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Mary G. Commander

Divorce and separation Attorney at Norfolk, VA

4.7   33 reviews

also known as CommanderLaw

  • Licensed for 43 years
    State VA
    Acquired 1981
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Mary

Learn Mary’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    45%
    I handle contested and mediated divorces. I am trained in collaborative divorce and certified in mediation. I also handle non-traditional family separations, includiing property and custody disputes.

    43 years

  2. Mediation
    25%
    Trained in all forms of mediation and collaborative divorce.

    43 years

  3. Adoption
    10%
    I wrote the treatise on adoption for Virginia lawyers. I do the Adoptions for the Norfolk Department of Human Services. I handle contested, interstate, step-parent, agency and parental placement Adoptions.

    43 years

  4. Child custody
    10%
    I handle all areas of child custody and am a certified guardian ad litem for children.

    43 years

  5. Family
    10%
    I handle all areas of family law including adoptions, divorce, child custody.

    43 years

Mary Commander was born and raised in Hampton Roads, and only strayed as far away as Richmond for law school. She has worked with the court systems here for more than 35 years and knows how things work.

Commander Law's goal is to make whatever legal service you require as easy on you as it possibly can be. With the firm's experience, no one will be experimenting with you or your case. This firm is not a training ground for new associates. It is a place to come when you want the tried and true; when you want the right answer the first time.

Commander Law also includes Attorney, Tatiana Mendez. She joined the firm in 2016 and has worked closely with Ms. Commander on all types of family law cases. She also handles misdemeanor criminal cases and traffic cases. For more information on Ms. Mendez, find her on Avvo! 

