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Michael F Callahan

Family Attorney at Chevy Chase, MD

4.3   11 reviews
  • State Years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 35 years
    Virginia - VA 36 years
    Maryland - MD 36 years
  • Licensed for 35 years
    State DC
    Acquired 1988
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 36 years
    State VA
    Acquired 1987
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 36 years
    State MD
    Acquired 1987
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Michael

Learn Michael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    I advise and represent clients in all aspects of child custody law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

    31 years, 300 cases

  2. Divorce and separation
    I advise and represent clients in all aspects of divorce and matrimonial law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

    31 years, 300 cases

  3. Elder law
    I advise and represent seniors and the disabled, and their families and caregivers, in healthcare and disability planning, guardianship proceedings, qualifying for Medicaid and other government benefits, and other legal issues affecting the elderly.

  4. Family
    I advise and represent clients in all aspects of divorce and matrimonial law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

    31 years, 300 cases

  5. Wills and living wills
    I prepare wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of attorney and advance medical directives for our clients. I look at all aspects of each client’s unique financial and family situation and use our estate planning tools to develop a plan.

Michael F. Callahan, formerly with the Internal Revenue Service, has practiced family law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia for over twenty years. He has been counsel in over fifty contested divorce hearings and has settled hundreds of divorce cases.

He received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University in 1987, and his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1974. Mr. Callahan is a member of the Georgetown Chapter of Order of the Coif.

He has co-written two books on divorce law for consumers and various professional articles; Mr. Callahan has lectured on divorce and the tax aspects of divorce.

He has been named among the top lawyers and top divorce lawyers by Washingtonian Magazine and Maryland Super Lawyers.


