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Virginia S. Criste

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Virginia is an experienced family law litigator, holding a Board Certification in Family Law Trial Advocacy from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is a strong believer that mediation is almost always the best way to resolve family law disputes. She therefore brings to the mediation a strong background in family law to assist in a successful mediation. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and George Washington University School of Law. She has been admitted by examination to the Bar in four (4) states since 1977: District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and California.

Mediation is an invaluable process and Virginia received her most in depth training through The Center for Mediation and Law – Understanding Conflict by Gary Friedman. Parties must participate together and generally share the cost. First, the parties are schooled in the actual legal process and the law that could be applied by the Courts to their situation. Then they are educated and encouraged to honor their personal preferences for the future not soley based on the law, and, to find a compromise that honors both parties’ desires as much as practicable. Mediation is never a forced situation and is always voluntary. It is merely guided and encouraged.

If completed, Virginia can assist in having the agreement drawn up and submitted into the court process so the agreement becomes a part of the dissolution or legal separation without either party personally appearing in court. The process can address all dissolution issues such as child custody, child and spousal support, dividing assets, and valuing businesses. It can also voluntarily bring in other persons to give specialized advice such as child psychologists and forensic evaluators.

Virginia would be very happy to help you mediate. Feel free to call and schedule an initial paid consultation to discuss the process and your issues.


  • George Washington University School of Law
  • Washington, D.C. - 1966-69; J. D. 1969
  • Activities: Legal Aid Meritorious Service Award 1967 - 68
  • Board of Directors and Distinguished Service Award 1968 - 69
  • Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts 1962 - 66; B.A. 1966 - Upper One- Third of Class

Admissions and Memberships

  • District of Columbia Bar Since November 1969
  • Maryland Bar Since June 1971
  • Pennsylvania Bar Since 1976
  • California Bar Since April 1977
  • Desert Bar Association, President 1995-96
  • American Bar Association
  • Board Certified Family Law Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy a California Supreme Court Approve Agency - since 2010
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent since 1994


  • Listed Who's Who among American Women commencing 1974.
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent since 1994 
  • Certified in Family Law Trial Advocacy by National Board of Trial Advocacy since 2010
  • Judge Pro Tem, Superior Court of Riverside County, Indio Branch since 1994
  • Desert Bar Association Trustee, Officer and President, 1989 - 1997.
  • Desert Bar Association Fee Arbitrator; former chair of family law committee.
  • Panel participant with the Honorable Mitchell Goldberg, Inland Counties Bankruptcy forum, 2000, Issues Regarding Interaction of Bankruptcy and Family Law.
  • Prior Chair, Local Chapter For U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Commissioner, Palm Desert Parks and Recreation Commission, 1995-1997.
  • LGBTQ+
  • Martindale Gold 2021
  • Martindale 2021
  • California Certified (CBLS)
  • Client Distinction - Thurman
  • Coachella Valley's Top lawyers
  • AAML
  • Super Lawyers - Michael
  • AV Preeminent - 2015
  • Avvo Rating - Superb Top Divorce Attorney
  • Super Lawyers - Thurman
  • Yelp

Contact Us

Call (760) 320-7915 or Fill Out This Form

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