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Mary S. Pence

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, LLP
1129 20th St., NW
4th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-466-8960
Fax: 202-293-8103

Why am I passionate about the Collaborative process for clients who are divorcing? 

Because it has been my experience that my clients achieve better outcomes both for themselves and for their children when using the Collaborative process. 

What do I mean by better outcomes? I find that clients using the Collaborative process:

  • Find that their children’s interests were made a priority by both parents, rather than the children being put in the middle of parental conflict or used as a means for getting back at the other parent;
  • Search for and find agreements that address both parties’ interests as well as the interests of children or other family members;
  • Look back at how they handled themselves in their divorce, and feel good about both their role in the process and the outcome;
  • Develop a vision of what they want their post-divorce life to look like, and put in place the pieces of a settlement to make that vision a reality; and
  • Take a crisis period in their lives and work through that crisis in a way that exemplifies their bedrock values, such as integrity, respectfulness, openness, and fairness.

Clients extol the benefits of the Collaborative model, as illustrated by a client of mine who recently completed his divorce using the Collaborative process: 

“While every divorcing couple’s situation is different, I firmly believe that partnering in the collaborative divorce process was one of the best decisions my wife and I could have made.  At a time when I needed direction, understanding, and support – as both a parent and a divorcing husband – that’s exactly what I got from Mary and my team.
“With Mary’s direction and the guidance of my coach, I worked through my fears and my frustrations and was as productive as I could be during perhaps the most difficult time of my life. They helped me build trust in the process and ultimately we were able to make decisions that supported everyone’s needs – particularly our children’s.  And while it sounds crazy, I believe all of us worked together to build our divorce on a solid foundation.  I’ve seen divorces involving children that are characterized by ambiguity, bitterness, and conflict.  I believe ours was built on guidelines, principles, and trust that we worked hard to establish.
“No divorce process is perfect, just as no marriage is perfect.  I strongly believe, however, that communication, respect, and trust are principles that are as important in divorce as they are in marriage – and the collaborative process gave me and my family all three.”

I have been a family law attorney for thirty years, and have been offering the Collaborative process as an option to my clients since 2004. Over the past three decades, I have been recognized numerous times as a top matrimonial attorney in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by Washingtonian magazine, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers.  I have also been very involved in making the  Collaborative approach more available to clients in the D.C. metro area, and at the national level. 

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