Collaborative Divorce and Mediation

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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

Collaborative law is an innovative approach to divorce that focuses on protecting the children and the family. In collaborative law, the client and lawyer work together with the other party and his or her lawyer without court intervention to share information, identify the problems to be resolved, and brainstorm solutions. Collaborative lawyers work closely with financial and mental health professionals to bring about an enduring and respectful resolution that preserves family assets and relationships. Many people who have been through this process say it helps them attain their goals without the bitterness that often accompanies divorce litigation.

Our experienced family law attorney mediators work with parties to resolve their disputes according to the parties’ own choices, without court intervention.  Our mediators facilitate discussion among parties to express their views and hear the views of the other in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.  Attorneys throughout the area seek out the services of our mediators to help resolve particularly complex or difficult disputes for their clients.

Publications

  • “The Collaborative Divorce Option in a Nutshell,” The Maryland Bar Bulletin, November 1, 2010

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)
  • Best Lawyers – Collaborative Law: Family Law (Maryland, 2012-2018)
  • Washingtonian – Washington’s Top Divorce Lawyers (2016)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (Maryland, 2016)
  • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year in Collaborative Law: Family Law (Washington, DC 2016)
  • Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (Washington, DC, 2016)
  • Best Lawyers – Family Law and Family Law & Mediation (Maryland 2015)
  • Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Member of the Year, 2010
  • 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

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 >

October 14, 2016

Nancy Fax named Lawyer of the Year in Trusts & Estates for DC Area for 2017

Best Lawyers named partner Nancy Fax the Trust and Estates Lawyer of the Year in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Because the publication uses peer nominations to develop its selective list, we are especially proud of this recognition. Congratulations, Nancy!

Additional Pasternak & Fidis attorneys were recognized as best lawyers in Maryland in their respective fields:

  • Jan White in Collaborative Law: Family Law
  • Jan, Vicki Viramontes-LaFree and Linda Ravdin in Family Law
  • Nancy, Al Pasternak and Marcia Fidis in Trusts and Estates
May 26, 2016

Getting Off to the Right Start: A Collaborative Premarital Agreement

Premarital agreements get a bad rap for being anti-romantic, anti-relationship and getting a marriage off to a bad start.  If they are done right, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Collaborative Process has gained traction in the last decade as a respectful way for couples to settle their divorce issues outside of court.  Less attention has been given to how couples about to embark on marriage can use the Collaborative Process to develop a premarital agreement.  Clients can benefit greatly if attorneys take note of how well the Collaborative Process fits this situation.  In the Collaborative Process, the couple make their own decisions, staying together in the same room to discuss options to resolve their issues.  They are guided in their discussions by… MORE >

October 1, 2014

Passage of Maryland Collaborative Law Act Offers Privacy Protections to Divorcing Couples

In May Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which passed both houses of the Maryland Legislature without objection. Effective October 1, 2014, this law allows divorcing couples to craft their own agreement to protect their confidential information during the Collaborative Process. In contrast, if the parties seek a court resolution, it can be an uphill battle to protect financial information from public access.

The Collaborative Process is a voluntary process that bypasses the court system to reach dispute resolution. The parties commit to working for settlement only, without threatening court action. A collaboratively trained attorney assists each party throughout the process. In contrast to the court system, the parties and attorneys meet together to find solutions that work for both parties… MORE >