Demetria Graves has helped countless folks resolve legal issues
By Kamala Kirk
Demetria Graves handles cases that focus on all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody and support, visitation rights, and other related legal matters. Born and raised in Pasadena, she is an alumna of Loyola Law School and has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Women in Business Award and Attorney of the Year. Since starting The Graves Law Firm 15 years ago, the certified family law specialist has helped countless families resolve legal issues so that they can start the next chapter of their lives.
“The main area that we are currently helping people in is divorce,” she says.
“Especially now with people being quarantined with their spouses, we’ve received a lot of calls about our services. Before starting the process, I always encourage people to talk to a therapist with their partner to make sure that divorce is the right decision for them. In some instances, I’m hesitant to go forward because it may be related to stress caused by COVID-19. My goal is to ensure that my clients make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”
Custody and visitation are the second most common issues that Graves helps her clients with, and as a result of COVID-19, these cases have become even more complex. Graves is committed to working closely with her clients, always paying close attention to their needs.
“Some of the current issues we’re dealing with include families being impact by reduced income, which affects their ability to afford child support,” she shares.
“There are also concerns about custody and visitation when one parent lives out of state and there is hesitation about letting children travel, or a parent is concerned about the other not practicing social distancing. I translate for clients what the court process looks like, what the judges want to see, put together their case strategy, and am their helper during that time. I know a lot of attorneys don’t enjoy family law, but I enjoy what I do and want to help as many people as I possibly can. I love being able to provide support to someone through what may be one of the hardest journeys of their life so they can have a new beginning.”
Passionate about helping others in and out of the courtroom, Graves is involved in various organizations such as the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Bar Association and Black Women’s Lawyers Los Angeles. She is working on creating a resource for women who want to open law practices.
“I was really young when I opened my practice, and I wasn’t aware of all the challenges that I would face,” Graves says. “On top of owning a business, you’re running a law practice and managing employees, in addition to caring for your own family. Only 5% of lawyers in California are African American, and an even smaller number of those people are women. There aren’t a lot of female and minority attorneys out there that have their own practices. Back when I started, I had nothing, and over the years I’ve done a lot of on-the-job training, so I’m going to package all of that and provide a resource for women that want to take this journey and be successful.”