Wendy H. Schwartz is the founding partner of Wendy H. Schwartz and Associates, PLLC. She has been a trial attorney for seventeen years and has settled and litigated family law cases in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland involving high conflict custody cases and complex equitable distribution cases. Because of her background and education, she has particular expertise in addressing psychological issues, addictions and learning disabilities in the context of custody disputes and divorce.
Wendy is one of the leading family law practitioners in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She has been recognized as one of the region’s “Top Divorce and Family Law Lawyers” by Washingtonian magazine. Prior to opening her own firm in 2004, Wendy was the managing partner of another family law firm. She began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honourable Cheryl M. Long in the Superior Court of the District Columbia.
During her tenure with Judge Long, the Family Division in the Superior Court went to a calendar system for the first time, and Judge Long was one of the first judges assigned to one of three domestic relations dockets.
Wendy is highly valued by clients for being a strong and effective advocate, whether through mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Wendy brings creativity and a close personal engagement to her work. Her practice areas include: divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, property distribution, prenuptial agreements, and negotiating and drafting settlement agreements. She is recognized as a fierce advocate for children, and judges have requested that she serve as a guardian ad litem in contentious custody cases.
Wendy has taught continuing legal education courses on high conflict custody cases, including the appropriate use of parent coordinators and custody evaluations. She has also lectured on the impact of addictions in divorce and custody cases.
Wendy is an experienced mediator and certified collaborative law practitioner. She serves as a neutral case evaluator in family law cases in Fairfax County Circuit Court. She has also been appointed as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) facilitator in family law cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Wendy volunteers at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the Self-Help Centre and as an attorney negotiator, where she assists with settling cases.
She is a member of the Virginia State Bar (Member, Family Law Section); Virginia Bar Association; Virginia Trial Lawyers Association; Fairfax County Bar Association (Board Member, Family Law Section); District of Columbia Bar (Lawyers Counselling Committee, Family Law Section, Domestic Relations Paternity and Support Working Group); Maryland State Bar (Member, Family Law Section); American Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section); and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
Wendy brings not only her legal skills to every client she represents but also life experience. Prior to starting her legal career, she worked in advertising, employee training, consulting for women’s homeless shelters, and government service at the U.S. Department of Labour, Bureau of Labour Statistics. She also worked at the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons while in law school.
Wendy attended Mercy College of Detroit (B.A., cum laude, 1978) and the American University, Washington College of Law (J.D., 1990). Wendy was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1990, and the District of Columbia and Virginia bars in 1992.
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