Vicki Viramontes-LaFree, Partner

Vicki Viramontes-LaFree, Partner

Divorce and Family Law

Child Custody and Support

Separation and Divorce

Premarital Agreements

Collaborative Divorce and Mediation

vlafree@pasternakfidis.com

T 301.656.8850 Ext. 470

F 301.656.3053

7735 Old Georgetown Road
Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814-6130


Education

B.A., University of New Mexico (Phi Beta Kappa)

J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law

Bar Admissions

Maryland

District of Columbia

Virginia

New Mexico (inactive)

Vicki joined the firm in September 2001.  She was first admitted to practice law in New Mexico in 1995 and is admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Vicki focuses her practice exclusively in all aspects of divorce and family law. Her goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of her clients with a minimum of emotional stress.  She embraces a problem-solving approach and works alongside her clients to come up with the best possible outcome to help both the adults and their children move forward with their lives.

Vicki’s family law practice includes divorce, alimony, property disputes, division of retirement assets and preparation of orders, divorce tax issues, custody, child support, premarital and postmarital agreements and post-divorce matters.

Vicki is a hardworking advocate for her clients and prides herself in delivering a high level of service and attention to detail. She is experienced and skilled in all methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, collaborative law and litigation. Although a problem solver by nature, she will pursue litigation aggressively as circumstances warrant.

Vicki is trained in the Collaborative Law process – a client-centered approach that helps the divorcing couple reach a durable agreement that they can both live with and that meets the needs of their family. The collaborative process focuses on mutual problem solving and enables clients to make their own decisions together with their attorneys, a jointly hired financial expert and divorce coaches from the mental health field who help them constructively contain the emotional issues that are inherent in a divorce.

Vicki is a leader of the collaborative law movement in the D.C. metropolitan area. She is past president of the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, a collaborative law professional society based in Montgomery County, Maryland.  In May 2011 she was a guest on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show helping to educate the public on Collaborative Divorce.

Since 2010, the Best Lawyers in America has named Vicki to its list for her work in family law and mediation.  She was recognized in 2013 by Bethesda Magazine as one of the top divorce lawyers in Montgomery County, Maryland and “the one to call when pension issues are complicating a settlement.”  Vicki has taught legal education programs on division of retirement benefits, including federal government, military and international organization plans (like the World Bank and IMF).  She has provided advanced training on financial aspects of divorce, including, property transfers, divorce tax and allocation of retirement benefits for the mediators of the District of Columbia’s Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division.

Before moving with her family to Silver Spring, Maryland, Vicki was a sole practitioner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Vicki enjoys traveling, reading, drinking fine wine, going to the theatre and exercising at the gym most mornings at 5:00 a.m.

Activities and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Section of Family Law)
  • American Inns of Court, Montgomery County Inn of Court (2004-2005)
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County (Section of Family Law, Co-Chair 2007-2008)
  • District of Columbia Bar (Family Law Section)
  • Maryland State Bar Association (Family Law Section)
  • State Bar of New Mexico (inactive)
  • Virginia State Bar (Family Law Section)
  • International Association of Collaborative Law Professionals
  • Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Rockville, Maryland
  • D.C. Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Women’s Bar Association – State of Maryland, Judicial Selections Committee
  • Women’s Bar Association, Montgomery County Chapter
  • Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Presentations

  • “The Military Family Divorce: Hot Tips Every Attorney Should Know in Navigating Military Retirement and Family Law,” Frederick County Bar—Family Law Section
  • “Divorce, Equitable Distribution and Related Issues in the District of Columbia,” Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Divison (Mediator training)
  • “Retirement Benefits at Divorce,” Superior Court of the District of Columbia—Family Court Judges
  • “Overview of Collaborative Divorce,” Superior Court of the District of Columbia—Family Court Judges
  • “Navigating the Military Retirement System and Dividing Military Retired Pay at Divorce,” Montgomery County Bar Association, Section of Family Law
  • “Financial Aspects of Divorce: Retirement, Property Transfers and Taxes,” family mediator training for D.C. Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division
  • “Equitable Distribution of Federal Government Retirement Benefits: What You Need to Know About Military, CSRS, FERS, Foreign Service,” Legal Services of Northern Virginia
  • “Dividing Retirement Benefits of World Bank and IMF Employees at Divorce,” Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Recognition

  • Best Lawyers – Family Law (Maryland 2017)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law and Family Law & Mediation (Maryland 2015)
  • Bethesda Magazine – Top 25 Divorce Lawyers in Montgomery County (2015)
  • Awarded best Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County (2008)

Publications

  • “What Family Lawyers Need to Know About the ‘New’ Phased Retirement for Federal Government Employees,” Maryland Family Law Advocate, April 2015

Blog Posts

November 30, 2016

Privacy and the Courts

Most of us are concerned with protecting our personal information from getting into the wrong hands.  We take precautions to protect our privacy such as password protecting computers and mobile devices, using passwords for online services, limiting personal information on social media profiles, and carefully choosing when to give out social security numbers and birth dates.

Court files are public records. Most such files are available to be reviewed in person by any member of the public; eventually they may be accessible over the internet. If you are ever a party in a legal dispute you may be concerned about how to protect your personal information from becoming available in a public record.  In recent years, courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia… MORE >

February 12, 2016

Premarital Agreements, the Older Couple and Health-Care Expenses

Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 make up a large part of the aging population.  With longer life expectancies, many boomers are working well into their golden years with no plans to retire.  Some may be too optimistic about their future health and prefer not to think about retirement.  The cost of future health care may create a financial burden for many families, especially older couples whose income stream is reduced after retirement.  Many older couples contemplating marriage decide to enter into a premarital agreement.  A premarital agreement allows a couple to predetermine property and financial issues during marriage, upon the death of a spouse or in the event of divorce.  In negotiating the terms of a premarital agreement, couples should consider their potential… MORE >

April 6, 2015

Federal Civilian Employee Benefits and Divorce

There are complex federal laws and regulations that govern retirement benefits and health, life and long term care insurance benefits for federal civilian employees and annuitants. This article provides an overview of the benefits available to them and addresses what spouses contemplating divorce should know about these benefits. A unique aspect of the DC-MD-VA area is the substantial number of federal civilian employees—over 280,000 according to recent estimates. According to a January 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an estimated 59,000 employees each year between 2012 and 2017 will be eligible to retire. Retirement is complicated enough but adding divorce to the mix can make it especially challenging.

Federal Retirement Plans The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and the… MORE >