“When I think back on my divorce case, my over-arching perception is that Marina Barannik kept me focused on my goal – to reach a negotiated settlement that protected our two daughters’ interests and kept my husband and me out of the emotional quagmire that so many divorcing couples drown in. There was much in our situation to be diverted by – infidelity and mental health issues to name a couple. But Marina was always there to save me from myself, steering me away from ugly quagmires that were divisive and that would have been both emotionally and financially costly to pursue.
Marina was able to develop a strong working relationship with opposing counsel that helped minimize the adversarial aspects of the negotiations. And her keen strategic sense was effective in positioning our case to achieve my goals. Contrary to the common perception of attorneys running up big fees, Marina was always looking for ways to keep my legal bills down and she was incredibly efficient. Even though her firm is one of the biggest in DC with many much wealthier clients, I’m sure, Marina’s responsiveness and concern always made me feel that I was her only priority.”
“Because I have a very intense work schedule and my privacy is very important to me, both professionally and personally, I needed an attorney who could settle my very difficult domestic matter out of court, and who would be flexible in working around the demands of my career.
Katie O’Rourke met both of these needs and then some. She brought clear, concise and analytically-rigorous legal advice to our consultations, providing me with a foundation that helped me make the key decisions needed to move matters toward a satisfactory conclusion. She reached out to the other attorney and engaged him in a constructive dialogue that resulted in mutually-agreed terms. And she was able to connect with me on a very human level, reassuring me when reassurance was appropriate but questioning and pushing me when necessary. At all times, I felt she was putting my welfare first and foremost.
I hope I will not need a family law attorney again, but if I do, I will not hesitate to call Katie.”
“When I met with Jonathan Dana almost immediately upon realizing that my marriage was ending, I was very raw with emotion, confused, and nervous about my future. And most of all, I was afraid that the very contentious beginning of our divorce would mean that we would end up resolving our issues in court.
Jon initially related to me as a person not as a client – helping me to put things in perspective and reminding me that one day I would be just fine. Then he took care of me as the client – explaining how the law applied to my particular situation, answering my many questions, and outlining possible courses of action for me to choose among. As we made those choices together, he immediately put into action the steps necessary to effectuate those choices.
I particularly admired how he advocated for me when dealing with my ex-husband and his lawyer, being professional and polite, yet firm. I think the combination of his confidence based on many years of experience and his professional style helped to change what was initially a very contentious situation that could have easily ended up in court into a straightforward yet fair settlement process.
And he has proven to be right – I am doing just fine.”
“I would use three words to describe Jennifer Davison’s representation in my case: competent, ethical and responsive.
When I first sought representation, the situation with my ex had become contentious and I felt overwhelmed. It seemed impossible to focus on long-term goals when there were new fires to put out on a daily basis. Jennifer sifted through the chaos and identified the core issues of my case, and then helped me make choices and develop a plan of action. We worked hard to reach a settlement on the custody issues, knowing that this was in my son’s best interests. But when my ex took a hard-line position on child support, Jennifer prepared to make the case to a judge that my ex’s opulent standard of living for himself was not consistent with him paying minimal child support for our son. We achieved an extraordinary result in court, including an award of attorney’s fees.
Jennifer’s commitment to helping me achieve my overall objectives was unwaivering, and her compassion showed through all during this ordeal. I truly believe she went above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome for me and my son.”
“Mine was a long-term marriage, in which I had made significant sacrifices in terms of my own career possibilities in order to be a full-time wife and mother. When my marriage failed, I had no reliable source of income and no retirement assets in my own name. Mary Pence, with her expertise, knowledge and compassion, put me back in charge of my life, helping me negotiate an agreement which gave me long-term security and new options. Mary always kept me informed about the status of my case, answered all of my questions, and helped me make sound decisions.
