Sarah J. Zimmerman
Though divorce can be one of life’s most distressing events, by building relationships, cultivating trust and creating solutions, Sarah Zimmerman helps clients achieve the best outcome possible while attempting to minimize the financial and emotional damage of divorce. Sarah excels in guiding clients through complex financial and custody issues, and serves a wide range of individuals including high-asset clients and working or stay-at-home spouses who are financially dependent.
Clients appreciate Sarah’s empathic, calming presence, which offers them much-needed support at one of the most difficult times in their lives. To that end, Sarah forms close working relationships with her clients and is committed to the hard work of problem-solving with both sides, believing that a cooperative approach typically brings her clients’ matters to a quicker and better resolution.
While Collaborative law, an out-of-court, lower-conflict alternative to the traditional combative divorce process, is Sarah’s passion and forte, if Collaborative Law or mediation are not suitable for a client, Sarah is tenacious in pursuing her client’s goals, including litigating when necessary. Regardless of the divorce process chosen, Sarah ensures that her client’s needs are addressed.
Sarah believes that a divorce settlement is very much a “package”. Utilizing her keen analytical skills, Sarah is adept at helping clients project their needs for the future and make decisions about which critical pieces they and their families will need for the long-term. Moreover, as the mother of three children herself, if a case involves children, Sarah understands the importance of ensuring that the children’s best interests are protected and minimizing conflict.
Sarah encourages her clients to ask “what if” questions during the process to help ensure that their settlement agreement (or court order) provides for important contingencies. Sarah strives to reach a fair and long-lasting outcome that will help her clients avoid conflicts in the future, and most importantly, move forward and begin new lives.
Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the "Top Domestic Relations Lawyers" in the area, and recognized by both Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, Sarah received her Juris Doctor with Honors in 1996 from the George Washington University, where she was Executive Notes Editor of the George Washington University Journal of International Law and Economics, a member of the Moot Court Board, a participant in the Domestic Violence Clinic and an intern in the Sex Offense Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Thereafter, Sarah clerked for the Honorable James P. Salmon in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Prior to joining Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP in 2002, Sarah practiced for five years in the fields of employment law and general litigation and was extensively involved in pro bono domestic violence and custody matters in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
- D.C. Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Member
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Member
- American Bar Association, Family Law and Litigation Sections, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Family Law and Litigation Sections, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Women's Bar Association, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Litigation Section, Member
- Montgomery County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
- Montgomery County Bar Association, Women's Bar Association, Member
- Maryland State Bar Association, Member
- District of Columbia Superior Court, Self-Help Clinic, Volunteer
- District of Columbia Superior Court, Attorney Negotiator Project, Volunteer
- Sarah J. Zimmerman, Tips for Putting Children First During Separation and Divorce, January 2013
- Compton v. Hutchins - Co-counsel with Jonathan Dana on precedent setting case clarifying the definition of joint custody in the District of Columbia.
- Ellis v. Bjorgung, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, 2010: Affirming default judgment by Montgomery County Circuit Court against Husband, including award of significant portion of World Bank Pension to Wife.
- Crowell & Moring LLP, Associate (1997 - 2002)
- Hon. James P. Salmon, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, Law Clerk (1996 - 1997)