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Divorce/Family Law

rise to every family challenge

protecting what's most important to you

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Erik P. Arena
Heather S. Collier
Elizabeth R. Estephan
Casey W. Florance
Erin L. Kopelman
Deborah E. Reiser
Christopher W. Roberts
Donna E. Van Scoy

Lerch Early’s experienced family law attorneys help people resolve separation and divorce issues in Maryland and Washington, DC with the least possible impact on their emotions and their wallets.

Domestic disagreements are inherently stressful, and can be time-consuming and costly. Lerch Early’s team of divorce lawyers, respected as one of the best family law groups in the DC area, represents clients in complex and highly contentious conflicts, as well as in simpler, more amicable matters. These include alimony, asset distribution, child support, custody, and visitation, as well as post-divorce modifications and second marriages.

Ideally, disputes are resolved amicably, without the need for litigation. Our domestic attorneys are excellent listeners, and are highly skilled at negotiation, mediation, and collaborative law. That said, they prepare from day one to go to court if needed, and are forceful advocates before the family law courts in Maryland and the District, with significant trial and appellate experience.

People going through the upheaval of divorce need access and information. Our responsive attorneys answer their own phones, and include clients in the process at every step of the way, sharing copies of pleadings, correspondence, and emails so clients know exactly where things stand.

Lerch Early divorce attorneys are experienced with complex financial matters, including business valuations, trust distributions, asset tracing, World Bank issues, and cases involving high net worth individuals. When a matter involves real estate, tax issues, or estate planning, the family law attorney may consult with specialists within our firm, always coordinating service for the client. The client benefits from the experience of a boutique family law shop backed by the knowledge of a full-service law firm.

Lerch Early’s divorce attorneys help their clients protect their children, their assets, and their dignity—so they can not only survive, but thrive.


Erik P. Arena

Heather S. Collier

  • Obtained sole physical and legal custody of child from whom client was initially denied all access.
  • Successfully represented parent seeking modification of an existing custody order to facilitate relocation to another state.
  • Negotiated effective support payments on behalf of executives with complex pay structures.
  • Resolved disputes between business owners and their spouses related to stock options and other assets.
  • Navigated the complex compensation packages of World Bank employees and negotiated solutions in divorce proceedings.
  • Worked out a creative business solution between co-owners of a business. One party remained owner while the other sold their stake but remained on as an employee to maintain collection of necessary benefits.
  • Resolved asset distribution for client whose spouse attempted to claim the client’s non-marital property as marital property and therefore not subject to division in a divorce.
  • Represented several divorcing business owner clients whose business interest valuations were in dispute.
  • Represented a mother in custody dispute over a young child with health issues. Found medical expert who explained needs to court and secured client majority custody.
  • Secured final decision-making authority and primary custody for client after the other parent returned from time abroad demanding custody.
  • Secured 50/50 custody for client who was being denied overnight visitation.
  • Successfully prosecuted emergency motion for custody based on one parent’s substance abuse problems, and secured custody of children.
  • Represented client in enforcing an infidelity clause in a post-nuptial agreement.
  • Represented multiple clients where both parties had ownership interests in a business, obtained business valuations, and secured transfer and/or resolution of business interests.
  • Secured downward modification of alimony reducing the amount of client’s alimony obligation.
  • Assisted numerous clients in achieving successful co-parenting agreements through collaborative process or other alternative dispute resolution processes in separation and divorce, which otherwise would have gone to court.
  • Helped numerous financially dependent spouses to become independent and financially secure through negotiation of marital settlement agreements.
  • Succeeded in resolving numerous previously-adversarial custody and parenting schedule conflicts through collaborative process.
  • Negotiated marital settlement agreements involving complex business valuations, and distribution of multiple components of retirement benefits and annuity allocations, without litigation.
  • Negotiated numerous prenuptial agreements resolving allocation of trust assets, real estate, and other property.
  • Helped parties to develop creative solutions to custody and property distribution issues addressing both parties’ (initially conflicting) concerns.

  • Helped parties to resolve substantial custody issues with input of neutral child development specialist through collaborative process, avoiding the need for litigation entirely.

Success Stories




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