By Antonio Gutierrez | Photo by Melissa Raelynn
As the daughter of an Army defense intelligence officer and U.S. diplomat, attorney Cristina Tijerina Sepulveda is grateful to have lived abroad in Venezuela, Iraq, and Algeria during her formative adolescent and teen years.
That rich experience provided her with a global education that helped her to appreciate the world and the people around her.
“In every country we lived in, my parents made it clear to us that we were guests and that it was important to learn and appreciate their culture, language, food, and way of life,” Sepulveda said.
On the other hand, living in a foreign country, along with her observations about the stark realities of life, also influenced her decision to become an attorney.
“In all of the countries I grew up in, there was always political unrest,” she said. “I think that growing up in these countries and witnessing and experiencing political turmoil and, in many cases, persecution because of unstable governance instilled in me a desire to pursue a career in which I could have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.”
For the past 20 years, Sepulveda, who earned her law degree from St. Mary’s University, has been impacting the lives of her clients as owner of CTS Law Offices, where her firm offers a range of services, including family law and estate planning legal services. CTS Law knows that family law issues are sensitive and confidential, and staff is known for their compassion and care for their clients, who often are undergoing a difficult time in their lives.
Under the umbrella of family law and estate planning, Sepulveda provides asset protection related to divorce, including pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, as well as modifications of existing orders for children, adoptions, wills, child support enforcement, protective orders related to domestic violence and stalking, advance directives and medical powers of attorney.
As a female business owner and a single mom, Sepulveda understands the challenges that many women encounter in both their professional and personal lives. It’s her desire to lift them up whenever she can.
“I knew early on that I did not want to be subjected to inequality because I’m a woman but that I would choose a career in which I would have the opportunity to empower women,” she said. “So, no matter the age or demographic, each time I represent a woman, I do my best to empower them through the legal process so that when our attorney-client relationship ends, I know a stronger and more empowered woman is entering into a new phase of their lives.”
As a mother of three, Sepulveda is also deeply committed to protecting children who find themselves in need of a strong voice and advocate to represent them in court.
“I appreciate the role I have in the lives of my client’s kids or kids who I represent in various capacities,” she said. “I never take for granted that having a positive impact on the life of any child is a privilege not to be taken lightly. I choose to practice in a manner that puts children first. I advise and counsel parents to try to put the needs of their children first despite whatever legal issues the parents may be experiencing.”
Sepulveda said she is grateful for the support from other family lawyers and most judges. “We have a tight-knit legal community in San Antonio, and we support each other both inside and outside the courthouse,” she said. “I have known some of these women since attending Incarnate Word High School. Twenty years later, we still support each other. The women (and men) in our San Antonio Bar Association are amazing. Most of us truly care about each other, and that’s so important in an otherwise contentious area of practice.”
She also relies on her faith to navigate her through life, which was instilled in her as a child, and which has carried into adulthood. “Whatever country we were living in, my parents found a church for us to attend,” Sepulveda said, adding that she has been involved in ACTS retreat women’s groups and is a member of the Catholic Daughters at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Among her many achievements, which include completing two Chicago marathons, she is most proud of raising her children, Ruben, 21; Ysabella, 17; and John Luke, 7.
“My kids call me Mama2Strong because my heart stopped twice while having John Luke, but also because I’m fierce,” Sepulveda said. “I love that they know they have a strong mama, and being a good mom to them is my great accomplishment. And they knew when I was dying during childbirth that I fought so hard for them because I didn’t want them to grow up without a mother.”
Meanwhile, Sepulveda knows it wasn’t her time and that she still has work to do – for the sake of her children, the children she advocates for in court, and the clients who need her to guide and assist her with their legal needs.
For more information, visit ctslawoffices.com.