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Family Law


Attentive and compassionate attorneys licensed in Virginia ready to navigate clients through the toughest challenges.


The family law department at Pesner Altmiller Melnick DeMers &  Steele is headed by partner Linh Ly who joined the firm in 2020 after practicing locally with another law firm and previously serving as a law clerk for the Hon. John Tran of the Fairfax County Circuit Court. Ms. Ly brings to clients a unique and level-headed approach to the resolution of family problems in an efficient and effective manner. She has received several accolades for her prominence in family law including being selected to Virginia’s Rising Star List in Family Law by Super Lawyers from 2019 to 2023, recognized by Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite for Family Law from 2020 to 2022, and being named a Top Attorney for Family Law by Arlington Magazine in 2022.

Ms. Ly recognizes that some family disputes can only be resolved through litigation and
thus demonstrates zealous advocacy for the Firm’s clients before the Court when
necessary. However, she believes that the majority of such disputes can and should be
settled to benefit families and individuals as they transition to a new stage in their lives.
She also acknowledges that certain individuals cannot afford to litigate family law issues
and works with clients to create a plan that caters to their needs ranging from narrowly
tailored litigation, mediation, or settlement negotiations. Ms. Ly understands that every
client’s case is unique when it comes to family law and is dedicated to guiding clients
through challenging times related to divorce, separation, and children’s issues.

Clients of Pesner Altmiller Melnick DeMers & Steele can expect personal and detailed attention to their needs in family dispute resolution. While always charting a course toward meeting a client's reasonable expectations, our team will advise you of the risks and options of both settlement and litigation along that journey. Our analyses of the statutory framework, the practical and legal ramifications of choices, and familiarity with many of the Courts in Virginia will assist you in reaching your goals. Our team will inform you of relevant and pertinent legal authority in the context of what, from their experience, a Court might do if parents cannot reach an accord. In custody and visitation matters, they will remind clients that the best interests of the children are to be served and must be the focus, not the desires of either parent. After all, our client's opponent is, in fact, the child's other parent.

Pesner Altmiller Melnick DeMers & Steele will provide you with practical and prudent
approaches toward dispute resolution honed over years of practice. Access to the family
law team’s personal and legal senses of judgment will assist you in evaluating and
resolving some of the most serious, complex and difficult problems you will ever

Our Areas of Expertise

  • separation and divorce (contested and uncontested matters)

  • property settlement agreements

  • Valuation and division of marital and separate property (equitable distribution)

  • awarding and modification of spousal and child support

  • Separate maintenance

  • Determination and modification of legal custody and physical custody/parenting
    time schedules

  • division of pensions, IRA's, 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts

  • protective orders and navigating family abuse

  • pre-marital agreements and post-nuptial agreements

  • annulment

  • post-divorce enforcement issues

  • extrinsic fraud and duress arguments

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