• Charlottesville-Albemarle and Virginia Bar Associations
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Free Legal Clinic at the UVA Maxine Platzer Lynn Leal Women’s Center (PRO BONO)
  • 2011, VIRGINIA
  • About Melissa M. Ritter

    During her many years of domestic work, Ms. Ritter has also had significant experience representing parents in contested child custody matters.  She draws on knowledge gained from years of working with psychologists, doctors and other child specialists to help parents develop and fight for custodial arrangements that are in the best interests of their children.

    Ms. Ritter works closely with the other attorneys and staff in the Tremblay & Smith family law practice in order to ensure that her clients are afforded cost-effective and efficient legal representation. She fully appreciates that litigation can be expensive for individuals and families, and a source of added anxiety in a difficult case.  For that reason, Ms. Ritter and her team work diligently to find resolution options that allow a client to focus time and resources on the issues that are most important to them.

    Ms. Ritter began her career in family law at Miller, Earle & Shanks, PLLC in Harrisonburg, Virginia and transitioned her practice to Tremblay & Smith, PLLC in 2014.  She became a partner in early 2019 and continues to manage the family law department of firm with the central objective of providing clients a unique and first-rate legal experience.

    Melissa M. Ritter has litigated family law cases in Virginia for 10 years.  She knows that for most people, family law issues are overwhelming and exhausting.  For this reason, Ms. Ritter’s approach to each case is to identify the individual, rather than generic needs of her clients, recognizing that each case is unique. 

    Having been through hundreds of divorce and other family law cases, Ms. Ritter is comfortable navigating issues creatively in order to fulfill her clients’ desire for equity and finality.  Although her primary goal in representation is to successfully navigate her clients to global out-of-court resolutions, Ms. Ritter is an aggressive advocate for her clients in the courtrooms of Central Virginia when litigation is necessary.

    Ms. Ritter has extensive experience with family law cases involving complex financial analysis, property tracing and high income support matters. She regularly works with tax advisors, financial planners, and other financial experts to provide her clients with sound and well-researched advice necessary to achieve their long and short-term financial goals.  

    Kind Words about Melissa

    Mrs. Ritter “is extremely attentive and responded to any questions I had in a very timely manner… She comes fully prepared to the courtroom and, at least in my case, the difference between a great attorney (her) and a good one was easy to distinguish.”

    - C.B. from Google Reviews


    child support


    protective orders


    prenuptial & post-nuptial agreements

    equitable distribution

    modification cases (custody, visitation, child support & spousal support)

    spousal support

    enforcement proceedings

    custody & visitation

    My primary objective is to offer my clients competent advice designed to meet their individual goals, but considerate of the universal benefit of financial stability, healthy parenting relationships and one’s own integrity.  Approaching a family law case with a strictly legal perspective is a disservice to a client.  At the end of day, my clients live day-to-day with the results of their case, so it is my job to make sure that our positions are both legally and practically sound and that our approach is professional and dignified.

    My Primary Objective