David Starks


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  • WA
  • /Seattle.aspx_Seattle
  • WA
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  • WA
  • /Everett.aspx_Everett
  • WA
  • /Portland-OR.aspx_Portland
  • OR

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I never forget that my clients are real people. Their concerns are my concerns. Their stress is my stress. Their success is my success.

David Starks

David Starks is a Partner at McKinley Irvin, a Fellow and Certified Mediator of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a Diplomate in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. He focuses his practice in the firm's Seattle and Bellevue law offices on divorce cases involving difficult custodial matters and the protection, valuation and distribution of significant assets and business interests.

Early in his legal career David gained significant experience in maritime and securities law in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations, through the National Association of Securities Dealers. His litigation, arbitration and negotiation experience in family, business and commercial law make him particularly well qualified to represent divorce clients with financial, business, executive compensation or spousal maintenance interests at stake.

David also continues to enjoy assisting clients through the challenges they face in other family law matters, including parenting modifications, relocations and other matrimonial litigation.

His passion for resolving complex family law matters has led David to routinely represent clients with international divorce and family law issues in both state and federal court.

David is a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and one of a very small number of U.S. family law attorneys whose practice includes international family law and treaties, including the various Hague Conventions on abduction, maintenance, and the protection of children. He routinely assists in the local recovery of foreign support and maintenance awards.

David is president of the Washington state chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is also an active member of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association, having previously served as the co-chair of that section’s Family Law Committee. He is licensed to practice law in Washington, Oregon and Texas.

David lives in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle with his wife and two sons.


  • President, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Washington Chapter, 2018 - Present
  • Section Advisor of the American Bar Association to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws' Drafting Committee on the Implementation of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children (2011-present)
  • Immediate Past Co-Chair, American Bar Association, International Law Section Family Law Committee (2010-2011)


  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML)
  • Member: American Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Oregon State Bar, King County Bar Association
  • Member, King County Bar Association's Judicial Screening Committee
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association Professionalism Committee
  • J.D., cum laude, Seattle University School of Law
  • B.A., English, cum laude University of Southern Indiana

David regularly represents clients in:

  • King County
  • Washington
  • South King County
  • Washington
  • Kitsap County
  • Washington

While David practices primarily in these counties, he represents clients throughout Washington, the U.S., and internationally who are involved in Washington State family law matters. Contact us if you think you have a family law issue we can help you with.


  • Presenter, Conclusion of Case, Final Pleadings, Trial Preparation, Dissolution from A-Z, King County Bar Association CLE (Seattle, 2017)
  • Presenter, Innovations, Breaking Boundaries in Custody Litigation, AAML / University of Texas (Austin, Texas, 2013)
  • Presenter, Equitable Distribution in Divorce, National Business Institute (2013)
  • Presenter, Unconventional Issues in Child Custody and Abduction Cases, American Bar Association (Anchorage, Alaska, 2013)
  • Presenter, Key Players in Cross Border Real Estate Investments, AIJA / American Bar Association (Cannes, France, 2013)
  • Panelist, Recognition of Foreign Court Orders and Conflicts of Laws, American Bar Association CLE (Washington D.C., 2012)
  • Presenter, For Better or Worse: International Issues in Marriage and Divorce, American Bar Association CLE (New York, 2012)
  • Presenter, Marital Misbehavior, the Chronically Noncompliant Party: Remedies, AAML CLE (Seattle, 2012)
  • Presenter, US Hague Cases and the UCCJEA, AAML CLE (Seattle, 2012)
  • Panelist, Saving a Stolen Childhood: How to Prevent and Resolve International Kidnapping Cases, American Bar Association CLE (Las Vegas, 2011)
  • Panelist, Family Enterprises in Distress: Issues to Consider, American Bar Association CLE (Dublin, Ireland 2011)
  • Presenter, Divorce Litigation, Start to Finish, National Business Institute CLE (Seattle, 2011)
  • Co-Author, International Family Law, Washington State Bar Association Family Law Desk Book (2010)
  • Presenter, Nuts and Bolts of Family Law, King County Bar Association (Seattle, 2010)
  • Presenter, Family Law Bootcamp, Washington State Bar Association, (Seattle, 2009)
  • Moderator, NBI Domestic Violence: A View from the Bench, National Business Institute CLE (Seattle, 2009)
  • Presenter, International Family Law - The Hague Convention, King County Bar Association CLE (Seattle, 2008)



President, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Washington Chapter, 2018 - Present

Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers

Fellow and Certified Mediator, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)

Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML)

Top 100 Attorneys in Washington State, Washington Super Lawyers, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Distinguished as a Washington Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers, 2010-2018

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Family Law 2012-2018

Avvo.com 10.0 “Superb” rating

Practice Areas

  • /Practice-Areas/Child-Custody.aspx_Child Custody
  • /Practice-Areas/Child-Support.aspx_Child Support
  • /Practice-Areas/Divorce.aspx_Divorce
  • /Practice-Areas/Domestic-Violence.aspx_Domestic Violence
  • /Practice-Areas/Divorce/High-Net-Worth-Divorce.aspx_High Net Worth Divorce
  • /Practice-Areas/Divorce/International-Divorce.aspx_International Family Law
  • /Practice-Areas/Gay-LGBT-Family-Law.aspx_LGBT Family Law
  • /Practice-Areas/Divorce/Military-Divorce.aspx_Military Family Law
  • /Practice-Areas/Relocation.aspx_Relocation
  • /Practice-Areas/Unmarried-Couples.aspx_Unmarried Couples
  • Best Seattle Divorce Lawyer