Thyden Gross & Callahan, LLP
4601 Willard Ave
Chevy Chase, MD, 20815

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4.3 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by David | April 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent divorce lawyer
I have been in business for twelve years and wrote several hundred contracts and I never seen or witnessed such a talented individual in several minutes negotiate and hand write a settlement agreement with many complexities. I felt Mike hit a home run right out of the ball park, and upon him interviewing me, I can tell he was very comprehensive in his thought process, I would certainly recommend him to anyone, he is a excellent divorce attorney.
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Posted by Emily | October 21, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Goes above and beyond
I hired Mr. Callahan to handle my Will execution and found him very easy to work with. I would hire him again in an instant and recommend him highly.
Posted by anonymous | June 17, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thinks of everything!
Earlier this year, Mike Callahan provided me with comprehensive estate planning services. Because my family situation is extremely complicated, I really appreciated Mike's expertise and wise advice. He listened to my original requests for assistance with all documents needed to properly plan for my future, and as he developed these documents, he brought up and addressed many issues that I hadn't considered before. He thinks of everything! Mike communicated with me frequently about alternatives related to my estate planning, and he explained all options fully and clearly. Thanks to Mike, I now have a will, a trust, beneficiary forms, a prenuptial amendment, a power of attorney and an advance medical directive that all perfectly reflect my wishes for the type of future I envisioned. Mike was easy to talk to and extremely knowledgeable. He demonstrated that he truly cared about my future. I am extremely grateful for Mike's assistance and recommend him highly.
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Posted by Simon | December 17, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Patient, persistent, professional
Mike Callahan acted on my behalf for nearly 5 years in assisting me with a protracted divorce. He was very patient and professional, yet persistent in ensuring I made sensible choices in the proceedings. He is very knowledgeable based on many years of experience and has access to other peer colleagues and resources when necessary. Mike is a pleasure to work with and I would recommend him highly.
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Posted by Lale | October 2, 2014
It is my privilege to recommend Michael F Callahan to anyone in need of an attorney. Mr. Callahan is an excellent lawyer who is extremely knowledgeable on the field of family law and a master at how to deal with complex issues which, can arise during the course of a case. Mr. Callahan is very meticulous and detail oriented and, leaves no room for disputes from other side' attorney. Few years ago My Husband asked for a divorce, he agreed to my terms and I agreed to give him uncontested divorce. We have signed a contract. After the divorce he started giving me grief at times. He has threaten to hire "the best lawyer" as he called it so, he can void the contract we had. At the end of last year he decided that, he did not wanted to honor the contract anymore. I was very much cornered in so, I have decided to fight this out. I hired Mr. Michael F Callahan to represent me. Mr. Callahan worked very hard to get the case resolved. He informed me every step of the way. Because of MR Callahan's persistence, the case was resolved without going to the trial which, saved me additional funs. I recommend Mr. Michael F Callahan wholeheartedly and I thank him for his expertise and hard work.
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Posted by anonymous | April 23, 2014
Michael Callahan is tops!
Mike represented me in a very contentious alimony and support modification proceeding. He could not have done a better job.
Posted by Eveline | February 20, 2014
Catharsis from Child Custody Woes
Mr. Callahan is being highly recommended due to his ability to legally get me what I want. An unlikely move to the middle east, with my son, was possible due to his expertise. Although a court ordered visitation schedule restricted the residential arrangements I could make, Mr. Callahan was able to successfully present the benefits of a single mom and her child moving out of Washington, DC and moving into the middle east--no small feat. Due to his legal direction, my son and I are in an unlikely but happy lifestyle--living in the middle east travelling and learning. My son is studying Arabic; I read more than I have in years. I could have never moved to the middle east without my son. Without Mr. Callahan we, abiding by law, would have remained under a physically and psychologically debilitating court order. Therefore, I am very grateful to Mr. Callahan who successfully handled the worst issue in my life--child custody.
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Posted by Sandra | January 4, 2012
Resolute pursuit of justice and wise counsel
In 2007, after forty-three years of marriage, I found myself in a contentious divorce battle that left my trust shattered and my emotional and physical health on the wane. I tried to amicably work with my former spouse and his attorney regarding an equitable separation of our assets, but that proved futile as they contrived to eject me from my home of forty-one years and leave me destitute with a token distribution of assets. I knew that I needed a lawyer but finding one seemed nearly as arduous as the divorce itself. I met with several attorneys who seemed to froth at the mouth at the idea of engaging in a vicious divorce proceeding. However, I did not want to fight “fire with fire,” as I was often encouraged to do, if it would hazard my integrity and my personal convictions. I entered Mike Callahan’s office and immediately knew that he was the attorney I needed for my case. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew that he was brilliant, persistent, and passionate about justice and fairness without the “scorched earth” rhetoric of the previous attorneys I spoke with. His calm, stable demeanor put me at ease. He maintained this calm stability even through the questionable tactics and delays created by the attorney of my former spouse, but was relentless in his pursuit of what he claimed was rightfully mine. Do not be misled by his serene demeanor. He will fight to ensure that you receive a fair and just resolution. Mike Callahan makes you feel as if you are his only client and that a favorable outcome of your case is a personal goal of his. He does this with compassion, professionalism, and constant communication. He responded to emails and phone calls efficiently, always made me aware of my options, and offered wise counsel when discussing a course of action. In the end, in spite of what previous attorneys stated, I received all the assets to which I was rightfully entitled. I was very pleased with the outcome of my case and my interactions with Mike Callahan. I definitely recommend his services.
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Posted by Susan | October 27, 2010
The only lawyer in the Washington D.C. area that could pull the sword out of the stone
Mike Callahan is without doubt the most intelligent attorney I have ever engaged. Nine years ago, after about 30 years of marriage to a very wealthy and prominent Washington attorney, my husband walked out of that marriage suddenly, much to the shock and horror to me and our children. I hired three very well known prominent Washington lawyers one by one. Not one of them was able to handle the vicious legendary lawyer that my now ex husband had hired. Five years after the divorce was final., there was a huge open whole in the settlement., I had been completely stripped of all my assets and in total despair. Michael Callahan was the only attorney that was intelligent and capable of dealing with the issues that I faced. He never gives up on his clients, He will not be bullied by his clients adversaries. He can see what is coming and predict the next play six moves ahead like a cunning chess player. In your your initial meeting with him he may appear quiet and reserved. This is the sound of a brilliant mind processing the whole picture. Divorces like mine are arduous and painful. Mike is as able to process his client's feeling better than any domestic lawyer I have encountered.He never loses his cool and perseveres without hinderance. I only wish I had known about him when this whole thing came down nine years ago. He closed this case and left me with my dignity and a fair and stable settlement, something none else was able to do.. I am finally able to move on in my life. I could not recommend any domestic attorney more than Mike Callahan. You will be well protected, informed ,and yes even happy with the outcome. He can slay the worst of dragons and remain a constant gentleman throughout your ordeal.
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Posted by Mark | April 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney to Avoid
During the court hearing, Michael F. Callahan said to me “we are in trouble. The judge asks us to prepare for detailed accounting of my bank transactions.” Apparently, he did not prepare the detailed accounting which she should have for the trial. I ask him multiple times in the email and through multiple conversations to give me an estimate on how much the cost could be to settle the case. But he failed to give me an answer. He charged me three times to review the same case including the initial review and two court appearing's.
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Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2014
This lawyer is a joke!
Mike Callahan did a horrible job representing me in my divorce matter. He was extremely passive and agreed to everything my ex-husband's attorney asked for. Honestly, I advise you to look for another attorney. This guy will NOT represent your best interests.
Response from Michael Callahan January 28, 2014
I try to settle all the cases that can be settled on terms that benefit my client. I also work to make sure that my client completely understands the agreement. I never agree to a settlement or a partial settlement that my client has not authorized. This anonymous post is from a person who did not make their dissatisfaction known to me. I am willing to litigate every case to completion that cannot be settled satisfactorily to my client.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-390 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • PartThyden Gross & Callahan, LLP
  • 1992 - Present


