My Adoption Story

Adoption. When we hear this word, I think many of us don’t know how we are supposed to feel about it, especially if you are on the outside looking in.

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Z Family Law - Protect Yourself Online

Domestic Violence Victims: Protect Yourself Online

When domestic violence victims are contemplating a separation or divorce, they need to protect themselves online as they research their options for leaving. In this blog post, we discuss ways to protect yourself online, including communicating and researching while planning your escape.

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Dr. Elizabeth Degi DuBois, PhD

Introduction to Divorce Coaching

A Divorce Coach will continually guide you back to your core values and long-term goals, helping you make choices that serve you in your quest for building an ideal future, not just getting to the other side of a settlement agreement.

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What I Learned in My Summer as a Legal Intern

So what I have learned above all is that being good at your job takes more than being smart or having the best degree. It’s doing work that you love, and knowing that, if you work hard enough, you can change your little piece of the world.

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Fighting Over Fido: What To Do When You Need A Custody Agreement For Your Pet

“At the time of publication, a mere three states (California, Alaska, and Illinois) have passed laws allowing Courts to consider the best interests of the animal rather than treating Fido the same way as they treat the family couch. Unfortunately, not all of our Courts have caught up with the current social mores involving our furbabies, and pets are generally treated as property in a divorce…”
Christy A. Zlatkus, Esquire discusses common ways that Pet Parents can address the issue of pet custody when they split.

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Shattering Gender Norms in the Courtroom

In custody cases, the Court looks to each parent’s actions — not their gender. “But I’m the Mom” is no longer a valid argument in a custody battle. We discuss how to build solid arguments that are not based on stereotypes.

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Insurance Lingo 101

If you’re going through a divorce, you may be worried about health insurance. We discuss key insurance lingo to help you navigate this complex issue.

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10 Tips for Avoiding Summer Custody Shenanigans

Dr. Elizabeth Degi DuBois, PhD and Christy A. Zlatkus, Esquire discuss ways to limit custody headaches over the summer, including early planning, streamlining communication with your co-parent, and focusing on the bigger picture – your children having a happy and safe summer.

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The Upsides of Joint Custody After a Split

A primer for understanding some of the benefits of joint custody and Maryland custody law. Shared parenting may not be advisable, or even possible, in many situations. In truth, the best custody arrangement depends on your family’s unique needs. A central factor in maintaining a successful shared parenting arrangement is being able to separate prior marital or relationship disputes from parental responsibilities. For many, joint custody helps children maintain a close relationship with both parents.

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Yellow Rubber Duckie

Just Say No to Quack

“Quacking” is the nasty, unnecessary back-and-forth between parents that is hurtful to your co-parenting relationship and harmful to your court case. Christy A. Zlatkus, Esquire discusses some tips to help you resist the urge to engage in quacking with your ex.

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4 Things You’re Afraid To Tell Your Divorce Attorney That You Really Have To

Among the many uncomfortable things that come with going through a divorce is going through super personal and financial information with an attorney…But your attorney can’t advocate for you if they don’t know the real scoop on what brought you to their office. During a divorce, you are putting your trust in your lawyer with the most important things in your life: Your children (if you have them) and your financial future. Honesty isn’t just the best policy— it is absolutely essential.

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There Are as Many Ways to Get Divorced as There Are to Get Married

In her 3rd blog for Worthy.com, Christy A. Zlatkus, Esquire discusses divorce methods such as mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation.

Marriage, whether beginning or ending, is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Choosing the process you use to get divorced is just as important as choosing your divorce attorney. This post highlights the most common ways to untie the knot, as well as some options you may not have considered that could be a great fit for your unique circumstances.

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what causes divorce? Image of a ripped paper heart on a string

Children and Separation: Keep My Children Out Of The Middle

Almost five years ago I opened a file on my computer that was never meant for my eyes. I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday. In the file was a letter written by my Husband. His writing was effusive as he reminisced about the wonderful things he did — NOT with me but with HER – his coworker…The one thing I did know – I was strong and no matter what happened next I would be okay. My children would be okay – I would see to it. I am far from perfect and I could not shield my children from everything even though I tried. I made a conscious effort to never talk trash about their dad. What purpose would it serve but to make them feel bad or even worse guilty for something that was not their fault?

