Picture of Sarah Diafi

Sarah Diafi

DiafiLaw is a full service family law office owned and operated by attorney Sarah Diafi. Sarah has committed nearly three decades of her career to the practice of family law in Austin. Sarah Diafi is a fully licensed attorney in the State of Texas, and has practiced law in Texas since 1989. Sarah has lived in Austin since 1976. Sarah graduated from the University of Texas in 1985 with a bachelor of arts in English Literature. She then attended St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, receiving her law degree in 1988. She lives in Austin with her husband of 21 years.

Sarah worked as a law clerk with the State Bar of Texas Grievance committee in San Antonio reviewing complaints about attorneys. Once she was licensed in 1989, Sarah was appointed as an assistant attorney general in child support enforcement, in Laredo, Texas. Sarah was then appointed as an assistant district attorney in Laredo, where she prosecuted criminal cases and eventually become the appellate chief. In 1992, Sarah returned to Austin, and worked again as an assistant attorney general in child support enforcement for the State of Texas. From 1994 until 2007, Sarah worked exclusively in the private sector, handling private family law matters. In 2008, Sarah devoted her practice to cases involving child protective services, representing children and parents involved in cases of child abuse and neglect brought by the State. In 2017, Sarah returned to private practice, handling all matters contained in family law.

Sarah has tried hundreds of bench and jury trials in her 29 year career. She has settled hundreds more.

My Commitment

I was raised in a very loving home, and always counted family as my greatest treasure. When I began practicing law, I was thrust into family law as a child support prosecutor. The State of Texas provided extensive training in the family law area, and by the time I entered private practice, the practice of family law had become almost intuitive. I enjoyed working with families on behalf of the State, and deciding to enter into the full time private practice of family law was a natural fit. I was also exposed to the darker aspects of family relationships during my time as an assistant district attorney in Laredo, where my duties included assisting victims of abuse and prosecuting the perpetrators. My experiences taught me how much impact these cases have on the lives of ordinary people. The orders in family law cases are often long lasting and affect the lives of the parties and the children for years to come. Even in the best of circumstances, there is often some degree of emotional trauma associated with family law matters. Because I so highly value the family relationship, I have always felt that part of my job is to preserve what good parts can be preserved in any family relationship. A family law case badly handled can cause an enormous amount of emotional and financial damage. Some families never recover. I believe it is possible to take apart a relationship, and keep each piece whole, undamaged, and able to recover. I believe that children have a right to be loved by each parent, and proper handling of a family law case can protect all of these interests for years to come. My goal is to help people get on with their lives, with a full heart, and live in peace. However, in some circumstances court intervention is required. My experience has honed my negotiation skills and has also enabled me to determine when negotiation is not appropriate, or is going nowhere. At these times, court intervention may become necessary. After nearly three decades, I am highly capable and ready to take any matter to court for a judicial determination. I find that knowing when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em, will save my client money and emotional trauma in the end.

My Experience

I have always practiced family law. I cut my teeth in child support court, working for the Texas Attorney General, in Austin and Laredo, where I obtained orders establishing the paternity of children, child support orders, I worked with parents to find solutions to child support problems, I negotiated with parents to modify child support, pay for medical needs, and obtain help from State agencies. As a prosecutor, I also conducted hearings before the court. My experience included working with people of scarce financial resources, some of them in desperate straits. By getting these families help with the most basic of needs I hope that I was able to make a real impact on the lives of these ordinary people. I found I had a natural desire to help the most vulnerable members of our society, and that made by work very fulfilling. I hope that in some small way, I made a difference in the lives of those families.

In about 1994, I opened a small private family law practice in Austin. I handled every kind of family law case, contested and agreed divorces, establishment of paternity, modification of existing orders, enforcement of orders, parental kidnapping cases, child abuse cases, mediation of all cases, conducting trials in temporary orders hearings as well as final orders hearings, and conducted many jury trials in custody matters. I have been blessed with some small success. What has always remained a constant is the never-ending variety of situations to be encountered in the private practice of family law. In private practice, my client base changed, and I became quite experienced in all aspects of family law, in addition to my knowledge of the child support laws. But although my expertise widened, I never lost that desire to help families, to preserve the family relationship, which I regard as part of the foundation of our society.

Because of my continuing desire to make a difference, in about 2007, I began to practice in child abuse court exclusively, as attorney for parents and children caught in the CPS system. I completed 40 hours of rigorous training in order to be appointed to the list of attorneys who serve on CPS court. I handled very long and involved cases that usually lasted almost two years. In addition to working with children and families, I worked with the State agencies involved in these types of cases. I handled cases involving physical child abuse, child sexual abuse, child neglect and abandonment. Many of these cases eventually were tried to a jury, in long, sometimes two-week trials. In my role as attorney for the child, or attorney ad litem as it is called, I visited children all over the State, I made home visits to parents, I conferred with the caseworkers, guardians, foster parents and prosecutors and attended court on behalf of my clients. When I represented parents, I would visit them at their homes, assist them in obtaining financial aid, counsel them through what is a very difficult experience, and stand with them in court. I was again struck by what an incredible impact these cases have on families, and how long lasting the effects of a final order are. I further developed my practice of becoming deeply involved with the details of each case and listening to everything my clients had to say. Child Protective cases are governed by a special section of the Texas Family Code, and the Court also has rules of evidence and procedure particular to CPS court. Even though I had already been practicing for twenty years, I was able to learn an entire new area of the law. My CPS practice was vigorous and required constant research and study to use in practice and in court. After ten years of helping families in the CPS system, I have returned to private practice, where I use my experiences from over the years to continue helping families solve problems.

Education

St. Mary’s University School of Law

B.A., University of Texas

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Texas State Bar