, painting, and hanging with her hound dogs.

Golden Gate University School of Law

  • Juris Doctor, 2011
  • Certificate of Specialization, Family Law
  • CALI Award, Legal Writing and Research

California State University, Sacramento

  • Bachelor of Arts, History, 2008

  • Co-Chair & Advisor, New Family Law Attorneys Affinity Group, Greater Sacramento Region
  • Co-Chair, Local Rules Subcommittee, Placer County Bar Association
  • Participant & FPS Team Leader, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, Women Build 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Judge, Gordon D. Schreiber Mock Trial Competition
  • Volunteer Attorney, Sacramento County Superior Court “One Day Divorce” Program

Selected for inclusion by rating from attorney peers and/or research team:

  • Northern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, 2019 (eligible candidates are 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less)
  • Sacramento Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” list, 2017, 2018, 2019

  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Admitted to the State Bar of California, 2012