  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1987
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1974

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Smith v Smith, 996 A.2d 416; 193 Md.App 29; 2010 Md. App. LEXIS 92 (2010)
  • We won. The Court of Special Appeals agreed with our argument that the pay was marital property and sent the case back to the trial court to rule on the division of the pay.


  • Arlington County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • Montgomery Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
  • Order of the Coif - Georgetown Chapter
  • Member
  • 1988 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2016
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Top Lawyer
  • Washingtonian Magazine
  • 2004
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1991
View all awards


  • Amazon Kindle
  • File your own Virginia Divorce
  • 2011
  • Sphinx Publishing
  • File for Divorce in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, (2nd Ed.)Sp
  • 2006
  • Sphinx Publishing
  • Money and Divorce
  • 2006
  • Sphinx Publishing
  • File for Divorce in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia
  • 2003
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Divorce 101
  • DIvorce Law
  • 2014
  • Workshop
  • Divorce
  • 2011
  • CLE - Successful Financial Settlements for Your Divorce Client
  • Divorce Taxation
  • 2007

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (5)
Endorse Michael
Family Attorney | Feb 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Excellent family law attorney who is dedicated to client success."
Family Attorney | Nov 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"Mike and I have worked together for many years. His knowledge of family law is exceptional. Whenever I have a question about the law or a problem with a case, he is the first lawyer I ask. It's a pleasure to offer my endorsement."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Sep 19
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mike is a tough negotiator but always professional, ethical, and respectful. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"Mike and I have worked together as law partners for many years and co-authored two books. He is one of the smartest guys I know. He was Order of the Coif at Georgetown and worked for the IRS. Whenever I have a question about the law or a problem with a case, he is the first lawyer I ask."
Family Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had two cases with Michael. I have found him professional and pleasant to work with. He defended his client's interests vigorously but was courteous and responsive. We were able to work together collaboratively toward resolutions in both cases."
Family Attorney | Jun 16
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mike and I have had a couple of matters together where we worked in a settlement context. I thoroughly appreciated Mike's demeanor, professionalism, experience and skill. He is extremely knowledgeable and was able to build rapport with my client which is so important in helping clients achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. I would welcome an opportunity to work with Mike again. ."
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