David Starks


Bellevue | Seattle | Everett | Portland | Tacoma

Download Profile Contact
Interesting notes about David:
First job: Lifeguard
Dream dinner guest: David Chang of Momofuku
Instruments played: Taylor Guitar
Publications & Presentations

About 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.

Next >>



  • 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
Next >>


  • J.D., cum laude, Seattle University School of Law
  • B.A., English, cum laude University of Southern Indiana
Next >>



  • 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)


  • Best Law Firm
  • Best Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Avvo Rating 10.0
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
"I highly recommend this firm to anybody needing help with family court matters. My attorney was very helpful and responsive to my needs and ..."
Read More