The best way to reduce the cost of a divorce is to know your strategy before filing with the court.”

Kristen A. Holstrom, CFLS

About Custody Queens

Kristen and Sam envisioned a team that offers sophisticated legal analysis, combined with a unique, individual and personal approach based on the belief that everyone involved in a divorce or custody case should be treated with respect and compassion.

Each case, each party, each child, and each opposing party is unique and requires its own individual approach, strategy and action plan. Attorneys, nor cases, are “one size fits all”, and that is important to remember when making decisions that affect your future, your children, and your livelihood. Additionally, an attorney should always tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. That is what separates the Custody Queens from other attorneys.

At the end of the day, this is your case and your life. The attorney you choose should provide you with the tools, education, and representation necessary to achieve your goals. Our clients learn how to achieve the most beneficial outcomes for their children, and set themselves up for success as parents for years to come.

Meet Our Team of Attorneys

Custody Queens are a team of California family law attorneys who specialize in cases involving children. Our style blends compassionate representation with aggressive legal advocacy.

Kristen A. Holstrom, CFLS

Kristen A. Holstrom, CFLS

Founding & Managing Partner, Certified Family Law Specialist

Kristen is the Managing Attorney of Custody Queens. She is sharp, dynamic, and compassionate and is deeply valued by her clients for her creative legal strategies. As a mother herself, Kristen truly understands the intricacies and challenges of family law issues and helps navigate her clients to get the best results for each client and each case.

She is well respected within the legal community and the recipient of many acknowledgments and awards. She has consecutively been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star. Most recently she was selected with the Top 50 Women Rising Star award, and the Top 100 Up-and-Coming Southern California Rising Star list, which is reserved for the top 1% of attorneys practicing under ten years.

She is co-chair of the Family Law section of the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA), on the board of directors of the Orange County Board of Directors Family Law Section, and the board of governors for Corona Regional Medial Center (CRMC). Her specialties include divorce, child custody, spousal support, child support, domestic violence restraining orders and related family law issues.

Samantha K. McBride

Samantha K. McBride

Assistant Managing Partner, Family Law Attorney

Sam is a resourceful, detailed-oriented, and tenacious family law attorney who is highly regarded by her clients for her skillful writing, responsiveness, and energetic representation.

She has an exceptional understanding of the intricacies of the law and legal procedure. Sam practices in child custody, domestic violence restraining orders, divorce, and related family law matters and her clients rely on her to provide sound legal advice based on their unique circumstances.

Sam likes to be heavily involved in the communities she represents. She works with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Inland Empire and volunteers her time each year with Orangewood Children’s Foundation to help at-risk teens. She is a member of the Barristers Club of Riverside, the Riverside County Bar Association, and the Orange County Bar Association.

Sam’s focus has always been with helping people through difficult times. Her clients have been extremely appreciative of her efforts and she holds a superb rating with Avvo.com.

NaKesha Ruegg

NaKesha Ruegg

Associate Family Law Attorney

NaKesha brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only from her 10 years of practice in family law, but also her extensive involvement with the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA).

She is co-chair at the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA) family law section, and a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Her approach is to make the process as easy and painless as possible for clients and their children.

NaKesha has been trained as a minor’s counsel, allowing her to advocate for children in the most contentious of cases, as well as a Judge Pro Tem.

Emiliza San Diego

Emiliza San Diego

Associate Family Law Attorney

Emiliza chose a career in family law to guide people through difficult times in their lives. She takes pride in explaining complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner and providing clients with comprehensive explanations and advice, to ensure they understand their rights and all of the options available to them. Clients enjoy working with Emiliza; she has a knack for building rapport and putting people at ease, due to her genuine desire to help take the stress out of an often-challenging process. She takes a proactive approach to representation and maintains constant contact with her clients through every step of their case. 

Emiliza’s approach ensures that clients are able to identify their goals and understand how the law applies to their individual situation. She operates with the benefit of a collaborative approach in mind but comes fully prepared to litigate the issues in court, in order to achieve the best results for her clients.

Melannie Suba

Melannie Suba

Associate Family Law Attorney

Melannie entered the legal profession to help families persevere through difficult and complicated life challenges. She takes pride in delivering accessible legal services to clients, and has experience working on cases involving child custody, divorce, and domestic violence restraining orders.

