After completing his undergraduate studies at UCLA, Benjamin enrolled at Southwestern Law School. He earned his juris doctorate degree in 2001 and was admitted to the practice of law in 2001. Benjamin became certified as a Family Law Specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California in 2016.
Benjamin is recognized by his peers for his outstanding work and commitment to honor the spirit of the legal profession. His knowledge of the law, professional work ethic, and advocacy on behalf of his clients, make Benjamin stand apart from other attorneys in the field.
Benjamin is part of a select group of family law attorneys with expertise in complex divorce matters who is also multi-lingual and sensitive to the cultural differences that are often key in cases involving both international and immigrant clients and/or their spouses.
While Benjamin's reputation as a successful litigator may be foremost in his clients’ minds at the outset, his fluency in their native language(s) ultimately becomes a valued and powerful asset as cases progress.
After working for 17 years in a large law firm setting (10 years as a partner at the same firm), Benjamin decided to segregate his practice and partner with longtime friend and colleague, Roxana Taghavi (also a Certified Family Law Specialist), forming Valencia-Taghavi LLP, utilizing a big firm approach and strategies with boutique firm client service.
Benjamin represents all types of clients with Family Law issues: celebrities, artists, professionals, and single moms and dads from all walks of life. No matter is too simple or complex for Benjamin and the Valencia-Taghavi team to handle.
Benjamin is married with two young children. He enjoys down time in the desert with his family and keeping saltwater fish. His collection of shoes, ties, and cuff links is show-stopping, speaking to the pride in presentation that drives Benjamin's advocacy.
Benjamin Valencia II, founding partner of Valencia-Taghavi LLP and Certified Family Law Specialist, discusses the issues that can build up over time and culminate in a “last straw” situation that puts a marriage at risk.
Benjamin Valencia II, founding partner of Valencia-Taghavi LLP and Certified Family Law Specialist, explains one of the major divorce surprises people don’t anticipate.
Benjamin Valencia II, founding partner of Valencia-Taghavi LLP and Certified Family Law Specialist, explains, the value of Prenuptial Agreements in second marriages.
Benjamin Valencia II, founding partner of Valencia-Taghavi LLP and Certified Family Law Specialist, contributes tips on selecting the right family law attorney. Throughout a divorce, your attorney will be your advisor, spokesperson, negotiator, and trusted confidant. Finding the right one for you is essential.
Benjamin Valencia II, founding partner of Valencia-Taghavi LLP and Certified Family Law Specialist, explains why it’s always a bad idea to hide money or assets when going through a divorce. Hiding funds during a divorce is a morally objectionable and highly illegal practice. That doesn’t mean people don’t try.
Roxana is recognized by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), a certification earned by only approximately 1% of family law attorneys in the State of California. She graduated cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles with degrees in English and Philosophy. She earned a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and is licensed by the California State Bar and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Roxana has dedicated over 15 years of practice exclusively to the field of family law, including nearly 10 years as an associate at the largest family law firm in the nation. In January 2020, Roxana began a solo practice, which, although rewarding, lacked the camaraderie and community that Roxana believes enhance the experience of practicing law. She was eager to partner with Benjamin, immediately upon being presented with the opportunity.
Roxana has extensive experience in the settlement and litigation of high-asset cases, high-conflict custody matters, interstate and international jurisdiction and relocation cases, restrictive gatekeeping, alienation and estrangement cases, domestic violence, and custody disputes involving extremely young and special needs children. Roxana was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2017 and 2019 and as a Super Lawyer since 2019.
Roxana is married and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young children. Her law practice has been enhanced by the experience of parenthood. She negotiates child-centered custody agreements and obtains Orders that include the details necessary to avoid or reduce future conflicts.
Sole legal and primary physical custody to father in a case where mother had historically been the children’s primary caretaker, based on proof that mother was actively estranging the children against their father and violating Court Orders.
"Even though the California Family Code prohibits the Court from giving preference to a mother over a father when granting custody, many fathers continue to feel disadvantaged, if not based solely on sex or judicial bias then by favor given to maintain the status quo. The Court is required in all cases to grant custody based on determination of a child’s best interest, which sometimes requires departing from the status quo."
Settlement of a marital estate valued at over $20 Million where wife contended assets acquired during marriage were presumptively community property and husband argued the assets maintained the same separate property character as his premarital LLC, regardless of when they were acquired.
"The issue was whether various apartment buildings acquired during the parties’ marriage were properly characterized as community property. I represented husband in that case. He was in the business of purchasing and “flipping” apartment buildings and had formed an LLC prior to marriage that owned the properties. In California, property and assets acquired during marriage are presumptively community property, subject to equal division upon divorce. However, the California Corporations Code provides that an LLC member only owns an interest in the LLC and has no direct ownership interest in the company’s underlying assets. The outcome if this issue had proceeded to trial was impossible to predict. With several million dollars at stake for each party, achieving a settlement was not easy, but we did it."
Restoration of custody to a near equal custodial timeshare where father’s custody had been suspended for nearly a year during the term of his imprisonment.
"Substance abuse, domestic violence restraining orders, convictions and mental illness can certainly impact custody, but do not automatically terminate parental or custodial rights. It is the public policy of the state to ensure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after separation and divorce. The change in this case did not occur ‘overnight’ but evolved incrementally by way of a reasonable step-up plan. Parents who make big mistakes can still be good parents."
Heather understands that her clients are going through a difficult time, and she strives to treat her clients as she would want to be treated if she were in the same position, with compassion, guidance, and focused direction. Heather’s professional and practical experience, along with her genuine desire to bring relief to the lives of others, sets her apart from many other attorneys. Heather has an innate ability to talk to anyone and make them feel at ease.
Heather earned her B.S. in Writing for Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse, New York, and worked in the entertainment industry for several years before obtaining her law degree from Loyola Law School.
Prior to concentrating on family law litigation, Heather practiced in the areas of elder law and estate planning. Throughout her career, Heather has worked on a diverse spectrum of divorce and family matters, usually involving high-stakes property litigation, high-conflict custody disputes, and complicated financial issues.
During her downtime, Heather enjoys traveling, playing poker, watching television and movies, and spending time with her husband and their fur baby, Sticks.