With twenty years of experience as a California family law attorney, Ms. Keenan-Rivero possesses the experience and knowledge to handle any kind of family law case, whether the case involves complex property, support and/or child custody issues.
Areas of Practice
The California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has certified Ms. Marla Keenan-Rivero as a Specialist in Family Law. The matters she has handled have included issues of complex property division, reimbursement claims, support, breach of fiduciary duties, child custody and visitation, family law jurisdictional issues, retirement and pension rights/division, nullity of marriage/putative spouse cases, and other aspects of family law, such as paternity, dissolution of marriage, guardianship, step-parent adoption, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and domestic violence cases. Armed with detailed knowledge of financial and emotional repercussions of legal actions and custody issues, Ms. Keenan-Rivero is a staunch advocate and mediator for a diverse range of clients and litigants. She is aware that each of her clients may have different needs and desire different outcomes, but each case is of equal importance. Ms. Keenan-Rivero aims to help her clients’ determine the best possible outcome of his or her case, strongly advocating for the desired outcome, bringing to bear all her knowledge and experience, while minimizing her client’s psychological discomfort during these difficult and stressful times.
Ms. Keenan-Rivero’s strong negotiating skills are of particular importance when dealing with challenging issues during marital dissolution, custody, property, guardianship, paternity or support proceedings. She believes in advocating for her clients in a stern but compassionate manner. She understands the importance of being an excellent listener and giving clients the undivided patience and support they need during an extremely challenging time in their lives. Martindale Hubbell has selected Ms. Keenan-Rivero with the Client Distinction Award. This prestigious award is based on the quality of client reviews and is only given to attorneys who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to delivering excellent client service.
Family Law Mediation
Clients experiencing a dissolution of marriage, custody or support litigation and deciding what steps to take during this process are often the most stressful and emotional events and decisions of one’s life. The cost of going to court and pursuing an adversarial path is often extremely expensive and emotionally taxing on parties. Often parties have very little control over their own lives when their case is decided in a courtroom. Understanding this adversarial process, Ms. Keenan-Rivero not only offers individual representation for family law litigants but also offers comprehensive mediation services by acting as a neutral third-party mediator. When dealing with family law issues, mediation often benefits couples by offering a resolution alternative that is often less costly and faster than litigation. It also frequently leaves couples with a better understanding of the complexity of their dissolution, parentage, support, and/or custody matters, and often results in a more favorable outcome for everyone concerned. Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties work together individually or with their own individual attorney with Ms. Keenan-Rivero a neutral third party. Ms. Keenan-Rivero brings her twenty years of family law experience to assist parties as a mediator in devising a settlement that is mutually acceptable to both parties. The mediation process often gives the parties the freedom and opportunity to formulate more creative solutions to complex issues, is less stressful and a process where parties are able to focus more effectively on their children’s and individual needs.
Lawyers as mediators are knowledgeable with the legal boundaries, what the courts commonly find acceptable, and are familiar with court procedure and settlements. If a legal issue needs to be addressed in mediation, a family law attorney or mediator with a legal background like Ms. Keenan-Rivero is most suited for the task. Divorce and custody litigation carries an old stigma of two people battling it out in the courthouse. Not all cases take this course. In fact, many family law cases avoid the courtroom by reaching settlements through the mediation process.
Ms. Keenan-Rivero advocates for rational and pragmatic solutions to family law issues and helps clients pursue the appropriate legal method to obtain an amiable resolution or favorable outcome whether she is the attorney of record going to court, the attorney handling and attending mediation with her clients, or acting as the neutral third party mediator assisting parties in reaching settlement agreements.
Experience and Community Involvement
Ms. Keenan-Rivero was raised in Sonoma County. Since Ms. Keenan-Rivero was admitted to the California State Bar in 1999, her legal career has been focused entirely on family law in the area where she was raised and knows. Ms. Keenan-Rivero has practiced with Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP since 2002. She became the firm’s first female partner in November 2012.
Ms. Keenan-Rivero attended the University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in 1994. She subsequently attended Empire Law School and received her Juris Doctorate in 1999, graduating cum laude. During her time at Empire Law School she worked as a certified law clerk from 1996 to 1999 for the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, Family Support Division (now known as the Department of Child Support Services). Ms. Keenan-Rivero is admitted to practice law in California. Ms. Keenan-Rivero received a Certificate of Appreciation from the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization for serving as a commissioner for the State of California Family Law Advisory Commission from 2015-2019. Ms. Keenan-Rivero also received a Certificate of Appreciation for her service on the board of the Sonoma County Bar Association from 2015-2018.
Ms. Keenan-Rivero is a member of the California State Bar (1999-present), Family Law Section; State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law (2012-present); Sonoma County Bar Association (1999-present); and served as the Secretary for Sonoma County Women in Law (2001, 2002, 2014 and 2015). Ms. Keenan-Rivero is a former member of Inns of Court (2002 to 2003). In addition, Ms. Keenan-Rivero is a part of the Family Law attorney volunteer program, and volunteers as a settlement conference panelist for the Sonoma County Family Law Court.