In October, Governor Larry Hogan elevated Judge Jeanne E. Cho from the District Court where she has been a Judge since 2012 to the Circuit Court. The governor also appointed Debra L. Dwyer to the Circuit Court.  Judge Cho and Judge Dwyer fill vacancies created by the legislature. The Montgomery County Circuit Court now has 24 Judges. 

    The Montgomery County Circuit Court also has five Family Law Magistrates, formerly called Family Law Masters.  Family Law Magistrates hear evidence and make proposed findings and recommendations to a Judge. If neither party takes exceptions to the Magistrates recommendations then the Magistrates recommendations are incorporated into a court order signed by a Judge.  If one or both parties take exceptions (exceptions are similar to an appeal) within 10 days of the recommendations of the Magistrate, then a Judge will review the transcript, and may hear from the parties and or take additional testimony/evidence.  The Judge must use then his or her own independent judgment to decide the outcome.

Monday, 07 November 2016 14:38

Family Law In The News

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, and Your Divorce via Time.   This article reminds parties that no matter your financial status it is of the upmost importance to be specific when setting forth terms in an agreement.  Alimony provisions should be specific regarding payment of taxes and receipt of deductions including payments made to third parties.

In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyersvia New York Times.  A good reminder that you should assume anything you put in a text, email or on social media will show up in court. And, if you have multiple devices that sync, if you leave one device unprotected other persons may gain access to your text, email and other information that you wanted to keep private.

3 Tips For Getting Along With Your Ex-In-Laws via Pop Sugar.   Great tips for getting along with your for in-laws any time of the year but especially during the holiday season.

For the second year Rockville’s Independence Day celebration will be held in King Farm.   The event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on Monday, July 4th at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, 1800 Piccard Drive.   From 5 p.m.-8 p.m. there will be a Peace Gathering in honor of Mattie’s birthday and his legacy of peace.  There will be music, activities, cake, and conversation.  The City of Rockville’s Fireworks Celebration begins at 7 p.m.  Fireworks are expected to begin around 9:15 p.m. (

Gaithersburg's 4th of July celebration has a new home. An entire day’s worth of activities – all leading up to a spectacular fireworks display – will take place at historic Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm. The Water Park and Mini Golf course open at 11 a.m., the Skate Park opens at 3 p.m. Festival activities begin at 5 p.m. with live music by Millennium and The Lloyd Dobler Effect, strolling entertainers, an interactive DJ, family fun inflatables, lawn games, a food court, activity vendors and more.  The fireworks show begins at dusk, about 9:30 p.m.  Following the fireworks there will be a SummerGlo After Party. The playground will be fully lit and there will be glow-in-the dark giveaways and activities, dancing to the sounds of a lively DJ, and food vendors selling late night snacks.

Ms. Hess has again been selected to the Maryland Super Lawyers list that can be found in the Maryland 2016 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Ms. Hess has received the honor of appearing on the Super Lawyers list since 2009.

    Governor Larry Hogan has appointed Judge Michele Hotten to the Maryland Court of Appeals.  Judge Hotten currently sits on the Court of Special Appeals, and will fill the vacancy on the Court of Appeals created when Judge Glenn Harrell Jr. reached mandatory retirement age this past June.  Judge Hotten has been a judge for the past 21 years.  In addition to serving on the Court of Special Appeals, she has served on the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County and the District Court for Prince George’s County. 
    Judge Hotten joins Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera along with five other judges who hear cases almost exclusively by certiorari, a process that gives the court discretion to decide which cases to hear.   The Court of Appeals is mandated by law to hear cases involving the death penalty, legislative redistricting, removal of certain officers, and certifications of questions of law.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 13:03

Inspire. Prepare. Succeed.

Hess Family Law is proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2013 Preparing For Success Fall Forum.  

 The “Preparing for Success” Fall Forum is an all-day conference, designed to provide useful and practical information for high school girls headed for college and the workplace. The Montgomery County Women’s Bar Foundation designed, planned and has offered this program every November, beginning in 2001. The program offers workshops that address interviewing, resume writing, career choices, getting into college, and a section on helping young girls stay safe while in high school and also on the internet. The entire day is free of charge. Co-sponsors include the Montgomery County Commission for Women, the J. Franklyn Bourne Association, the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools.

You can register here for this free program.

Geraldine Hess named in the Washington DC & Baltimore’s Best Lawyers 2014 Edition.

            Ms. Hess has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2014 Best Lawyers in America Publication.   Best Lawyers is one of the leading referral guides in the legal profession.   Ms. Hess will be listed in the Washington D.C. and the Baltimore's Best Lawyers special advertising supplement in the The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, and all local editions of The Wall Street Journal on Friday, September 27, 2013.  


     Governor Martin O’Malley recently made history when he appointed the first female chief justice to the Maryland Court of Appeals. Mary Ellen Barbera is not only the first female chief justice, but she is also the first chief justice from Montgomery County.

     The Governor also appointed the first black woman, Judge Shirley Watts, to the Court of Appeals. If the Maryland Senate confirms these appointments, Maryland will be one of only eight states to have a female majority on the high court.

     Ms. Geraldine Welikson Hess and Hess Family Law has a case pending in the Maryland Court of Appeals. The case is scheduled for oral argument during January 2014. All seven judges of the Court of Appeals hear oral arguments unless a Judge recuses him/herself from a case. Ms. Hess is likely to appear before Chief Judge Barbera and Judge Watts in January 2014.

     Read more about the appointments here and here.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:19

Best Lawyers

Geraldine Hess named in the Washington DC & Baltimore’s Best Lawyers 2013 Edition.

            Ms. Hess has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the Washington DC & Baltimore’s Best Lawyers 2013 Edition.   Best Lawyers is one of the leading referral guides in the legal profession.   The 2013 Best Lawyers List appeared in the Best Lawyers special advertising supplement to the Washington Post on Friday, November 9th, 2012 .  Ms. Hess, owner of Hess Family Law, appears on page 24 of that publication.  

The membership of the Collaborative Divorce Association, Inc. elected Geraldine Hess to serve as one of the Board of Directors of the organization.  Ms. Hess's practice consists of both traditional litigation/representation and collaborative law. 

The Collaborative process is not right for every case or family situation and that is why Ms. Hess offers the Colloborative process as one of many ways of resolving family, custody and divorce matters.

Review the Collaborative Divorce Association, Inc. checklist, and consult with a Collaborative attorney to determine whether the Collaborative process is right for you.   


Mailing Address

Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
451 Hungerford Dr,
Suite 119-307
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
344 Maple Ave West,
Suite 355
Vienna, Virginia 22180

Meeting Locations

Rockville, Maryland:
1 Research Court,
Suite 450
Rockville, Maryland 20850
(240) 389-4377
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Fairfax, Virginia:
11325 Random Hills Rd,
Suite 360
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(240) 389-4377
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Honored among the best divorce and family lawyers in Montgomery County and Maryland by:  Best Lawyers  and

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