Certified Family Law Specialist

Michael J. Haapala is the managing partner of Des Jardins & Haapala. He is a prominent Orange County attorney, with extensive experience in all areas of family law practice and litigation. Mr. Haapala was admitted to the California State Bar in 1996, and practiced in the area of family law exclusively for nearly twenty years. In 2005, Mr. Haapala became a Certified Specialist in Family Law, an achievement reserved for a small percentage of attorneys with extensive experience in their field, who meet the strict demands laid out by the State bar, and demonstrate success in their area of expertise.

Mr. Haapala is admitted to practice law in all State and Federal Courts in California. Mr. Haapala is an active member of the Orange County Bar Association, and annually presents seminars on Family Law topics to his peers. Mr. Haapala was named a Super Lawyer several times over the past few years.

Mr. Haapala has successfully litigated and/or settled hundreds of cases involving issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, domestic violence, fiduciary duties, complex, as well as routine, property division issues and attorney fees. Mr. Haapala drafted numerous premarital, marital, and postnuptial agreements.

Mr. Haapala was born in Ohio, and raised in Orange County, graduating from El Modena High School. Mr. Haapala obtained his
Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State Polytecnic University in 1993, and obtained his Juris Doctor from Western State University in 1996, graduating with scholastic merit.

Areas of Law

  • 100% Family Law

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Law, California State Bar ­ Board of Legal Specialization, 2005

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1996
  • Federal (U.S. District Court, Central District of California), 1999


  • Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California
    • Juris Doctor With Scholastic Merit ,1996
    • Honors: Law Review
    • Honors: Academic Scholarship Recipient
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
    • Bachelor of Science Business Administration (Finance, Real Estate & Law) Cum Laude, 1993

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Orange County Bar Association ­ Family Law Section (former Director at Large, Executive Committee)
  • California State Bar


  • Speaker, Annual Case Reviews