Photos and videos

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Location

Mary G. Commander
5442 Tidewater Drive
Norfolk, VA, 23509

Divorce lawyers nearby

Reviews

4.7 / 5.0
  33 customer reviews
Posted by Zach | September 12, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best divorce attorney!
Mary and Abby were incredible through my whole 3 year divorce. Very professional, knowledgeable, and they really care. I never once felt left behind or lost in the process.
Posted by anonymous | September 11, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Awesome!
Got things done very quickly . Ms. Commander and her staff were very kind and helpful
Posted by anonymous | August 31, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Top Notch Advice
Mary Commander took the time to review my case, which seems unique and complex to me, but she was able break things down for me in a way I haven’t heard. Her kind, yet no-nonsense manner was exactly what I needed. She provided advice for how I should proceed in my case while also advising me to save money. Mary Commander’s skills and expertise as an attorney are clear, and you should hire her.
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Posted by Daniel | September 2, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce Assistance
I was immediately put at ease after retaining Mary Commander to represent me. Her team was able to help me in this difficult time, and were always available if I had a question. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, they were able to handle my case quickly and with minimal hassle. Thanks so much for all of your help!
Posted by anonymous | September 6, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
So thankful I retained Mary and had her on my side!
Hands down, Mary Commander knows the Virginia family law, and practices civility and integrity from start to finish. Mary is tougher than nails and handles any high-conflict opposing counsel with ease. Mary is reasonable and the entire legal team will have you and your children’s best interest as a priority. Regardless, if you have mediation or need to go to court or trial, Mary is a strong litigator and will have your back. From the beginning, Emily (Mary’s receptionist) was prompt, patient with my numerous emails, and very responsive. Most of all, when things seemed bleak and overwhelming, Emily was considerate, patient, and kind with every one of my visits to their office. My first visit with Mary was a preemptive and strategic move as my ex had not filed a motion with the local court yet. Mary did not want to take a retainer fee unless needed. This was different than the 7 other attorneys I’d met with in the local area. Mary is 100% the epitome of integrity and is up front with you about your case and will NEVER charge you unnecessarily. For any other reviews that dislike what Mary might say, it is only because she will be honest and never sugarcoat any situation. This is what you need in an attorney and a legal team. Good or bad, you need an attorney and team that won’t run up the bill or be fake with you. A little bit after I met with Mary, the ex eventually filed numerous motions. I eventually retained Mary and had no regrets. I had approximately 60+ pages worth of discovery and questions to respond to. As chaotic as it might seem, Abby (Mary’s paralegal) made sure the process was seamless. Abby’s prompt communication and “hand-holding” made the prep for the court hearing much easier. In fact, Abby had even more experience and knowledge than my ex’s own attorney! The entire team kept me in the loop and made sure all my questions and concerns were promptly addressed even with Mary’s schedule. Mary and Abby knew the best cases to cite for my particular situation to get the motion filed against me dismissed. Its true you never know what a judge might say or decide, but the team at Commander Law will do everything they can to ensure your things go in your favor. There is nothing more reassuring and uplifting than seeing Mary in action in a courtroom. It‘s a great feeling when Mary and her team are fully prepared and state your case eloquently while opposing counsel continue to stumble in their responses to the points Mary brings up. I know that my ex will continue ongoing/future frivolous litigation, but as long as I have Mary on my side, I know it will be okay.
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Posted by anonymous | January 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thanks Commander Law
They were prompt and knowledgable. They made sure I had everything i needed during my divorce.
Posted by Albert | November 22, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Representation!
Mary Commander and the staff of Commander Law are top notch! At every court appearance my custody desires were relayed effectively. As can be expected, going through a custody dispute can be a taxing and confusing process. I was able to call, email, or text Mary or her staff and receive an almost immediate response. At the conclusion of my case, I walked away with an outcome that I was completely satisfied with and that was in the best interest of my family. ** With no hesitation, I am providing a 5-Star rating **
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Posted by anonymous | November 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Dismissal of Pleadings
This review is long overdue but better late than never. I needed legal representation after my wife of 5 years decided to leave our marital home while I was at work. Without my knowledge, she took our 2 young children and moved interstate from MD to southern VA. Turns out she wanted me removed from the children’s lives altogether and based on false accusations, filed legal proceedings against me in VA – despite the fact that she/we were residents of MD. Accordingly, as I am still residing in MD, I had to find legal representation in VA to get her filings against me dismissed. I found Commander Law online and am eternally grateful that I did. Ms Commander and her team were great. They were polite, empathetic and most importantly, highly competent and professional. Ie when they told me they were going to do something, they did it. Unfortunately, while that might seem like a given, Commander Law were the only firm I came across that provided me this service and level of respect. Even though I never met any of the staff in person, I had many phone conversations with the office administrator and Ms. Commander herself. All staff were kind, personable and sincere. Considering what I was going through I found that very helpful. So, through the services of Commander Law, the pleadings against me were dropped and I am now able to pursue my divorce in it’s rightful place – Maryland. To anyone requiring legal representation in the Norfolk area I would highly recommend you reach out to Commander Law. I am certain you will find the same high quality service that I did.
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Posted by Laura | October 25, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Formally married to active duty
