Expertise.com

2024

Last updated:

Best Family Lawyers in Durham

Our Recommended Top 17

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Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Durham Family Lawyers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

151Reviewed

97Curated

17Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

8341 Bandford Way, Suite 1, Raleigh, NC 27615

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.8 (56)
Facebook
5.0 (3)
Yelp
1.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Founded in 2010, Raleigh Divorce Law Firm helps Durham-based individuals resolve family legal issues. The law office limits its practice to family law to provide clients with the knowledge and experience that their case demands. Its team of lawyers represents clients in cases involving divorce, child custody and visitation, and child support. They also provide mediation for clients involved in disputes. The firm’s founding attorney, Heather W. Forshey, is a board-certified family law specialist who has over 11 years of experience.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Heather Forshey - OwnerActive18 yrs

3708 Lyckan Parkway Ste. 103, Durham, NC 27707

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.6 (7)
Avvo
4.3 (7)

Why choose this provider?

For more than 25 years, the Law Office of Martha McKee has been advocating for individuals and families in Durham and neighboring areas in a wide range of family law matters. Lead attorney Martha McKee helps clients resolve issues related to divorce, child custody and support, spousal support, equitable distribution, and adoption. While experienced in litigation, Martha approaches each case using mediation and settlement agreement tools, as well as through the help of psychologists and other professionals.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Martha Mckee - PrincipalActive30 yrs

1802 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Suite 105 Madison Centre, Durham, NC 27707

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

For 30 years, Keith A. Bishop, PLLC, has been helping residents of Durham and the surrounding areas navigate family law issues. These family relations matters include divorce, custody, child support, alimony, and the equitable distribution of marital property. Firm lawyer Keith A. Bishop handles civil litigation, business law, contracts, and administrative law. He has represented individuals and institutions in cases involving drug trafficking, wrongful death, medical negligence, civil rights, hazing, and professional license suspension.

  • Divorce
  • Alimony

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Keith Bishop - Principal / Senior ManagerActive32 yrs

123 W Main St Ste 612, Durham, NC 27701

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.2 (5)
Avvo
5.0 (2)
Yelp
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Judy Whisnant Attorney at Law PC provides family law services in metro Durham. The firm assists clients with marital separation, domestic partnership separation, divorce, child support, spousal support, and domestic violence cases. Additionally, it offers adoption, property division, and power of attorney legal services. Sole proprietor Judy Whisnant has more than 35 years of legal experience. She is a former North Carolina Supreme Court clerk. The firm also practices probate law.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Judy Whisnant - PrincipalActive32 yrs

400 W Main St Ste 505, Durham, NC 27701

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (5)
Yelp
5.0 (1)
Avvo
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Ann M. Credle PA represents clients in family law cases in the Durham area. The firm assists clients with alimony, prenuptial agreements, and property division. Credle also helps individuals in complex child custody modification cases, such as when a parent needs to relocate or a child has specialized medical care needs. Credle, who has practiced law for over 25 years, is a member of the Durham County Family Law Bar.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Ann Credle - PrincipalActive31 yrs

2310 S Miami Blvd #232, Durham, NC 27703

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (34)
Facebook
4.9 (12)
Google
4.6 (9)

Why choose this provider?

The Littlejohn Law Offices offers individualized services to suit the legal needs of families in Durham. The law firm represents clients in child custody cases, divorce proceedings, and property distribution matters. Its owner and principal attorney, Diane Littlejohn, helps clients in planning for their families by guiding them through the process of adoption or legally protecting their assets. Littlejohn has been practicing law since 2011. She completed her law studies in 2010 together with a certificate in Dispute Resolution.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Diane Littlejohn - Managing Owner / PrincipalActive14 yrs

1911 Hillandale Rd Ste 1030, Durham, NC 27705

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (23)

Why choose this provider?

Founded in 2013, Barri Payne Family Law & Mediation serves the metro Durham area. The experienced family lawyer in Durham handles separations, divorces, child custody and support, and property settlements and equal distributions cases. Additionally, it provides alimony, modifications and enforcements, adoptions, family law appeals, and mediation legal services. Sole proprietor Barri Payne has more than 20 years of legal experience. She is board-certified in family law by the North Carolina State Bar Association.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Barri Payne - PrincipalActive25 yrs

3200 Croasdaile Drive Suite 601 & 603, Durham, NC 27705

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.3 (64)
Avvo
4.6 (11)
Facebook
5.0 (3)

Why choose this provider?

Ellis Family Law PLLC serves the Durham and surrounding areas. The multi-attorney firm handles an array of family law matters, including domestic violence, marital property division, domestic partnership, and family court appeals. It also helps clients with grandparents' rights, mediation, and third-party custody issues. Additionally, the legal team drafts prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Founding partner Gray Ellis has more than 15 years of legal experience, and he's a member of the Durham County Bar Association.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Gray Ellis - Founder & Managing PartnerActive22 yrs

3001 Academy Rd Ste 120, Durham, NC 27707

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (4)
FindLaw
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Woodmansee & Szombatfalvy PLLC is a Durham-based family law firm. When representing clients in divorce and separation arrangements, the firm tries to keep the process amicable by providing mediation and collaborative divorce. It strives to help families reach mutual agreements regarding child support, asset division, and child custody arrangements. Woodmansee & Szombatfalvy PLLC also helps soon-to-be-married couples draft prenuptial agreements. Attorneys at the firm have more than 30 years of combined legal experience.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Julianna Woodmansee - PartnerActive34 yrs

