MIAMI – Former Florida Assistant Attorney General Jaqueline Valdespino is receiving international recognition for her practice of family law at Valdespino & Associates PA.
Global Business Magazine and Professional Sector Network selected Valdespino for a Global Leadership and Family Law Firm of the Year award for assisting clients with relocation, which is when parents move after a divorce and have minor children.
Valdespino believes what sets her firm apart from others is a willingness to listen to clients’ needs and engage them in the decision-making process.
“People come when their family is in flux or distress,” she told the Florida Record. “We approach the issues presented with a team philosophy. We believe that the client is an important member of the team, because decisions that we will make in the case will imply his or her life long after we are gone. I have found that if a client participates in the process, that the client will be more likely to be satisfied with the results.”
Valdespino says she never wanted to practice family law, and it was not something she envisioned for herself when she left the attorney general’s office in 1992 to embark on a solo career.
“My parents were divorced and I had to testify when I was 17 in their case, and it was very traumatic for me. However, when I went out on my own, my close friend was a partner in a large firm practicing family law and she referred cases to me. So by default, I became a family law practitioner,” she said.
In August, Valdespino published in the Florida Bar Journal a scholarly article titled “Relocation: A Moveable Feast?” The article examines statutes and cases involving the visitation and custody challenges divorced parents can face when attempting to relocate a child to another city, state or country.
“International law issues are the new reality in everyone’s practice,” Valdespino wrote. “Attorneys must ramp up their knowledge on how international law issues relate to their clients, specifically issues related to relocation, parental child abduction and asset distribution.”
As founding partner of Valdespino & Associates, she received numerous professional honors, including being named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms practicing more than 25 years, among Florida’s Super Lawyers for Family Law and among Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite.
A graduate of Georgetown University and University of Miami School of Law, Valdespino passed the Florida Bar in 1988. In 2003, the bar bestowed a Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award in recognition of her pro bono work and praised her for her commitment to Florida’s children.
“For her, it is all about the children – our future,” the Florida Bar stated. “Her devotion to children caught in the maze of court proceedings has never wavered. Ms. Valdespino approaches pro bono work as a ‘calling rather than an obligation.’”
Valdespino & Associates, located in Coconut Grove, is a boutique family law firm specializing in divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements and mediated divorce settlements.