Then, many years later, I again needed legal assistance in enforcing the terms of my agreement when my ex-husband stopped making his alimony payments. Jonathan Dana and Molly Saxon were in touch with me immediately, and, over the next six months, did an outstanding job of achieving compliance with the provisions of my hard-won agreement, and also secured a significant award of attorneys’ fees. Phone calls and e-mails were responded to within twenty four hours and I was kept fully informed of the progress of my case. I have felt fortunate to have been in the capable hands of Feldesman Tuckers’ attorneys whenever I needed them.”
“I remember the palpable sense of helplessness and fear when I realized that I was heading down the road to divorce. Confused, bitter and full of questions and with few answers, I knew very little about what to expect in the months to come. Then I was referred to Mary Pence, who educated me about my process choices, one of which was Collaborative divorce. “Collaborative divorce… a contradiction in terms” I thought. Now, looking back, I realize how little I really understood, and how fortunate I was to have been referred to the process and to Mary.
While every divorcing couple’s situation is different, I firmly believe that partnering in the Collaborative divorce process was one of the best decisions my wife and I could have made. At a time when I needed direction, understanding and support –as both a parent and a divorcing husband — that’s exactly what I got from Mary and my team.
Sure, there’s no question that there were extreme challenges along the way – and even a step backwards a time or two. But the process and the people we partnered with helped us keep what was most important at the forefront of our efforts — our co-parenting of three wonderful children. With Mary’s direction and the guidance of my coach, I worked through my fears and my frustrations and was as productive as I could be during perhaps the most difficult time of my life. They helped me build trust in the process and ultimately we were able to make decisions that supported everyone’s needs – particularly our children’s. My wife and I have reached an agreement which builds a solid foundation for the future. I’ve seen divorces involving children that are characterized by ambiguity, bitterness and conflict. I believe ours was built on integrity and re-created trust that we worked to establish.
No divorce process is perfect, just as no marriage is perfect. I strongly believe, however, that communication, respect and trust are principles that are as important in divorce as they are in marriage – and the Collaborative process gave me and my family all three. There will be challenges as our kids grow, as our lives change and as co-parenting decisions are made. But, as I look back on that day when I first came into Mary Pence’s office and see where all of us are now, I realize that I was very fortunate to have been referred to an experienced, compassionate attorney who offered me the Collaborative approach within which to build a strong foundation for the future.”
When I first came to Sarah Zimmerman, I was in desperate need of immediate assistance because my attorney had quit on me and several court responses were due. Not only did I come to Sarah under exigent circumstances, but I brought her a divorce case that presented extraordinary challenges because it involved the laws of three countries as well as marital assets outside the U.S. and a World Bank pension that that my husband claimed were outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.
Sarah was incredible. She quickly picked up my case, and in spite of the short time frames, Sarah devised clever, winning strategies that were successful at both the trial and appeals level in the MD courts. She adroitly anticipated opposing counsel’s moves and proactively prepared motions so that they could immediately be filed in court at the appropriate time. Just as importantly, the U.S. court decisions had to be enforceable in two other countries each having different divorce laws. To that end, Sarah worked closely with my European attorneys to ensure success in those legal systems as well. And, even though it was not the norm, Sarah managed to secure 85% of my husband’s World Bank pension for me!
Sarah was at all times professional, respectful, and courteous. She always performed with integrity and her work product was of the highest quality. I could not have asked for better representation and never hesitate to recommend her whenever an opportunity arises.
Divorce is a difficult process, even when it’s needed. Emily Baker provided outstanding service, expertise, and strategy throughout. I felt well represented, like I had a fighter on my side, and she stood tall through each step of the process. My personal circumstances (what should have been a simple, cut and dry proceeding) were made more complicated and difficult by my ex-spouse and her attorney’s obstructionist attitudes. Emily managed those difficulties with superb negotiation, and got the settlement agreement that I needed. Any review would be incomplete without mentioning the personal side of her representation. Emily’s empathy, sensitivity, and good humor lessened the pain of the process. She paid special attention to avoiding unnecessary costs as well. Any client would be wise to select Emily Baker.