Though divorce can be one of life’s most distressing events, by building relationships, cultivating trust and creating solutions, Sarah Zimmerman helps clients achieve the best outcome possible while attempting to minimize the financial and emotional impact of divorce. Sarah excels in guiding clients through complex financial and custody issues, and serves a wide range of individuals including high-asset clients and working or stay-at-home spouses who are financially dependent.
Sarah's client-centered approach and her empathic, calming presence offer divorcing individuals much-needed support during one of the most difficult times in their lives. Sarah forms close working relationships with her clients and is committed to the hard work of problem-solving with both sides, believing that a cooperative approach typically brings her clients’ matters to a quicker and more favorable resolution.
Sarah utilizes all forms of dispute resolution, including Collaborative Law and mediation, to constructively resolve her client’s matter out-of-court. As a result, the majority of Sarah’s cases settle without the need for a trial. However, if Collaborative Law or mediation are not suitable for a client and the client's case will not settle out of court, Sarah is tenacious in pursuing her client’s goals through litigation. Regardless of the divorce process chosen, Sarah, a skilled negotiator, advocate and litigator, ensures that her client’s specific needs and interests are addressed.
Sarah is also a trusted private and court-appointed mediator engaged by individual clients and family law attorneys. Sarah is known for her ability to constructively resolve difficult and seemingly intractable custody and financial issues through the mediation process, and her family law colleagues often turn to Sarah to mediate such cases so their clients can reach settlement without the need for a costly trial.
Sarah believes that a good and durable divorce settlement is very much a “package”. Utilizing her keen analytical skills, she is adept at helping both her individual and mediation clients focus on their priorities and make informed decisions about what they and their families will need for the long-term. Moreover, as the mother of three children, Sarah understands the importance of keeping children’s best interests paramount and protected, in particular through minimizing conflict. In every case, Sarah strives to reach a fair and long-lasting outcome that will help clients avoid conflicts in the future, and most importantly, move forward and begin this new stage in their lives.
Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the "Top Domestic Relations Lawyers" in the area, and recognized by both Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, Sarah received her Juris Doctor with Honors in 1996 from the George Washington University, where she was Executive Notes Editor of the George Washington University Journal of International Law and Economics, a participant in the Domestic Violence Clinic and an intern in the Sex Offense Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Thereafter, Sarah clerked for the Honorable James P. Salmon in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Prior to joining Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP in 2002, Sarah practiced for five years in the fields of employment law and general litigation and was extensively involved in pro bono domestic violence and custody matters in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Sarah is a partner at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, the largest family law practice in Washington, DC. She is a founding member and President-Elect of the DC Academy of Collaborative Professionals and a co-author of the Domestic Relations Manual for the District of Columbia.
- D.C. Academy of Collaborative Professionals, President-Elect
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Member
- American Bar Association, Family Law and Litigation Sections, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Family Law Section, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Women's Bar Association, Member
- Maryland State Bar and Montgomery County Bar Association, Member
- Montgomery County Chapter of Women's Bar Association of Maryland, Member
- District of Columbia Superior Court, Self-Help Clinic, Volunteer
- District of Columbia Superior Court, Attorney Negotiator Project, Volunteer
- Domestic Relations Manual for the District of Columbia, Co-Author
- Tips for Putting Children First During Separation and Divorce, January 2013
- Compton v. Hutchins - Co-counsel with Jonathan Dana on precedent setting case clarifying the definition of joint custody in the District of Columbia.
- Ellis v. Bjorgung, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, 2010: Affirming default judgment by Montgomery County Circuit Court against Husband, including award of significant portion of World Bank Pension to Wife.
- Crowell & Moring LLP, Associate (1997-2002)
- Honorable James P. Salmon, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, Law Clerk (1996-1997)