Heather L. Milligan dedicates her practice to the area of Family Law. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization. In addition to her law degree, Heather has a Master of Social Work degree from San Diego State University, and this guides her child-focused style in custody and visitation matters.

Heather practiced as an associate and then partner with the firm McDougal, Love, Eckis, Boehmer & Foley, under the mentorship of S. Michael Love, CFLS, AAML, from January, 2004 through April, 2014, handling exclusively family law cases. 

Commencing May 1, 2014, Heather co-founded the predecessor firm to Milligan & Mitchel, LLP.

Heather manages her case from intake, through discovery, hearings and settlement negotiations, to the end of the case, which can include a Marital Settlement Agreement or trial.  Heather prepares prenuptial agreements pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Family Code.  

Heather routinely argues custody and visitation cases, child and spousal support cases, as well as arguing for and against move-away/relocation motions that allow one parent to move with a child or children outside the County of San Diego. Heather also advocates for nonparent rights and guardianships, when appropriate, and she acts as Guardian Ad Litem when appointed by the Court.

Heather has significant trial experience, including short and long cause trials, addressing issues such as custody and visitation, the UCCJEA, support, property division, tracing, reimbursements, and the legislative history of laws related to Family Law issues. She is committed to zealous representation of her clients, and ensuring that they receive caring assistance with their family law issues.

Heather also uses her experience to serve as Minor’s Counsel, wherein she is appointed by the Court to represent minors in Family Law matters so that the children can have a voice and so that the Court can hear child-focused and directed advocacy for the children. 


After a nomination and peer review process, Heather received the honor of being named in the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Editions of San Diego’s Best Lawyers.
Named in the Spring Edition – 2016 Best Lawyers Business Edition: Women in the Law.

Selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 San Diego Super Lawyers list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice.  Only the top 5% of attorneys in San Diego receive the distinction.

2015 Recipient of the Michael C. Shea Award, given annually to the Family Law attorney who gives of his or her time in the teaching and mentoring of new or young attorneys in the Family Law field. (Click here to learn more about the Michael C. Shea Award.)

2022 recipient of the prestigious Norby Award given annually by the Family Law Judges and Commissioners to a Family Law attorney who has made a significant contribution to the practice of Family Law in San Diego County. (Click here to learn more about the Norby Award.)

Ms. Milligan is one of only eight attorneys to have ever received both the Michael C. Shea Award and Norby Award.

University of California, Los Angeles, Psychology, cum laude, College Honors, Departmental Honors, 1998
California Western School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2003
San Diego State University, M.S.W., 2003
Certified Specialist in Family Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization


San Diego Family Law Bar Association,  Former Member of Board of Directors
Kids’ Turn, San Diego, Former Member of Board of Directors
Foothills Bar Association, Former Member of Board of Directors