An active listener, Melannie has a keen ability to balance empathy and legal analysis so that clients know what to expect as they move through their legal matter. Together with attorneys, she applies effective communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills in working toward our clients’ best interests.

Melannie received a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego, and passed the California Bar Exam in February 2019. She has completed Dispute Resolution Mediation Training with Orange County Human Relations, and has received numerous awards and certifications for pro bono and volunteer work that benefits underserved communities in San Diego and Orange County.

Sierra Denny

Sierra Denny

Associate Family Law Attorney

Abraham Lincoln once said “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.” If anyone appreciates and subscribes to the thought that preparation precludes vitality and an optimal outcome, it is Sierra Denny. Once she identified a passion in seeking justice for the most vulnerable of society, her purpose and ultimate plan became crystal clear.

It didn’t take long for Sierra to obtain two bachelor degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies from California State University San Marcos. After completing law school at California Western School of Law in two and a half years, she quickly went on to pass the California Bar Exam on her first attempt. Sierra’s hunger to bring well laid plans to fruition are only paralleled by her passion to make a positive impact on this world.

Coming from a family who has experienced the complexities and need for advocacy that naturally occur in many modern family dynamics, Sierra has taken an interest in understanding the nuances that come with representing families who have complexities when going through divorce. Her hope, aside from improving on her softball skills on her days off and doing even more to support the LGBTQ community, is to be the voice for and offer legal guidance to these families.

Sierra looks forward to learning from the Custody Queens and aiding them in providing superior service to families who are in need of compassionate and strategically minded attorneys when facing a marital dissolution and custody case.

Christine Haroun

Christine Haroun

Associate Family Law Attorney

Christine Haroun is living proof that life experience can lend itself to the carving out of our path with regard to our calling and profession. A child of divorced parents, Christine suffered the detrimental effects of a tumultuous marital dissolution at the early age of five. This experience would later become instrumental in her decision to study and obtain an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and eventually, become a Family Law Attorney.

A peacemaker at heart, she strives to help parents calm the oftentimes troubled waters of marital dissolution and custody, using her background in Psychology and life experience to help parents understand the importance of putting the best interest of the children first. She is adept at using active listening and various other strategies to de-escalate conflict.

Christine enjoys traveling, reading in her free time, and is passionate about civil rights, the environment, human rights and intersectional feminism. Eventually, she would love to be able to do appellate work in the future and have a direct impact on the law. She is excited to be part of the Custody Queens team and is looking forward to working as an attorney to make a difference in the lives of families who are going through what is probably the most difficult time in their lives. Her journey has resulted in empathy for families, a robust knowledge of family law and a desire to use that knowledge in order to help parents put the well-being of children first during the divorce process.

Margo Emil

Margo Emil

Paralegal

Margo is an incredibly valuable resource to Custody Queens attorneys and clients alike. She provides top-notch administrative support to attorneys and keeps clients in close contact regarding their legal matters. Margo is readily accessible for questions clients have about court processes and filings from start to finish.

As senior paralegal, Margo is involved in nearly every case handled by Custody Queens. She has a keen eye for detail, has a knack for multitasking, and blends sharp analytical thinking with a sense of empathy. Those qualities combined with her eight years of experience in the legal field equate to unmatched customer service for clients of the firm.

Margo graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a BA in Psychology. Outside the office, she does volunteer work with Olive Crest, is a youth mentor, and an accomplished event planner.

The Custody Queens Approach

This is about real people helping real people. We understand that navigating a divorce with children is emotional and taxing on your well-being. As family law attorneys, we help you establish realistic goals based on the unique details of your situation, and in line with California law. By understanding who you are as a person, we help you face the unknown and address the challenges you’re facing in the most efficient way possible—not just with your custody case, but in all aspects of life.

Telephonic Case Assessment

Call: (833) 622-0001

Do not face your legal matters alone. Let’s talk about how we can help you start on the next chapter of your life.

Council of Parent Attorney and Advocates
Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
Super Lawyers
Best Lawyers
Certified Board of Legal Specialization
California Lawyers