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Custody, Divorce, Name and Gender Change, Non-Traditional Families

Child Custody

I have worked with multiple clients to successfully obtain custody of the children in their care. While the process can be tedious, I truly enjoy the chance to help a client develop and protect the life they want for themselves and the child(ren) in the client’s life. I have experience serving in DC court as a guardian ad litem, an attorney appointed to represent the best interests of the children in a custody case, independent from the parties.


I have worked with clients in divorce cases in both DC and Maryland. I want my clients to get good and fair outcomes, but I am cautious about the benefits of fighting over every last dollar, particularly when those fights may cost the client more than the amount being fought over. My philosophy is that since divorce is always very emotional and can bring out the worst in people, part of the role of a good divorce attorney is to provide a buffer between the client’s raw emotions and the court.

I offer three different types of services to those who are considering or pursuing divorce:

The first is litigation, which is where one’s mind likely goes when thinking of a divorce lawyer. I prepare to represent one spouse at trial, but hopefully we are able to come to a fair settlement before we get all the way to trial. I have had excellent results obtaining alimony in court when appropriate.

The second is mediation, where I serve as a neutral party, hired by both spouses but representing neither of them, and work with the two sides to discuss the key issues and come to an agreement, and then I prepare the written agreement.

The third is a newer model called collaborative law which I am have been specially trained in and certified to practice. In collaborative law, each spouse hires an attorney to advocate for their interests, but the attorneys agree to not take the case to trial, and instead of preparing for trial in order to “win,” the attorneys work with the clients (and sometimes emotional coaches and a financial planner) to come to an agreement that both sides feel satisfied with after all relevant information is shared. I would represent one spouse, and we could help the other spouse find a similarly trained collaborative lawyer. This model is successful in achieving settlement more than 99% of the time, and it limits the extra emotional pain caused by the litigation process, while also being less expensive to clients.

Name and Gender Identity Change

I have worked with transgender clients to pursue changes of name and legal gender. 

Non-Traditional Families

I am conscious of the diverse needs of families and individuals with non-traditional family and relationship structures, including a variety of non-marital relationships. While marriage does provide special rights, some of the biggest legal benefits of marriage can be arranged in a non-marital relationship through contracts, living wills, and other legal means.


Bankruptcy, Contract Drafting and Review, Immigration, Mediation, Negotiations and Dispute Resolution


I have counseled multiple clients who were considering bankruptcy, and have experience guiding a client through every stage of a bankruptcy.

Contract Drafting and Review

I have experience drafting contracts, such as between co-owners of a business or between roommates. I am also experienced reviewing many different types of contracts drafted by others to ensure that they are fair to the party being asked to sign the contract (or at least that this party knows what they are getting into.) 


I have worked successfully with multiple clients seeking legal status in the United States. In particular, I have worked with minors who are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. I speak some Spanish and can supplement with translators as needed.


I am a trained mediator, and while most of my training and experience relate to mediating family law issues, there are a variety of other disputes that I would be comfortable mediating, so please contact me to discuss mediating any other type of issue.

Negotiations and Dispute Resolution

I was trained in law school by one of the world’s best negotiators, Stuart Diamond, and I am skilled at resolving issues in a way that addresses the concerns and desires of interested parties. Few negotiations are win-lose; by focusing on relationships and interests, everyone can be better off.


As a lawyer licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland, Jonathan D. Lane is qualified to pursue a wide range of legal matters that may not be listed here.

Please contact for more information.

Practices: Practices
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