Mary G Commander
Virginia Lawyer: Family Law, Divorce, Personal Injury Attorney

* Uncontested Divorce ( no issues in dispute)
* Contested Divorce (one or more issues in dispute)
* Mediation Agreements (The parties meet together with a neutral mediator to reach an agreement that will be made part of the Final Decree of Divorce.) (I can serve as mediator or lawyer)
* Property Settlement and Stipulation Agreements (The parties enter into a written agreement on issues such as property division, custody and support.)
* Premarital and Marital Agreements (The parties can enter into a written agreement to decide in advance what will happen to property and money in the event of a divorce.)
* Collaborative Divorce (with other collaborative professionals)

Many divorces involve issues that require specialized experience. Mary G. Commander has extensive experience in military and civil service divorces. We know the DFAS and OPM rules.

Mary G. Commander also has experience in handling the separation of parties who, though not married, have joint property and debts that require division.
* What to expect when you're expecting to get a divorce.
* How to Lose Your Custody Case
* Practical Divorce Advice
* When Can I Get An Annulment?

* Whether in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations or the Circuit Court; whether representing the mother, father, grandparents, or other interested party; whether the parties are litigating, mediating, or ageing, this firm can meet your needs.
* We also handle child support collection and arrearage cases in court and in proceedings with the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE).

* We handle step-parent, single parent, adult, parental placement, agency, international, and interstate adoptions. We literally wrote the book - "Adoption Procedures and Forms: A Guide for Lawyers."
* We also handle surrogacy and assisted conception contracts.

* Military divorces require specialized knowledge. We have extensive experience addressing issues with DFAS, TriCare, SGLI, Thrift Savings Plans (TSP), military pensions, Survivorship Benefit Plans (SBP), disability payments, Voluntary Separation Incentives (VSI), Special Separation Benefits (SSB), the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA).

* All disputes can be mediated, if the parties agree to participate. We have a Supreme Court Certified Mediator with more than a decade of formal mediation experience to assist you. Have your dispute mediated by the mediator who teaches other mediators.
* If you are interested in mediation, make an appointment for you and the other party to come together for the mediation. We can not meet with you separately, since the mediator must remain unbiased.

Collaborative Law:
* Collaborative law is a process in which specially trained attorneys and other professionals (which can include financial and mental health professionals), work together with the clients to try to reach a settlement of areas of concern. The issues are decided by the clients.
* This requires both parties to commit to collaborative law and to retain collaborative law attorneys. This is a relatively new process in the Tidewater area, although it is in great use in other parts of the state. Because of this, the number of trained attorneys is limited. Our office will provide you with a list of trained attorneys.
* Settlement meetings will be conducted with all parties present. There are no court hearings.
* This process greatly reduces costs and emotional wear and tear.
* To discuss whether collaborative law may be appropriate for you, please call to schedule a consultation. You also may want to review the articles at

* We prepare Wills and Powers of Attorney, as well as Advance Medical Directives. Despite concerns about recent legislation, these remain effective and legally valid documents.
* We also prepare contacts, leases and deeds that can be used for planning purposes.

* Contact our office regarding other legal matters that may arise.

Mary G Commander
5442 Tidewater Dr
Norfolk VA 23509
Tel: 757 533-5400; 866 723-5546
Fax: 757 533-5155

MARY G. COMMANDER was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1956. She graduated with honors from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1974. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where she served for three years as an elected member of the University Senate. In 1981, she graduated with honors from University of Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Virginia. During law school, she was a member of the Law Review Staff (chosen based on grades and a writing competition); Moot Court Board (chosen based on brief writing and oral argument competition) and McNeill Law Society (honorary academic society). She also had an article selected for publication in the University of Richmond Law Review in the Summer, 1981 edition.

Following graduation, Ms. Commander served a one year judicial clerkship (1981-82) with The Honorable John A. MacKenzie, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia. Since 1982, she has been engaged in the practice of law in Norfolk, Virginia and surrounding areas.

For 18 years, Ms Commander served as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the State of Virginia in addition to her regular practice. She conducted hearings and decided cases involving employee grievances and terminations.

For 7 years, Ms. Commander served as a substitute judge sitting in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and General District Courts throughout the Hampton Roads area on a regular basis.

Ms. Commander is qualified and admitted to practice before The United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; United States Tax Court; United States Court of Federal Claims and all Virginia courts.

Ms. Commander is certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a guardian ad litem for children and as a guardian ad litem for incapacitated persons.

She also is certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a mediator in family cases in all Virginia courts and as a mediator mentor.

Ms. Commander is a member of the American Bar Association (Family Law Section); Virginia State Bar (Family Law Section); Virginia Trial Lawyers Association; Family Law Association of Hampton Roads, Virginia Women Attorneys Association; Norfolk - Portsmouth Bar Association; Virginia Bar Association; National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Ms. Commander is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the National Center for Family Law, University of Richmond School of Law; Board of the Intercollegiate Foundation of Old Dominion University and Citizens Advisory Council to the Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (Former Chairperson). She also is an elected member of the Virginia State Bar Council, the entity that governs lawyers in Virginia. She is a past member of the Boards of the Community Mediation Center and the Mt. Trashmore YMCA in Virginia Beach.

She is a member of the Better Business Bureau, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and is a Cooperating Attorney with the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Ms. Commander also is a certified Norfolk Master Gardener Volunteer and actively involved in the rescue of former racing greyhounds (with two of her own at home).

See Recent Activities and Honors for a listing of awards Ms. Commander has received.

Serving Hampton Roads, including Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Hampton, Newport News, & York County.
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