When you choose M.C. Thomas & Associates, PC, you gain a team of fierce advocates, strategic partners, and persuasive legal writers who will fight for you. Our Fairfax, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. divorce lawyers negotiate, mediate and litigate with precision as necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. We are seasoned trial lawyers, adept at what we do. We strive to settle cases swiftly outside of court, without the need for protracted litigation.
When settlement is not possible, our team is prepared to go to court to protect your legal interests, assets and best interests of your children and future. With over a decade and a half of trial experience in divorce and family law, we are equipped to handle all aspects of family law ranging from uncontested divorces to the most complex cases with substantial assets at stake. We understand that no two families are the same.
That's why our lawyers devise comprehensive strategies as unique as the families who need them. We offer specialized divorce services for those who may require innovative (and/or discreet) legal strategies such as public figures like politicians and professional athletes, and CEOs, physicians and surgeons, law firm partners, and other high net worth individuals. At M.C. Thomas & Associates, PC, we listen intently to your goals, and devise customized strategies to help you achieve them. There is no need to "through it alone" when you do not have to. Call us today. Visit our Practice Areas and Divorce Information Center to learn more about our areas of expertise.
The firm's founder, Michelle C. Thomas, has been recognized among her peers as a leader in divorce and family law. Michelle has recently been named to the SuperLawyers' List for Maryland and Washington, D.C. in Family Law a recognition that no more than 5% of all attorneys across all practice areas combined may receive in each state. Prior to that, Michelle was repeatedly named to the SuperLawyers' Rising Stars List in the area of Family Law, which no more than 2.5% of her peers may receive in each state. Michelle has also been named a Top Divorce Attorney by Bethesda Magazine. She has been elected to the D.C. Bar Board of Governors, appointed to Chair and serve on a number of Boards and Committees, and elected president of bar associations.
As an experienced divorce lawyer serving Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia, Michelle has lectured on divorce and family law related topics, served as faculty for a number of CLEs, and appeared in local and national media such as the Washington Times,Washington Examiner, ESSENCE magazine, theMichael Baisden Show, Fox 5 news,News One Now Radio with Roland Martin (WOL/Radio One), and The Audrey Chapman Show (WHUR), The Daily Drum Show (WHUR), and Law Talk with Ethel Mitchell (WOL/Radio One), and more.
As a result of Michelle's leadership in divorce and family law and the legal community, Michelle has received several awards,
including being named the Young Lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of D.C.,a Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer by the National Bar Association, Top 100 Lawyer by the National Black Lawyers, and Top 10 Family Lawyers in Maryland and Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of Family Law, .Aggressive Advocates + Trusted Advisors
Dealing with a difficult contested divorce or challenging child custody situation can feel like the end of the world- but it does not have to be with strong legal advocates on your side. Our Bethesda, Maryland, McLean, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. divorce lawyers guide, advise, assist and counsel every client with unparalleled legal precision to help produce the best possible results. Choosing competent legal counsel is critical to your success.
We make every effort to resolve matters outside of court through extensive settlement negotiations and alternative methods of dispute resolution. Sometimes, however, litigation is necessary to attain desired results. The attorneys at M.C. Thomas & Associates are recognized for aggressive, relentless advocacy, and are ready to fight for you. Whether advocating in the courtroom, or at the negotiating table, we are dedicated to getting results. In short, our firm offers experience you can trust. Call us today.
