Child Custody and Support

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Attorneys

Anne W. Coventry

Nancy G. Fax

Marcia C. Fidis

Brooke I. Hettig

Morriah H. Horani

N. Alfred (Al) Pasternak

Stephanie T. Perry

Linda J. Ravdin

James D. Saintvil

Christina K. Scopin

Micah G. Snitzer

Alex S. Tanouye

Vicki Viramontes-LaFree

Anne (Jan) W. White

Probate Paralegals

Sharon L. Coop

Anbar A. Hassan

Ann M. Potts

Suzanne Reno

Karen L. Williams

Paralegals

Kadie M. Marks

Marla V. Wolff

Administrative Staff

Mary A. Nelson

Nicole M. Ricketts

Nicole A. Ryder

Michelle G. Singleton

We are prepared to go to court when our client’s situation requires it. We have considerable experience in resolving difficult child custody and high-end child support disputes. We work in all types of divorce situations – from the least contested and most straightforward to the most difficult and complicated. We are able to help our clients in the courtroom, in negotiations, or in alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration, mediation, or collaborative law.

Publications

Recognition

  • Super Lawyers – Top 100 Lawyers (Maryland, 2016-2017)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers; Family Law (Maryland, 2012-2017)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law (Maryland, 2017)
  • Washingtonian – Washington’s Top Divorce Lawyers (2016)
  • Super Lawyers – Rising Stars – Divorce & Family Law (Maryland, 2013-2016)
  • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year in Collaborative Law: Family Law (Washington, DC 2016)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (Maryland, 2016)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (Washington, DC, 2016)
  • Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Member of the Year, 2010
  • Awarded best Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County (2008)
  • Maryland Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Fellow)
  • Washingtonian – Best Lawyers for Divorce and Family Law
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (Washington, DC, 2017)
  • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year in Collaborative Law: Family Law (Washington, DC, 2016, 2018)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law (Maryland, 2010-2018)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law Mediation (Maryland, 2013-2018)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law Mediation (Maryland, 2016-2018)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law (Maryland, 2009-2018)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law (Maryland, 2006-2018)
  • Super Lawyers – Divorce & Family Law (Maryland, 2018)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers; Family Law (Maryland, 2015-2017)
  • Super Lawyers – Divorce & Family Law (Maryland, 2007-2018)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers; Family Law (Washington, DC, 2008-2012)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers; Family Law (Washington, DC, 2016-2017)
  • Super Lawyers – Divorce & Family Law (Maryland, 2008-2018)
  • Super Lawyers – Divorce & Family Law (Maryland, 2008-2017)

Blog Posts

October 18, 2017

Changes to Maryland Law Increase Ease, Efficiency, and Consistency in Family Law

The Maryland General Assembly recently took several actions impacting domestic relations that will increase ease, efficiency, and consistency for those navigating the family court system.

Domestic Violence Orders Admissible in Maryland Divorce Suits

Protective orders (a form of domestic violence order) are designed to end and prevent abuse between family or household members.  Current or former spouses, people who have lived together in an intimate relationship for at least 90 days during the past year, people who have been in a sexual relationship within the past year, people who share children together, people who are in a caretaker-vulnerable adult relationship, and family members can file for a protective order 24 hours a day in Maryland.  In a protective order, a judge can order the abuser… MORE >

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 >

November 28, 2016

Washington’s Top Divorce Lawyers–again!

Jan White and Linda Ravdin were named yet again on Washingtonian’s list of Washington’s Top Divorce Lawyers. Congratulations, Linda and Jan!

November 15, 2016

Update on Arbitration in Family Law Matters: the New Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act

In July 2016, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) adopted the Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act (UFLAA).  It can now be considered for enactment by state legislatures.  Ideally, it will be enacted by all states and the District of Columbia so that there will be a uniform approach to arbitration of family law disputes across the U.S.

These are the key provisions:

Scope.  Parties can agree to submit any existing or future family law dispute to binding arbitration, including division of property, a claim for spousal support, custody and child support, a claim of breach of a marital agreement or a dispute about how to implement the terms of such an agreement.  A party who entered into an agreement to resolve a future child-related dispute by… MORE >

May 25, 2016

Arbitration in Family Law Matters: Has Its Time Come?

Alternative dispute resolution embraces a variety of processes designed to resolve legal disputes outside of a formal court proceeding.  One such option is binding arbitration.  In binding arbitration a neutral decision-maker, who could be a retired judge or a lawyer with expertise in the subject matter of the dispute, is appointed make a decision to resolve a legal dispute.  Arbitration has been used for many years to resolve commercial, construction, labor, and many other types of legal disputes.  It is rare in the family law arena, but that could change.

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is currently working on a Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act (the UFLAA).  It will be presented to the Commission at its annual meeting in the summer of 2016.  If the… MORE >

September 10, 2015

Kids and Their Lawyers: Children’s Custody Attorneys in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

The old saying “out of the mouth of babes” neatly packages the concept that children can say perceptive and remarkably wise things, despite their youth. Although children may have much to offer in insight, they are usually indirect, unvoiced participants in custody cases. But children can have a direct voice and be represented by their own counsel. This article describes the types of child advocacy in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Maryland A Maryland judge may appoint counsel for a child who is the subject of a custody proceeding to serve any one of three different roles: 1) to decide whether to waive or assert a child’s legal privilege of nondisclosure (“child privilege attorney”); 2) to advocate for the child’s best interest (“best… MORE >

October 1, 2013

The Fate of Frozen Embryos When a Couple Divorces

John and Rita were married for five years when John was diagnosed with cancer. The couple then arranged to harvest and store embryos, using Rita’s eggs and John’s sperm, in case John’s cancer treatment rendered him sterile. The cancer treatment is successful, but John becomes sterile. The marriage then fails. John wants to keep the frozen embryos and have them implanted in a surrogate. He desperately wants a biological child and sees this as his only opportunity. Rita no longer wants to parent a child with John, and she does not want to have a biological child with whom she has no relationship.

Mike and Steve are married in a state where same-sex partners can legally marry. They plan to begin a family. Each donates his… MORE >

April 30, 2012

Adoption and Parentage in the District of Columbia—Closing a Loophole for Same-Sex Couples

A bill has been introduced in the District of Columbia City Council that would expand the authority of D.C. Superior Court to grant adoptions to same-sex couples. Under current law, a same-sex couple may adopt a child together if the petitioner lives in the District of Columbia or the child is in the legal care of the District of Columbia or a D.C. licensed adoption agency. A male couple who arrange for a private adoption of a child born in D.C. cannot adopt if they both live in Virginia because Virginia courts will not grant adoption to same-sex couples. The bill would allow this couple to adopt in D.C. Superior Court based on the child’s birth in D.C. The D.C. adoption decree will be entitled… MORE >