Heather A. Cooper
I am one of the three founding partners of Cooper Ginsberg Gray, PLLC, and helped open this firm in November 2004. Our founding principles are focused on providing compassionate and competent legal representation, advancing the legal profession, and giving back to the Northern Virginia community.
Throughout my 20+-year career, my practice has been devoted to helping my clients navigate through family law matters. I have been privileged to represent mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, as well as extended family members in certain custody cases. I strive to connect with my clients on a personal level and provide them a calming and comfortable presence when handling their cases.
My main goal as a family law attorney is to assist my clients in reaching a negotiated settlement of all issues. If that option is not possible, my extensive trial experience enables me to effectively and efficiently present any family law issue to a court for determination.
My courtroom experience includes litigating issues ranging from child custody, to distribution of property (including retirement assets, stock options and real estate), to issues pertaining to alimony and child support. I have also represented clients in protective order hearings, third-party depositions, and those seeking prenuptial agreements.
I have developed a particular interest in custody relocation cases, and I have represented parties on both sides of this difficult issue. My experience in this area allows me to understand the complexities of these cases and to provide you thoughtful and practical advice. Furthermore, having come from a family dedicated to military service, I have an intense interest in all aspects of military divorce, including jurisdictional issues and those related to the division of military retired pay.
In addition to my trial experience, I have written briefs and presented arguments in Virginia’s appellate court system in such areas as validity of prenuptial agreements, spousal support modification, equitable distribution, and the effect of Social Security Disability payments on child support obligations.
Outside of the courtroom, I give back to the legal community by conducting Continuing Legal Education seminars for other attorneys and paralegals. I speak on topics including basic divorce law for paralegals, premarital agreements, division of military retirement benefits upon divorce, litigation of custody issues, custody evaluations and enforcement of Marital Agreements.
If you would like to schedule a consultation appointment with me, please call our office at (703) 934-1480 or complete our initial consultation form. I look forward to meeting with you.
- Partner, Cooper Ginsberg Gray, PLLC (2004 – present)
- Associate Attorney, Shoun, Bach, Walinsky & Curran (1997-2004)
- Associate Attorney, Law Office of Marcia M. Maddox (1995 – 1997)
- Juris Doctor Degree, George Mason University School of Law, 1994
- Bachelor of Arts Degree, George Mason University, 1990
- Virginia State Bar
- 5th District Committee (Section II) (2004 – 2010)
- Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course, Faculty Member (2014 – 2017)
- Fairfax Bar Association
- Law Related Education Committee (former Vice Chair)
- Fairfax Law Foundation
- Board Member (2015 – present)
- Secretary (2018 – present)
- Secretary of Health and Human Resources Child Support Guideline Review Panel
- Member (2012 – 2014)
- AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2012 – 2018
- Recognized multiple times in Northern Virginia Magazine and Washingtonian Magazine as one of the DC Metro Area’s top family law attorneys
- Fairfax Bar Association, Dividing Retirement Assets Upon Divorce: Alleviating the Anxiety (February 2016)
- Virginia CLE, Dividing Retirement Assets Upon Divorce: Alleviating the Anxiety (September 2015)
- National Business Institute, Child Custody Evaluations: First Steps and Major Concepts (October 2013)
- National Business Institute, Advanced Issues in Divorce: Troubleshooting Marriage Dissolution Issues (June 2013)
- National Business Institute, Handing Divorce Cases from Start to Finish: Completing the Divorce (April 2012)
- Virginia CLE, Navigating the Perils of Dividing Retirement Assets Upon Divorce: Military Retirement (April 2010)
- Half Moon, LLC, Virginia Family Law Practice for Paralegals: Assisting with Child Custody Issues (March 2007)
- Jones v. Jones, 49 Va. App 31 (2006)
- McIntyre v. McIntyre, 25 Va. App. 612 (1997)
Bonnie Ashby Sewell
Bonnie was raised in a single family home in the wealthy hamlet of Clarendon Hills, IL, 15 miles west of Chicago. A small town of 7500, it was common in the 1960’s to refer to such homes as ‘broken’. While the family was often broke, her loving home was never broken. She endeavored to understand money: how it works, how it can work for you, and most importantly, how to use it for good, whether for your personal family goals or something even larger.
Bonnie has been working with families as a Certified Financial Planner for families since 1992. Previous to that she owned a tax practice. She also earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF®, designation and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation, CDFA™. She served on the following boards: National Board for the Financial Planning Association (FPA), South Region Board for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), Foundation for Financial Planning board. She is past President on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Loudoun Therapeutic Riding.
- Interviewed by CNBC’s Sharon Epperson, October 2010
- Speaker at Investment News Retirement Income Summit “The Golden Fears”, NYC, March 2009
- Served as Georgia’s Secretary of State Cathy Cox’s Retirement Planning Speaker in her Investment Education Series, “Money Counts” with letters of commendation, 2004-2006
- Columnist for the industry’s Journal of Financial Planning through 2011
- Author, “Love-Jacked! Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Dollars”, 2012, updated 2017
- Interviewed on Executive Leaders Radio, December 19 2013
- Interviewed on Wharton Business Radio, May 15, 2014
- Panelist at the 2nd Annual Invest in Women Conference, Dallas, May 2016, and 3rd Annual in May 2017
- Presenter at the National Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts, Chicago, May 2016
- Presented to Fairfax, VA Bar Association (Family Law Section), July 2016
- Presented to National Conference (NAPFA), October 2016
- Speaker, “Math Modeling Matters in Divorce”, Shareholders Service Group Annual Conference, San Diego, April 2017
- Speaker, “Math Modeling Matters in Divorce”, AICPA PFS Conference, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, June 2017
- Speaker, “Math Modeling Matters in Divorce”, University of Santa Cruz, August 2017
- “Math Modeling Matters in Divorce” for 2 webinars @ cpaacademy.org, September/October 2017.
- When Your Clients Divorce-What Matters Most in 2018, presented to over 2,000 CPAs by webinar @ cpaacademy.org, January 2018-October 2018
- Speaker, “Top 5 Financial Disruptions and Solutions for Women”, Ellevate Network @ Freddie Mac, February 2018
- Speaker, “Financial Planning During Divorce: Help Your Clients Get Back to the Future, Aurora Training, January 2019
- Speaker, “Helping Divorced Clients Get Back to the Future”, @ cpaacademy.org, January 2019
- Speaker, “Divorcing You When They Divorce Their Spouse?”, Fi360 Conference, Nashville, April 2019
- Invited guest, Executive Leaders Radio with Herb Cohen, April 2019
- Invited host, Executive Leaders Radio with Herb Cohen, May 2019
- Speaker, “Tiburon CEO Summit XXXVI, Panel Discussion, New York City, April 2020
Expert testimony relating to divorce:
I prepare expert testimony for private arbitration and court cases relating to divorce.
I also work in mediation and private negotiations. This can include lifestyle analysis, net worth projections, income on assets, working capital, tax impact, income & spending, financial impact of a particular scenario.
Certified Financial Planner™, CFP®
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, CDFA™
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, AIF®