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Barri Hilton Payne


Barri Hilton Payne is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Certified Family Financial Mediator. She is included in both the Family Law Section and the Family Law Mediation Section at Best Lawyers in America, North Carolina Super Lawyers, and the firm is included in Best Lawyers' Best Law Firms list. Born in High Point, North Carolina and grew up in Davidson County, she received her undergraduate from University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she majored in religious studies and sociology, and earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill.

After twelve years as a partner in a local law firm, Barri opened Payne family Law & Mediation,  her own solo family law and mediation practice in 2013. She has maintained her offices in Durham, North Carolina since the beginning and concentrates her practice on family law issues such as divorce, child custody and support, property division and spousal support, with an emphasis towards resolving these issues through alternatives like mediation designed to minimize conflict for the family. She assists her clients with will preparation, family law appeals, and adoption. Though located in Durham County, she also commonly helps people in Orange, Chatham, and Person Counties.

Before beginning law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law, Barri had the opportunity to reside in several different states including Washington, Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. While she enjoyed many of these places, she loves calling North Carolina home. Barri lives in Durham with her husband, John, and their daughter, Amelia. Her family loves the beach, camping in their RV, and Durham’s many attractions such as Duke gardens, the DPAC, and downtown restaurants and art galleries.  Barri and her family also stay busy with activities at their church.

Barri has regularly volunteered with the Legal Information Service through the Compass Center in Chapel Hill, which provides free telephone consultations to clients. Barri has taught seminars for the Compass Center’s Free Legal Clinics on the topics of child custody, child support, and spousal support. She has previously served as the Chair of the Durham Family Bar Association.

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Durham Family Law Specialist, Barri Payne

Barri H. Payne
Board Certified Specialist in Family Law
Certified Family Financial Mediator

About Barri Payne,
Durham Trial Lawyer & Family Financial Mediator


Barri Payne is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. She brings decades of experience to her family law clients and crafts creative solutions designed to provide lasting resolutions to their divorce dilemmas and other family law matters.  Her offices located near Duke Hospital and Duke University campus are convenient to the doctors, nurses, academicians, grad students, and surrounding community that she commonly serves in her family law practice.

Barri offers a solutions-based approach and specializes in cutting through animosity that is so often a result of divorce. Her approach leverages the goodwill she has created in the community by operating with professional collegiality, integrity, and reasonableness in an effort to curb costs and save her clients money.  She helps find common ground, the foundation upon which reliable settlements can be negotiated.  When amicable resolutions are not possible, Barri is an experienced and formidable trial lawyer.

Barri is also certified as a Family Financial Mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission, a branch of the North Carolina Court System, and provides services to other family law attorneys that help them craft the same kind of creative solutions she brings to her own family law clients.  Her vast experience and unique training in the art of negotiation have proven helpful to hundreds of divorcing people throughout the Research Triangle.

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Whether you are starting or ending a marriage, enlarging or legitimizing your family, or appealing a family court ruling, you have found the assistance you need. Barri Payne can help you negotiate and commemorate your family law matters in a way that ensures the preservation of your relationships.  Connect with us today.

What Our Clients Say

Avvo Review

“I am an attorney practicing since 1999. I chose Mrs. Payne to handle my separation and divorce proceedings and couldn’t be happier.” … “She was compassionate, empathetic, competent, and dependable. That is what I needed and she was right there. I highly recommend Ms. Payne for divorce proceedings.” CW

Avvo Review

Barri, Thank you for helping me through a very trying and difficult period. Your prompt and professional assistance was so very refreshing and very much appreciated. Elizabeth was also very helpful whenever I called or had any questions. Sincerely, KG

Posted by KG

Avvo Review

Barri and Elizabeth went above and beyond to make me feel at ease and help me through some very tough family circumstances. In the end, all parties involved were happy with the results. They are amazing! I highly recommend them!!!!!


Martindale Peer Review

Outstanding lawyer and expert in all areas of family law.

Google Review

Handled my divorce a decade ago and I’ve been referring people ever since. Brilliant, kind, reliable, trustworthy.

Jeremy Powers

Avvo Review

Barri helped me with a very difficult and lengthy case. I appreciated her ethics when things got sticky. She is extremely knowledgeable and always kept on top of the many details of the case. I can’t speak highly enough of her!


Avvo Review

Barri Payne was an excellent choice as my lawyer because she was most effective and thorough in getting the job done. Her confidence and knowledge was successful in helping me get through some formidable hurdles. I am very satisfied that Barri Payne was expedient, knowledgeable, compassionate and trustworthy while engaging in helping me solve my legal problem. I will be forever grateful!

August 10, 2017

Martindale Peer Review

Barri is an experienced attorney who takes great care with her clients and their cases. She is a thoughtful and zealous advocate.

Avvo Review

“Barri was able to help me see the pros and cons of the situation and the possible paths to resolution.” … “She is the consummate professional, very knowledgeable, very responsive and communicative, and at the same time very compassionate and understanding. While my situation ended up in court, she is also very skilled at resolving things via mediation as well. If I could emphasize any further how grateful I am for Barri and how highly I would recommend her, I would rate 10 stars out of 5. Thank you.”


Martindale Peer Review

Barri has very good common sense and is pleasant to work with. She does a good job for her clients.

Martindale Peer Review

Barri is a great attorney and super nice person, she is down to earth and reasonable which is incredibly important in handling Family Law matters.

Avvo Review

Barri and I entered into a situation that seemed pretty clear cut. Inevitably, challenges arose. But Barri had already prepared and expected all of them. She completely keeps her cool and defuses situations that are emotional and usually pretty charged. Barri is the consummate professional. I highly recommend Barri and I will definitely continue to go back to her for anything that comes up. She’s so well-respected and genuinely cares about her clients’ best interest.


We help you craft creative solutions for lasting outcomes.















Durham Family Law Specialist, Divorce & Family Law Attorney


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