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Finding “The One”: How to Choose Your Divorce Attorney

Everyone has a favorite song, a food they hanker for above all others, and a particular set of preferences about personal style. There’s a reason Baskin-Robbins has 31 different flavors of ice cream—- each of us crazy, wonderful humans come with our own unique likes and dislikes.

As with ice cream and iPod playlists, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing your divorce attorney. Divorce is one of the most personal experiences you can have…

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I Thought a Ring Would Make Me Feel Worthy

I was one of the girls that bought into the lies. The lies our TVs, our ministers, our mothers, and a million magazines tell us to believe about ourselves. The lies that tell us that the sole sum of our worth as women rests on our ability to get a guy to put a ring on it.

The dieting, the achieving, the shopping for the perfect dress to land the perfect guy…I did it all, all in the service of one day attaining that sparkling social marker I thought for sure would signify that I had made it, that I was worthy of love and attention and success and acceptance…

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A Thank You to My Parents

On a particularly beautiful, warm day, I asked my mom if we could go to the beach. She had said, “Maybe”– the type of ‘maybe’ that meant, ‘No, but I don’t want to argue about it’.

Instead of sitting under an umbrella on the sand, my parents sat me down in our living room, told me they were separating, and asked me who I wanted to live with.

I was 7 years old…

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When the Sparkle is Gone

Early in the relationship I thought would be “The One”, I had a birthday. My boyfriend was in the process of buying a house and I didn’t want him to spend too much money on my gift. He had the down payment, the moving costs, furniture costs, and all the other expensive things that go into adult-ing. In light of the outlay ahead of him, I told him to go easy on the spending for the birthday…

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Photo credit: Nicolaus Wegner 2014

Facing the Worst Year of Your Life…from the other side of the desk

Thirteen months of sturm und drang transpired between my first consultation with a divorce attorney and my decision to throw down a retainer and exit stage left from a marriage that had grown increasingly unbearable. I had sat with the reality of how toxic had marriage had become several weeks before my initial consultation in March 2017, making the appointment only after my closest confidants lovingly told me putting divorce on the table didn’t mean I actually had to move forward.

I hyperventilated in my car for nearly half an hour after that first legal consultation, which consisted of an hour or so of getting an idea of the road ahead, should I wish to move forward…

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Domestic Violence Victims and Their Pets

Research shows animals are often used as pawns in domestic violence situations and can delay a victim’s escape. A growing number of shelters accept pets, which can make it easier for domestic violence victims to leave more quickly.

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Our Firm Foundation

Family law is what we live for at ZFL. Our measure of success is whether clients feel supported and have the resources they need to thrive.

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The Last Thirty-Seven Minutes of My Marriage

The feeling I’m trying to capture tonight is different; it’s honoring the courage it took for me to decide to leave my husband, trying to appreciate with gratitude the hope I felt at the outset of my marriage, and accepting with as much grace as possible the reality that it is truly about to be over.

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The Worst Year of Your Life

I brace my clients for the brutality of the year they face because it makes getting to the other side— yes, the other side really does exist!— easier. In their darkest moments, I can clock for my clients where they are in the process…

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Domestic Violence During Holidays Season

For survivors of domestic violence, the holidays can be an especially difficult time when they need additional support. Some Maryland domestic violence advocates have noted an increase in abuse during the holiday season. Unfortunately, many victims feel increased pressure during the holidays to put up with abuse in order to keep the family together.

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Grand Opening!

Welcome to Z Family Law! We’re launching our website on November 1, 2018, and our doors will be open for business on November 5, 2018.

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The content on this website is published for general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion(s). No content on this website should be interpreted as legal advice. Relevant legal advice can be given, and relied upon, only after firm has entered into an agreement to represent client(s).
INFORMATION OBTAINED ON, AND SUBMITTED TO, THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP OR REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT.

Areas served

Z Family Law’s main office is located in Rockville, Maryland and proudly serves all areas of Montgomery County, including Rockville, Derwood, Olney, Darnestown, Silver Spring, Potomac, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, and Germantown.
Z Family Law proudly serves all areas of Frederick County, including Frederick, Middletown, Ijamsville, Urbana, New Market, Ballenger Creek, Walkersville, and New London.
Z Family Law proudly serves the District of Columbia.