Cheryl   Hepfer


Phone: 240.507.1752
Fax: 240.507.1735
Mailing: 4800 Montgomery Lane ,
9th Floor , Bethesda , MD   20814
Linkedin: Cheryl Hepfer


Cheryl Hepfer is a highly-regarded attorney who has practiced family law for more than 40 years.  She has been rated by her peers and is listed in Best Lawyers in America and as a top lawyer in the Washingtonian, Bethesda Magazine, and Super Lawyers.  She is past president of both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Her practice consists primarily of domestic litigation involving significant assets and business interests.  She has a wealth of experience in complex cases involving significant assets and property distribution, alimony, child custody and access.   She has significant experience representing owners of businesses and their spouses, and those with significant assets, and works with business valuation experts and forensic accountants to maximize the benefits to her clients.

Although Ms. Hepfer frequently appears before trial and appellate courts, she is often able to resolve cases through negotiation, settling most of her cases out of court because she explores settlement options early, hoping to limit client costs and enhance the opportunity for an amicable resolution.  Her decades of experience as a trial lawyer provide her with the ability to evaluate her cases, and to determine when settlement is or is not in the client's best interest.  In the event that settlement is not the best option, her trial skills allow her to proceed to trial when that is in the client's best interest.

As a mentor to other family lawyers, Ms. Hepfer teaches at the Institute of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers every year, and provides guidance to local family lawyers who aspire to become Fellows of the AAML.


In September 2012, Ms. Hepfer was sworn in as the President of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), which is comprised of 700 of the most highly-regarded family law lawyers throughout the world. She is also Past-President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), which is comprised of 1700 accomplished family law attorneys in the United States who specialize in all issues related to divorce and family law. Ms. Hepfer is the only Maryland Diplomate in the American College of Family Trial Attorneys, which is comprised of the top 100 family law trial attorneys in the United States.

Ms. Hepfer has received numerous honors, awards and recognition by publications, surveys, and associations including:

  • Maryland Super Lawyers cover story, January 2020
  • Named to Martindale-Hubbell's AV Preeminent® Top Rated Lawyers, 2019
  • Bethesda Magazine Top Attorneys, Family Law (recognition honors the region’s most respected legal practitioners, as chosen by their peers), 2019
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the Family Law category from 2003-2020
  • Named to the "Top Lawyer" list, Washingtonian Magazine, Divorce & Family Law, 2018
  • Named to the "Best Lawyers in America" listing in the Family Law category in 2018
  • Named 2015-2016 Family Law Practitioner of the Year of the Family Law Section by the Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Named to the Maryland Super Lawyers listing from 2007-present
    • Named to Top 10 Maryland Super Lawyers list in 2017
    • Named to Top 100 Maryland Super Lawyers list in 2012-2020
    • Named to Top 50 Women Maryland Super Lawyers list in 2011-2020
    • Named to Top 25 Women Maryland Super Lawyers list in 2007-2011
  • Named to the "Washington DC Super Lawyers" listing from 2007-2019
    • Named to Top 100 Washington DC Super Lawyers 2008-2019
    • Named to Top 50 Women Washington DC Super Lawyers list 2008-2019
  • Named to Washingtonian's "Best Divorce Lawyers" listing in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011-2017
  • Named to Bethesda Magazine's "Top Divorce Lawyers" listing in 2010 and 2013-2017
  • Named to Baltimore Magazine's "Top 25 Women Attorneys In Maryland" listing in 2011 and 2012
  • Named to Baltimore Magazine's "Top 50 Attorneys In Maryland" listing in 2011-2017

Cheryl is certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as a Family Law Arbitrator.

Cheryl's memberships include the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland State Bar Association, Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Women's Bar Association and Maryland Women's Bar Association. She has served on a number of committees under the auspices of those organizations over the years.


Ms. Hepfer is a frequent lecturer on matters of family law, including issues of the valuation and division of marital assets, custody, access and general divorce related topics, such as divorce litigation. She also has been quoted by several national and regional media outlets such as CNN, ABC's Nightline, The New York Times, WBAL Radio, and National Public Radio. Some of her quotes can be found in the links below.

Practice Areas

Additonal Practice Areas

  • Divorce
  • Custody and Visitation
  • Collaborative Law

Education & Admissions

  • J.D., American University, Washington College of Law, 1972
  • B.S., Carnegie-Mellon University, 1968
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Court of Military Appeals


Divorce: It’s Not About Winning or Losing – It’s About How You Play The Game

March 1, 2020

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September 29, 2019

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Marital Agreements and Beneficiary Designations

September 4, 2019

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The Link Between Divorce And Childhood Weight Gain

August 30, 2019

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Family Law Recap: Taking a Break from Your Divorce

July 28, 2019

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