Mary Commander was a fantastic attorney. She was everything I needed in this trying time in my life and was so experienced and knowledgeable with military life. She was able to get me exactly what I was looking for. I had another attorney prior and left him to find someone who I felt would be able to represent me better. She went above and beyond. Her office staff was wonderful and always got back to me in a timely matter also!
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Posted by Vicki | September 12, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Couldn’t ask for a better lawyer!!
Went through a long and complicated custody case that involved CPS and the police because of my scheming ex. Ms. Commander was able to help me through all of the crazy shenigans and get me exactly what I asked for. She will be the only lawyer you’ll ever need. She is very knowledgeable and knows how to get the job done while maintaining integrity. A rare a true gem among lawyers!! She embodies and represents the standard that every lawyer should emulate!!
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Posted by Monica | August 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you so much
Thank you so much! I've been fighting this custody case for two years but when you became my lawyer you won and for the first time I feel like I can breathe again. Your staff was kind and welcoming. I will forever be grateful to you all.
Response from Mary Commander August 18, 2018
Thank you!
Posted by Adriana | April 25, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce
Ms. Commander and her team did an excellent job when it came to my divorce. Even though I was not in Virginia, they were on top of any issues I had with my ex husband. If I had issues they responded in a timely manner to his attorney making sure there were no delays in my case. They were very knowledgeable about mil-mil divorces.
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Posted by Joseph Caleb Meade | August 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Custody
Please if you get anything out of this review just hire Mary. I was a father at the time active duty as medical support with Naval Special Warfare and was granted custody. My friend a Chief in the Navy was awarded custody of his son using Mary. Mary is willing to use her skill set to help better your children's lives if you have solid grounds for her to stand on. Also her retainer may cost more but I gurantee you will spend less as she does not rip you off as the other attorneys do I have used before sadly. If your reading this and your a great parent who truly deserves custody and not a dirt bag, use Mary!
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Posted by Jeff | April 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Adoption Lawyer
Mary Commander did my Foster Care Adoption. All went very smoothly, and we were very pleased with the excellent customer service! Recommend the office and adoption through the Norfolk Department of Human Services!
Posted by Rita | October 11, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce
Mary and her office were always welcoming and always able to answer my questions. All calls were returned in a timely manner.
Posted by Paula | June 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
TOP NOTCH
If you need clear, concise, and easy to understand instructions for a divorce, I highly recommend Mary Commander in Norfolk. She and the entire office have unbelievable quick and accurate responses. Communications throughout the office were impeccable. What could have been a very long drawn out contested divorce ended up being a non-contested one thanks to much of her feedback, based on her vast experience. I will always be grateful for her guidance and prompt, professional responses.
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Posted by Kelly | October 27, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Family Attorney in Norfolk
Mary represented me on a child custody dispute with my ex over my two children. She always made herself accessible, responded to any of my concerns promptly, and worked efficiently through the entirety of the case. Firstly, she has the reputation of being the best family attorney in the area, coming from the mouths of just about everyone I spoke with locally who was familiar with her, and she definitely delivers on that reputation. Additionally, she is extremely good about coming in on budget, a good listener, concise and articulate in her correspondence and utilization of time on your behalf, which makes her even better. Mostly, she has a very calm demeanor so while she will advocate for your interests strongly, she will also be very reasonable and give it to you straight when you're freaking out which obviously happens quite a bit when you are going through this awful process. I have nothing but great things to say about her, and am so glad to have been able to hire her to represent me for my legal matter.
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Posted by Katherine | September 30, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mary Commander and Abigial go to bat for you!
Mary and her staff were very professional and courteous for the entire duration of my extremely lengthy separation and divorce. When it came time for the divorce hearing, she saved me court expenses by having it mediated by a judge in her office. During said hearing, when push came to shove and the "opposing team's" lawyer got out of control, Mary went to bat for me, ensuring my children and I were well taken care of. You will not find a better divorce attorney or paralegal team. Abigail and Mary are absolutely the best!
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Posted by Aaron | September 24, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
I had the misfortune of going through the divorce process while deployed overseas. It was incredibly stressful. Ms. Commander provided excellent legal counsel and was able to work with me while deployed. She is prompt in replies. She gave me superb legal advice and speaks plainly and directly. She was instrumental in successfully negotiating a separation agreement and finalizing the divorce. I highly recommend!
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Posted by Carol | September 18, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mary Commander
Mrs. Commander is an experienced, personable attorney. She is readily available to consult by appointment, phone or e- mail. All legal matters are handled efficiently and professionally. Most of all, I trust her.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 375-375 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Commander & Carlson, Attorneys And Mediators
  • 2010 - Present
  • Owner
  • Mary G. Commander, Attorney & Certified Mediator
  • 2000 - 2010
  • Substitute Judge
  • Norfolk Juvenile and General District Courts
  • 2000 - 2007
  • Partner
  • Goldblatt, Lipkin & Cohen, P.C.
  • 1985 - 2000
  • Administrative Hearing Officer
  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • 1983 - 2003
  • Associate
  • Heilig, McKenry & Fraim
  • 1982 - 1985
  • Law Clerk to Hon. John A. MacKenzie, U.S. District Judge
  • United States District Court (E.D. Va)
  • 1981 - 1982
View all work experience

