Donelle H. Ratheal is the senior attorney of Ratheal Family Law. From 1993 to 2011, she was the senior attorney at Ratheal & Associates. From 2011 to 2019, Donelle was the managing partner of Ratheal, Maggard & Fortune, PLLC. Donelle has accrued almost 30 years of trial and appellate experience. The majority of her practice centers around complex family law and probate issues, both trials and appeals. Client representation has included contested custody, relocation of children, valuation of family-owned businesses, prenuptial agreements, grandparent rights and custody, domestic and international enforcement of domestic relations orders, stepparent adoptions, guardianships, wills, and trusts. She has represented clients in numerous appellate matters, many resulting in published appellate judicial opinions that clarified or modified existing law.
Donelle H. Ratheal earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1992. Her law school honors include the Order of the Barristers, Crowe & Dunlevy Law Day Moot Court Award, American Jurisprudence Award – Appellate Advocacy, and the Hardin Ballard Memorial Award – Legal Writing. She served as Assistant Managing Editor of the University of Oklahoma’s Law Review and Vice-President of the Board of Advocates. She was selected as a National Moot Court Team member.
Established Guardian ad Litem
Donelle has represented children in custody and guardianship cases for over 15 years. She was honored for her efforts with the “Outstanding Guardian ad Litem Award” from the OBA Family Law Section (2006). She was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Guardian ad Litem manual committee and was one of the founders of Oklahoma County’s Guardian ad Litem project.
Donelle served as the Continuing Education Committee Chair (2001 & 2006) and the Section Chair (2007 & 2013) for the OBA’s Family Law Section (OBA-FLS). She was one of the authors and editors of the OBA-FLS Practice Manual from inception through 2011, and served as OBA-FLS’s first Trial Advocacy Institute Chair in 2012.
Donelle’s honors from peers and clients include: A member of Lawyers of Distinction (2018-2020), top 25 Women Lawyers in Oklahoma (2006), Oklahoma Super Lawyers (2006-2013), Journal Record’s Leaders in the Law (2008), Oklahoma Magazine’s Best of the Best (2010, 2013-2017), National Academy of Family Law Attorneys’ Top Ten Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys (2015-2019), and National Advocates’ Top 100 Trial Attorneys (2016-2018).
Author and Seminar Presenter
Donelle has been an author and seminar presenter at the state (OBA and OBA-FLS) and national (ABA Solo/Small Firm, ABA Family Section, and NBI) levels for almost two decades. Topics include substantive family law and probate matters, trial & appellate practice, legal writing, law practice management, and technology. She has contributed to the Oklahoma Bar Journal on family law issues, receiving the OBA’s 2014 Golden Quill Award (excellence in legal writing) for her article “Children and Their De Facto Parents: Past, Present and Future Third-Party Custody and Guardianship Law in Oklahoma.”
Donelle H. Ratheal cherishes her time with her spouse and family members. A former classical pianist with two degrees in piano performance, she still shares music with friends, at church, and in her community.