2402 S. Miami Blvd. Ste. 104, Durham, NC 27703

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.8 (17)
Facebook
5.0 (14)
Avvo
5.0 (5)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Eric M. Williams, PLLC, is a multi-practice firm serving clients in Durham and the surrounding areas. It takes on cases that involve family law, criminal defense, personal injury, and immigration. Primary attorney Eric Mathew Williams handles family law claims, such as divorce, alimony, child custody and support, and division of assets. He understands the emotional distress of clients during the process and so works to exhaust all avenues within the legal system. Williams is also fluent in Spanish.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Eric Williams - OwnerActive12 yrs

3805 University Dr. Ste A, Durham, NC 27707

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
4.8 (19)
Google
4.4 (13)
Yelp
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Patrick Law, PLLC, represents individuals and families throughout the Durham metro and the neighboring areas. The law firm assists clients in resolving their issues involving family law. It also provides legal services to adults or children suffering from domestic violence. One of its attorneys, Ethan Timmins, also practices law in Massachusetts and Florida. Before becoming a lawyer, Timmins worked as a teacher for over a decade and served as an assistant state attorney. He also completed parenting coordinator courses.

  • Divorce

1788 Heritage Center Dr #204, Wake Forest, NC 27587

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.5 (8)

Why choose this provider?

Eatmon Law Firm is a law firm in Wake County that represents clients needing help in family law cases. The firm's attorneys acts as compassionate advocates for individuals with complex divorce and child custody issues. Eatmon LawFFirm is highly experienced in using negotiation and mediation to amicably resolve matters and reduce the pressure on the client. For cases that require litigation, the firm works to preserve their client's rights and the child's best interest. They have partnered with another practitioner, who is a board-certified Family Law Specialist, so I am able to offer even better services to their clients.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Christine Eatmon - OwnerActive19 yrs

2530 Meridian Parkway Suite 3008, Durham, NC 27713

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

J. Wilson Law is a professional legal corporation that offers assistance and advice to individuals and firms in the Durham metro. The company was founded by general law practitioner Jonathan Wilson II who has been in the legal industry for more than a decade. He takes on cases involving family and domestic matters such as asset protection in marriage dissolution, child custody and support, and divorce. Jonathan also takes on cases related to drug crimes, DUIs, and other criminal violations.

  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Jonathan Wilson - PrincipalActive14 yrs

2530 Meridian Pkwy., Ste. 300, Durham, NC 27713

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
5.0 (6)

Why choose this provider?

Morelos Law is a multi-practice firm in Durham that focuses on family law cases. It deals with several areas of family law such as divorce, child custody and visitation, alimony, equitable distribution, and restraining orders. Other practice areas of the firm include debt collections, contract reviews, real estate transactions, and employment law. Andrea Winters Morelos, the owner, has over 14 years of legal experience. She shares her legal knowledge with the community by participating at the NC Bar Association's "4ALL Statewide Service Day" every year.

  • Divorce

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Andrea Morelos - Owner/PrincipalActive21 yrs

113 Broadway St, Durham, NC 27701

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.5 (34)
Facebook
5.0 (13)
Yelp
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

NicholsonPham provides family law services in metro Durham. The multi-attorney team handles divorces, prenuptial agreements, child custody and support cases, and LGBT and transgender family law matters. The knowledgeable domestic/family lawyers in Durham also deal with domestic partnerships, adoptions, and donor agreements. Founding attorney Meredith Nicholson has more than 20 years of legal experience and is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Attorneys. She is a member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Meredith Nicholson - Partner/Founding MemberActive24 yrs
Milan Pham - PartnerActive23 yrs

411 Andrews Road, Suite 140, Durham, NC 27705

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.0 (43)
Facebook
5.0 (18)

Why choose this provider?

Polanco Law represents individuals in the Durham metro dealing with family issues. Polanco Law handles cases in family law such as child custody, child support, paternity disputes, divorce, and domestic violence. The firm advocates for its clients' rights and reviews their cases, offering legal advice and the course of action to take. Polanco Law also takes on cases involving immigration and criminal law. Yesenia L. Polanco-Galdamez is the firm's principal attorney and founder.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Domestic Violence

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Yesenia Polanco-galdamez - PrincipalActive16 yrs

107 Conner Drive, Suite 210, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (25)
Avvo
4.9 (20)
Facebook
5.0 (8)

Why choose this provider?

Chapel Hill Family Law offers legal counsel to families in Durham and the surrounding counties. Founders Chellie Joines and Briance Johnston provide representation for claims involving divorce, alimony, property division, separation agreements, and child custody and support. They also prepare, negotiate, and enforce separation and premarital agreements. Johnston incorporates his experience and in-depth knowledge of the law to pursue agreeable results for their clients. He extends his practice to estate administration and parenting coordination.

  • Child Custody

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Brian Johnston - Founding MemberActive19 yrs

Disclaimer:  Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

FAQs

  • What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

    Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

  • Is family court different from district court?

    In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

  • How long do custody cases last in family court?

    The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

  • Why is there no jury in family court?

    There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

  • What are the most common cases in family court?

    Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

    • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
    • Child custody and the determination of paternity
    • Domestic violence protection orders
    • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
    • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
    • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
    • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
    • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
    • Approval of underage marriages

  • Do family lawyers handle mediation?

    Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.