I enjoy working with clients from all walks of life, but helping families with young children is a passion of mine. In the litigation system, the Court must make a decision based on what is. But, when parents choose to come to agreement, they can create a parenting plan that looks ahead: one that provides for decision-making and time-sharing into the future and that is unique to their individual children.
I also have a particular interest in serving military couples and families. I was a Navy wife for 13 years before my active-duty husband and I divorced. During his tenure, I served as the Command's ombudsman, helping military spouses and children during their service member's deployments. Military life has its own rewards and challenges. Divorce during service can be a bit complicated. Through my personal experience with military life, I bring a first-hand understanding of the concerns and challenges military families face during divorce and child custody negotiation.
My passion for collaborative law and mediation doesn't end with representing my clients. As a divorce lawyer, I am also active in the local collaborative law and mediation communities. I am a former president of the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, our local collaborative practice group. I am the executive director for the Collaborative Project of Maryland, a non-profit organization that provides collaborative divorce services to families of modest means in Maryland. I am a current member and a past co-chair of the Collaborative Law Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland; and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Collaborative Development Group and the Collaborative Practice Center of Montgomery County. I serve as a child access/visitation mediator with the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, and am a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence. I am also a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and the Family Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association.
As the daughter of divorced parents and as a divorced woman, a mom and a stepmom, I have a personal understanding of the damage the litigation process can cause and the challenges parents face after divorce. The vulnerabilities and negative emotions evoked during divorce can undermine trust and cooperative decision-making. Parents are expected to make many difficult choices at a time when most are struggling with overwhelming and often conflicting feelings. And yet, those decisions create the foundation and direction for life after divorce. That's why I offer alternatives to litigation - Collaborative Divorce Process, Custody Mediation and Divorce Mediation - so that clients can resolve their disputes respectfully and creatively, at a pace they choose.
LJ Pelham, Attorney at Law
Collaborative Practice Center of Montgomery County
51 Monroe Street, Suite 1901, Rockville, Maryland 20850