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Certified Specialist in Family Law in North Carolina

North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

At Lawyer Legion, we recognize the importance of board certification programs for specialty fields like family law, also known as matrimonial law. Use our directory to find a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law in North Carolina.

Under 27 NCAC 01D Section .2401 the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization established family law as a field of law for which certification of specialists is permitted. Attorneys in North Carolina who earn this designation are entitled to use the term "Board Certified Specialist in Family Law."

For purposes of North Carolina's board certification program, the term "family law" is defined as the practice of law "relating to marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody and support, equitable distribution, enforcement of support, domestic violence, bastardy, and adoption."

Requirements for Specialty Certification in Family Law

Each attorney that applies for certification as a specialist in family law in North Carolina must show:

  • substantial involvement;
  • completion of a certain number and type of continuing legal education (CLE) credits;
  • peer review; and
  • passing a written examination.

How to Show Substantial Involvement in Family Law

Substantial involvement in the practice area of family law requires a showing that the attorney has spent a certain amount of time doing substantive legal work done primarily for the purpose of legal advice or representation in family law cases. Part of the requirement for substantial involvement might be shown through one of the following practice equivalents:

  • service as a district court judge in North Carolina, hearing a substantial number of family law cases; or
  • service as a law professor concentrating in the teaching of family law.

Additional Requirements for CLE, Examination and Peer Review

The attorney must also show completion of a certain minimum hours of continuing legal education (CLE) in topics related to family law. A portion of those hours can also related to fields of law such as: trial advocacy; immigration law; bankruptcy; evidence; estate planning and probate law; elder law; business organizations; taxation; juvenile law; real property;  employee benefits; and negotiation (including training in mediation, arbitration and collaborative law).

The attorney applying for board certification in family law must submit to peer review by other lawyers and judges in North Carolina familiar with the attorney's practice.

The attorney must pass a written examination testing the attorney's knowledge in a variety of family law issues relating to marriage, divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, enforcement of support, child custody and support, domestic violence, bastardy, and adoption including, but not limited to, the following:

  • marriage (Chapter 51);
  • powers and liabilities of married persons (Chapter 52);
  • domestic violence (Chapter 50B);
  • divorce and alimony (Chapter 50);
  • Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (Chapter 52B);
  • Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (Chapter 52C);
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Chapter 50A);
  • contempt (Chapter 05A of the North Carolina General Statutes);
  • adoptions (Chapter 48);
  • bastardy (Chapter 49);
  • garnishment and enforcement of child support obligations (Chapter 110, Article 9);
  • termination of parental rights, as relating to adoption and termination for failure to provide support (Chapter 07B, Article 11);
  • Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (28 U.S.C. 1738A);
  • Federal Wiretap Law; and
  • Internal Revenue Code 71 (Alimony),  414(p) (Defining QDRO Requirements), 1041 (Transfer of Property Incidental to Divorce), 121 (Exclusion of Gain from the Sale of Principal Residence), 151 and 152 (Dependency Exemptions),  215 (Alimony Deduction), 2043 and 2516 (Gift Tax Exception),408 (d)(6) (IRA Transfer Requirements for Non-Taxable Event), and regulations interpretive of these Code sections.

The certification period lasts for five years. During that time the attorney must apply for continued certification within certain time limits.

Although no written examination is required, the attorney must show substantial involvement in family law, completion of certain continuing legal education (CLE) credits and submission to peer review.

Finding a Qualified Family Law Attorney in North Carolina

Lawyer Legion is not endorsed by or approved by any state bar or board certification program. We understanding that finding a qualified family law attorney in North Carolina is a daunting task.

We created our attorney directory to help you as you begin your search for the right attorney. Read more about family law and tips on finding the right family law attorney for your particular case throughout North Carolina including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, and High Point.

This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2019.