As the definition of family has grown more complex over time, so too has the practice of family law. For married couples contemplating or in the process of going through divorce, disputes over division of marital property may surface. For divorcing couples with children, child custody and parenting time or visitation demand equitable resolution. No matter how complex your particular situation is, consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer in Washington, D.C. can be vital to giving you peace of mind.Divorce
We understand that divorce can be overwhelming for those going through it for the first time, or even second or third. That's why in a divorce, scheduling an appointment with a competent divorce lawyer as early as possible in the process is often critical to your success. Equitable division of marital property is paramount to achieving your financial goals, so hiring a seasoned divorce lawyer with experience uncovering various forms of income and hidden assets is essential for achieving a favorable resolution to your case.Child Custody & Parenting Time (a/k/a Visitation)
Child custody and parenting time, formerly known as "visitation" can leave parents extremely stressed and anxious. Courts weigh a number of factors when making child custody decisions, including but not limited to the age, gender, and health of the child, health of the parents, each parent's capacity to care for the child, the role each parent has played in the upbringing of the child, among other factors to determine the custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. Our Bethesda, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. divorce attorneys listen to our clients' concerns, gather information, consult with experts as necessary, strategize and prepare vigorously engage to achieve the custody award and timesharing schedule that is best for your child.Child Support
Even in the best of circumstances, raising a child is costly, and often necessitates both parents contributing to the child's support. Inadequate financial support from one parent can be stressful for both parent and child. Child support is calculated according to government guidelines, unless it is an "above-guidelines" case, based upon the parties' income from all sources, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and few other expenses such as health insurance premiums and childcare costs. Our divorce lawyers have tools and techniques at their disposal to identify various types of income. Regardless of a child's living arrangements or ability of the custodial parent to care for the child financially, children are entitled to child support payments from their parents.Alimony
Spousal support or alimony is compensation that is paid by one spouse to the other. Depending upon the circumstances, this payment may be required while the divorce is pending or after it is finalized. Courts may consider many factors when determining the amount of spousal support due one spouse, including how long the couple was married, earning capacity of the spouse requesting financial support, and health matters. A divorce attorney in Washington, D.C., Maryland or Northern Virginia can be a valuable resource when trying to quantify an appropriate amount of support. If the income of one spouse is substantially more than that of the other spouse, the spouse with the higher income may be required to pay alimony for a specified length of time so the standard of living of the other spouse does not drop by a large amount.Contempt Proceedings
Contempt proceedings can come into play when one party violates a court order, whether done so intentionally or not. Contempt of court petitions can be filed for a number of reasons, including missed alimony or child support payments and violations of court ordered visitation terms. Penalties, and in some instances, jail time, can be imposed against persons found in contempt, so the matter should be taken seriously. Whether wishing to collect on support payments or facing contempt allegations, it is worth contacting a divorce attorney to discuss your options.
Child custody arrangements that were optimum when a child was younger may need to change as they grow older. Changes in school schedules or a developing interest in music or after school sports may require a fresh look at standing custody arrangements. In addition, the child may seek a change in instances where they want additional bonding time with one parent. In situations where the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding a modification, the court may be utilized to determine what course of action is in the best interest of the child. To avoid having the court make these decisions for you, it is prudent to speak with a divorce lawyer in Washington, D.C. at your earliest convenience.Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Asset protection is best planned prior to the exchanging of wedding vows. A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that dictates the distribution of money, property, and other assets, should a marriage end in divorce. While most couples go into a marriage with the best of intentions, the reality is that events can occur in marriages that result in the need for divorce. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can result in less stress and anxiety near the end of a marriage at a time when emotions are already running high. Postnuptial agreements are entered into by two people already married to one another and offer a way to settle a couple's financial affairs, should the marriage result in divorce. Scheduling an appointment with a divorce lawyer is a good first step for individuals with questions about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.Mediation, ADR & Collaborative Divorce
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, including Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, and some court-ordered arrangements, are options divorcing couples can avail themselves of in place of litigation to resolve issues surrounding distribution of assets, child custody arrangements, and other matters. Even after a divorce litigation has been initiated, it is still possible to benefit from mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution and avoid a stress-filled, and possibly lengthy trial. To learn more, reach out to one of our divorce attorneys in Washington, D.C. today.Marital Settlement Agreements
A marital settlement agreement is a written contract between two spouses, setting the terms of divorce. Issues covered in the agreement can include spousal support (alimony), property, debt, child visitation and custody arrangements, and other matters. Child support is not covered by such an agreement, as this is regulated by state agencies. One advantage of a marital settlement agreement can be a reduction or elimination of court intervention.Strategic Planning for Separation & Divorce
If you feel the end of your marriage is inevitable or if you and your co-parent are having difficulty coming to agreement over looming child custody issues, the decisions you make in the near term may affect many areas of your life in the years to come so it is worth your time to meet with an attorney. Preparation is vital to a successful outcome, whether the issue goes to court or ends in a settlement. Our experienced team of divorce attorneyswill listen to you, explain your options, and help you map out a strategy to navigate the challenges you face so you can begin planning for your future.Case Analysis & Second Opinions
The divorce lawyers at our Washington, D.C. Bethesda, Maryland and McLean, Virginia firm offer our services for those seeking a second opinion and for individuals with concerns about their existing trial strategy. Our goal is helping you to make an informed decision, whether you decide to stay the course with your current attorney or wish to seek out new counsel. We launch a detailed review of your case and make recommendations. Upon request, we can assist with developing a strategy going forward for achieving optimum results under your particular circumstances.