Divorce has a way of driving a wedge between families. It obviously signals the end of a marriage, assets have to be split, and then there is the whole issue of child custody.
San Diego divorce attorney Rosario Burgos Santoyo practices family law, however, because of the unique opportunity it gives her to bring people together.
“What I enjoy the most is when I’m able to reunite a parent with their child to reconnect,” Ms. Burgos Santoyo said. “Divorce is very divisive by nature, so it’s nice when I’m able to change the conversation from dividing assets to actually sharing a child and make everybody open to that.”
When you’re going through divorce, it can seem like the process is unending. To be certain, it is a major life event that will likely affect the rest of your life one way or another.
But Ms. Burgos Santoyo emphasizes the point to her clients that this is merely one chapter in their story, not the end.
“Even though divorce is what’s happening right now in your life, the process will eventually end and life will continue,” she said. “So it’s nice to help them come to the realization that life isn’t over.”
Ms. Burgos Santoyo is well aware of the challenges men and fathers face in the family court system. Although she says progress has been made, there still exists a stigma that dads are not as involved in the care and upbringing of children as mothers are.
“Even though we’ve been making strides in recent years, it’s still often that men feel they’re put in a position where they have to prove their involvement as a parent,” she said. “That’s the biggest challenge for men in particular.”
Ms. Burgos Santoyo has lived in San Diego since 1997 and has gotten a feel for the community’s easy-going nature. With the beautiful beaches and warm climate, she says it seems as if the majority of residents just want to enjoy their lives.
There is also a strong military presence in San Diego, which comes into play in many of the cases Ms. Burgos Santoyo works.
“That creates a different set of challenges that are specific to military,” she said. “I’ll encounter things like move-away orders, because often people are moved from place to place here and that’s specific to the family-court system here in San Diego.”
In her free time, Ms. Burgos enjoys exploring the city with her husband and four kids. They’re regulars at the San Diego Zoo and Fiesta Island, and love taking in all of the city’s gorgeous beaches.