Family Law

Sarah Novak Nesbitt and Sara L. Schwartzman, Partners at FLAG, and Anne Kelly Laynor, Of Counsel, are experienced family law practitioners who zealously advocate for their clients by implementing a child-centered, empowering, goal-oriented approach to solving legal issues affecting families.

Divorce, custody disputes, child support and alimony are often the most complex legal cases because the attorney will be serving as a litigator, negotiator, mediator, collaborator and counselor.

The first goal for a family law attorney should be to assist a family in resolving their situation in a non-adversarial, child-centered environment that avoids the negative impact on the family unit.

However, a qualified family law attorney will also acknowledge that a resolution outside of court requires both parties to have a willingness to compromise and, therefore, there are situations in which the only avenue to protect a client’s rights is through litigation.

FLAG attorneys are committed to fusing together litigation and alternative dispute resolution into an advocacy process that recognizes the three overarching goals of most families going through a transition:

  • First, we work to support the well-being of the family as a whole and avoid action that will have a detrimental impact on the children and preserve the family relationships to the greatest possible extent.
  • Second, we encourage each client to take a proactive, knowledge-oriented approach to resolving family issues to avoid a complete destruction of the family that can take a lifetime to resolve.
  • Third, we ensure that our clients’ rights are protected throughout the case and we zealously advocate for our clients.

Through years of experience, we have found that clients who have the assistance of counsel and other supportive professional can focus on their child, as opposed to the end of the their relationship, and can then make goal-oriented decision to avoid a negative impact on their child’s well-being.

At FLAG, we understand the myriad of emotions that are involved when a relationship ends and parties are faced with the reality of changes that will impact their children and their financial situation.

In re-focusing our clients on their love for their children and their children’s best interest, we are often able to collaborate with other attorneys to obtain a mutually acceptable resolution without the time, expense, and emotional drain of litigation.

As much as we encourage our clients to pursue resolutions outside of the court system when possible, we understand that there are many situations in which a judge and the court system are needed to reach a resolution.

In such situations, FLAG attorneys are prepared and experienced to effectively advocate for our clients in court.

With years of experience litigating in counties throughout Maryland, we are recognized as attorneys who are:

  • goal oriented
  • effective communicators
  • prepared and diligent in ensuring the best possible outcome in court, which often results in achieving settlement for our clients before a final hearing

When a final hearing is needed, we have the family law specific litigation experience that you need to achieve the outcome you desire.

What truly sets FLAG apart from other family law practitioners is our lifelong commitment to children and families.

Our founding attorneys began their professional careers as teachers who were dedicated to educating children and working with families to better our communities. We transferred our passion to the legal community where we continue to:

  • educate our clients
  • advocate for children and families
  • volunteer in organizations that work to strengthen families in our communities

For our attorneys, family law is not simply our area of practice; child and family advocacy is the pure essence and driving force of who we are as individuals.