Education

  • University of Richmond, The T. C. Williams School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1981
  • Old Dominion University
  • B.A.
  • 1977

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Bomar v. Bomar
  • Circuit Court reversed by Court of Appeals

Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow
  • 2013 - Present
  • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section
  • Board of Governors
  • 2013 - Present
  • National Center For Family Law
  • Board Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Virginia Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Member
  • Virginia Mediation Network
  • 1995 - Present
  • Virginia Women Attorneys Association (Norfolk Chapter)
  • Past President Local Chapter and Member
  • 1985 - Present
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 1983 - Present
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Law Library Board Member
  • 1983 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • Family Law Association of Hampton Roads
  • Member
  • N/A
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Circuit Representative
  • 2001 - 2004
  • Old Dominion University Intercollegiate Foundation
  • Board Member
  • 1999 - 2015
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Client's Choice Award
  • Avvo
  • 2015
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in Virginia
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2015
  • Best Lawyers in Hampton Roads
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine
  • 2015
  • Legal Elite Family Law
  • Virginia Business Magazine
  • 2015
  • Family Law
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2015
  • Family Law and Family Mediation
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2015
  • Family Law
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2014
  • Family Law
  • "Legal Elite"
  • 2014
  • "Legal Elite"-Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Virgnia Business Magazine
  • 2013
  • "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Virginia"
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2012
  • "AV" Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • SuperLawyer-Family Law
  • Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2012
  • SuperLawyer-Family Law
  • Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2011
  • "Legal Elite" in Domestic Relations
  • Virginia Business Magazine
  • 2010
  • SuperLawyer
  • Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2010
  • SuperLawyer
  • Law and Politics Magazine
  • 2009
  • Family Law Section Public Service Award
  • Virginia State Bar
  • 2008
  • Leaders In The Law
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly
  • 2008
  • Jefferson Award For Public Service (Regional Award Winner)
  • American Institute For Public Service
  • 2007
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (Finalist)
  • National Ass'n of Women Business Owners
  • 2007
  • Woman Of the Year (Law)
  • YWCA
  • 2006
View all awards

Publications

  • Family Law Quarterly
  • Ethics For Mediators
  • 2015
  • Adoption: Practice and Forms For The Virginia Lawyer
  • Fourth edition of treatise
  • 2008
  • University of Richmond Law Review
  • Annual Review-Law of Workers' compensation
  • 1991
  • University of Richmond Law Review
  • "Education or Discrimination," Minimum Competency Testing
  • 1981
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Mediator Certification Training
  • Support, Equitable Distribution and Divorce
  • 2015
  • Annual Advanced Family Law Conference
  • Ethics For Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Continuing Legal Education
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  • 2014
  • Mediator Training
  • Spousal Support
  • 2011
  • 2011 Virginia Women's Conference
  • Divorce
  • 2011
  • Divorce For Navy Lawyers
  • Separation Agreements/Divorce For Navy Lawyers
  • 2010
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (17)
Given (13)
Endorse Mary
Family Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mary has been a fierce adversary on several contested matters -- yet she is always professional and pleasant to work with."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Feb 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mary is a very experienced and accomplished attorney who works in adoption and workers' compensation. She is very smart. I have sent her cases for years."
Mediation Attorney | Feb 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have used Mary as a mediator in family law cases and have found her to be a very effective mediator."
Adoption Attorney | Feb 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 01
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I proudly endorse Mary. She has an excellent reputation among her peers because she treats her colleagues with respect and does not engage in the gamesmanship so often prevalent in family law. She is nevertheless a tireless and effective advocate for her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have been involved with numerous cases with Ms. Commander. She has a superior knowledge of the law, and her client's enjoy her expertise in the family law area. I highly endorse her."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 27
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have worked as opposing counsel with Mary on a number of cases. She is sharp, knowledgeable, and tenacious in court, yet extremely personable and able to work well in a non-adversarial role, too. Mary's clients are always well-represented."
Family Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Adoption Attorney | Jul 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I am familiar with the quality of her work through my research of case law in Virginia in which she has been involved as counsel for one of the parties."
Adoption Attorney | Nov 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Sep 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Commander's reputation in the Tidewater area is unbelievable as one of the top attorneys in the area. She has even co-authored a couple CLE books that I have in my office that I consider an invaluable resource."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Mary from many years in the Tidewater area, as a top rate lawyer with a real passion for helping her clients. I know her work to be among the best in the Tidewater Domestic Relations bar. Although my practice is now in Northern Virginia, I would recommend her to anyone seeking legal help."
Family Attorney | Oct 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jul 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Commander is an outstanding attorney with an excellent reputation. She is a strong and zealous advocate for her clients and a credit to the legal profession. I highly endorse her."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse this lawyer's work."
View more endorsements
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