Family Law

Attracting clients interested in being active participants in a process which produces a fair and reasonable result for both sides.

The family law department at Pesner Altmiller Melnick & DeMers PLC is headed by Andrew Goodman, who has specialized in this area of the law for over forty-five years and has achieved an "A-V" rating from his peers in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, in close association with Cassandra Sheehan, who became intrigued with family law issues in law school, gained further exposure during a judicial clerkship in a Virginia circuit court, and began practicing family law in 2015. They bring to clients a unique and level-headed approach to the resolution of family problems in an efficient and effective manner.

Mr. Goodman and Ms. Sheehan recognize that some family disputes can only be resolved through litigation and thus demonstrate zealous advocacy for their clients before the Court when necessary. However, they believe that the majority of such disputes can and should be settled to benefit families and individuals as they transition to a new stage in their lives.

Clients of Pesner Altmiller Melnick & DeMers PLC can expect personal and detailed attention to their needs in family dispute resolution. While always charting a course toward meeting a client's reasonable expectations, Mr. Goodman and Ms. Sheehan will advise you of the risks and options of both settlement and litigation along that journey. Their analyses of the statutory framework, the practical and legal ramifications of choices, and familiarity with many of the Courts in Virginia will assist you in reaching your goals. Mr. Goodman and Ms. Sheehan will inform you of relevant and pertinent legal authority in the context of what, from their experience, a Court might do if parents cannot reach an accord. In custody and visitation matters, they will remind clients that the best interests of the children are to be served and must be the focus, not the desires of either parent. As Mr. Goodman always notes, his client's opponent is, in fact, the child's other parent.

Pesner Altmiller Melnick & DeMers will provide you with practical and prudent approaches toward dispute resolution honed over years of practice. Access to the family law team’s personal and legal senses of judgment will assist you in evaluating and resolving some of the most serious, complex and difficult problems you will ever encounter.

Our areas of expertise

  • separation and divorce (contested and uncontested matters)
  • property settlement agreements
  • valuation and division of marital and separate property
  • awarding and modification of spousal and child support
  • determination of legal custody and physical custody/parenting time schedules
  • division of pensions, IRA's, 401(k) plans and other retirement vehicles
  • protective orders and navigating family abuse
  • pre-marital agreements
  • annulment
  • collaborative agreements
  • post-divorce enforcement issues
  • extrinsic fraud and duress arguments