Stuart Knotts Skok
Stuart Skok is owner and principal of Stuart Skok Law LLC, with offices in Montgomery and Frederick Counties. She is licensed to practice in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
As an experienced Matrimonial and Family Law lawyer for over 20 years, her practice is devoted to separation, divorce, custody and other family law matters, in and out of court, at the lower court level and on appeal. She also handles post-divorce modification and contempt, domestic violence proceedings, prenuptial and separation agreements. She is certified in Collaborative Law, where parties agree to resolve their family law disputes out of court in a private team-approached process. She is also certified in Divorce Mediation, where she is appointed by the Court or hired by parties to mediate their family law dispute. Stuart is routinely appointed by the Court to act as a Best Interest Attorney or Nagle v. Hooks Attorney (as to therapeutic privilege) representing minor children in divorce cases. Stuart has particular experience in family law cases involving children with special needs, having a special needs child herself. She was recently featured by SuperLawyers for her work in special needs cases:
She published a Handbook on Separation and Divorce In Maryland, now in its Fourth Edition, in order to provide her clients, and others facing divorce, with answers to some basic family law questions. She also enjoys lecturing on family law topics for Continuing Legal Education of other lawyers, as well as programs for the public.
For 10 years, Stuart has been named by SuperLawyers as a Top Family Law Attorney in Maryland and D.C., including Top 25 SuperLawyers in Maryland and Top 50 SuperLawyers in D.C. The SuperLawyers selection criteria and process is stringent, based on private peer votes of other lawyers, and only the top 5% of lawyers in the State are selected.
Stuart has been recognized for her work by multiple news publications, including Bethesda Magazine (Top Family Law Attorney), Baltimore Magazine (Top 50 Women Attorneys in Maryland), Washington Lawyer (Top 50 Women Attorneys in D.C.), and Ten Leaders Cooperative (Top Ten Leaders in Collaborative). In addition, Best Lawyers, an organization that publishes peer ratings of lawyers, has recognized her in various categories through the years, including Best Family Law Lawyers, Best Lawyers in Maryland, Best Lawyers in D.C., Top 100 Attorneys in Maryland, Top 100 Attorneys in Maryland, Leading Women in Law, Top Lawyer for Collaborative and Family Law and Best Lawyers in America.
The National Advocates: Top 100 Lawyers selected her as among the Top 100 Matrimonial and Family Law Attorneys in Maryland. This organization is comprised of America’s top lawyers who represent individuals and families in the legal system and is by invitation only to 100 lawyers in each State who exemplify superior qualifications and leadership in the practice of Matrimonial and Family Law.
On the rating system that applies to all lawyers, Stuart has been awarded the highest rating of A-V Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. In addition, in 2017 she earned the Gold Client Champion Award from Martindale-Hubbel, based on client on-line reviews. Fewer than 1% of attorneys have achieved this client award, making her part of an elite group of attorneys showcased for their commitment to the best in client service.
Stuart has been consistently recognized by AVVO with a 10/10 Rating for client service and achievement. AVVO is an on-line service to help individuals find an attorney by providing profiles, verified reviews and ratings for lawyers.
Stuart has been a leader in the legal community throughout her career. She has been active in the collaborative divorce community since it started in Maryland in 2007. She was President of Collaborative Divorce Association, Inc. (CDA) , and served on its Board. She twice served as Co-Chair of the Family Law Section for Montgomery County Bar Association, named Co-Chair of the year for each of her terms, an award given to only one Section of the Bar each year. She was President of the Montgomery County Women’s Bar Association, and served on the Board. She has testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee on family law legislation. She was a Pupil and Barrister with the Montgomery County Inn of Court, an organization of lawyers and judges selected to present programs that enhance the knowledge and practice of law. She serves on the Peer Review Panel for the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, the governing organization in charge of enforcing legal ethics of lawyers. She is a Bar Leader for the Montgomery County Bar Association, an organization of the top leaders within the Bar Association.
She currently serves on the Board of the Collaborative Project of Maryland (CPM), an organization that provides free and low fee collaborative divorce services to families that cannot afford the collaborative process, and which also provides training to newly-certified collaborative divorce lawyers. Stuart believes that the collaborative divorce process, a non-adversarial and private resolution process, is an invaluable process to offer clients because it is the only process that puts family first. The Collaborative Process protects children from much of the conflict that arises during the traditional divorce process and assists parents in developing a cooperative co-parenting relationship so children and parents can sustain their relationships and share milestones throughout their lives after the divorce. The parties, together with their team of Collaborative Professionals (e.g. attorney, mental health professional, child specialist, financial professional) meet to discuss all issues needed to reach a durable agreement that serves the needs of the family as a whole.
Stuart is a member of the Maryland State and Federal Courts, District of Columbia State Bar and the United States Supreme Court. Stuart grew up in Maryland and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver, where she began her interest in the law on the D.U. debate team. She received her law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where her grandfather, late Judge Gus H. Muntzing of Hardy County, WV was an alumnus. Law school was where she decided to be a trial lawyer and won 1st place in the Lugar Moot Trial Competition. She was inspired to be a lawyer by her grandfather as well as her late father, L. Manning Muntzing, a renowned international nuclear lawyer in D.C. and former President of the American Nuclear Society. L. Manning Muntzing devoted his life to the advancement of safe nuclear power in our world and serves as her inspiration on “doing something that matters to you and to the world every day.” She resides in Gaithersburg with her husband, 2 children and 2 step-children.
While Stuart’s specialty and passion for the practice of law is family law, she enjoys handling other kinds of litigation matters for clients from time to time, be it a federal court civil dispute or lower court civil jury trial. She is committed to helping every client with all of their legal needs, or making sure to get them to the right resource. Each case has its own path and strategy she believes and no case is too small or too big.
Stuart is actively involved with the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County to help fundraise, increase awareness and enhance services for children with special needs. Her favorite things to do outside of work and family are getting outdoors, exercise, reading, yoga and exploring fun places to visit in and out of the country.
Stuart has been consistently recognized by AVVO with a 10/10 Rating for client service and achievement. AVVO is an on-line service to help individuals find an attorney by providing profiles, verified reviews and ratings for lawyers. In 2018, Stuart was awarded the prestigious Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who in America and featured among their Top Professionals.