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Unfortunately, recent statistics show that more than half of first marriages end in divorce within the first 10 years. Statistics are higher for second marriages. While no one plans to get a divorce and often great effort is given to avoid it, there are those circumstances where divorce is inevitable and may be even necessary to escape of an unsafe or unhealthy relationship where there is domestic violence, substance abuse, mental or psychological abuse. As a result, governments nationwide have responded by setting up specialized courts to fairly and efficiently deal with family law matters. In fact, Durham is one of about 22 counties in N.C. that has a special Family Court.

Irrespective of how commonplace divorce may be, it is still among the most stressful events that occur in the course of a lifetime. Many times, the divorce process is only the end result of an extensive period of unrest and anxiety, which often includes financial distress. It is often the case that by the time a couple settles on divorce, the relationship has become so emotionally charged that the parties are no longer communicating effectively and common ground becomes challenging to find.

While every divorce is as unique and individual as the people involved, to deal with the number of divorces that take place, courts are guided by laws developed to streamline the process. In contrast to the emotions you might be feeling, courts take a very business-like approach to dissolving a marriage. Absent special circumstances, marital debt, and assets are distributed equally and the issue of child custody is often viewed by the Court today with a goal of joint legal and physical custody between both parents.

Because courts are aware this one-size-fits-all approach is not always the best solution for all families, courts require parties to participate in creating their own solutions through processes like mediation and negotiated settlement.

By and large, studies show that when couples participate fully in finding creative solutions to their unique circumstances, the resolutions that come out of the process are longer lasting and provide greater satisfaction for everyone involved. Barri Payne is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Certified Family Financial Mediator. She has the experience to help you create lasting agreements through negotiated settlement and mediation. For the statistically low number of divorces that cannot be resolved through this well-respected process, Barri is an experienced trial lawyer. She brings twenty-two (22) plus years of courtroom experience to assist and guide her clients through litigation in Durham, Orange, or Person counties.

Mediation and negotiation cover every facet of marriage dissolution, including child custody, child support, distribution of marital property and debt, and, sometimes, temporary spousal support and long-term alimony.


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The High Net Worth Divorce

While the pain and angst of divorce is similar across the board, divorces that strike families who are privileged to have high incomes, large investments, family businesses, and professional practices are often complex and require additional analysis of financial documents and the use of experts such as CPA’s, business evaluators, and forensic accountants to analyze and value the assets.  Because of the complexity of these matters, retaining a lawyer with sophisticated legal training and experience in these types of divorces can be invaluable.

Barri is dedicated to effectively and efficiently investigating and resolving asset-based disputes. She offers high-quality legal services and is personally attentive to her clients’ needs and concerns. She has extensive experience working with the kinds of prominent professionals the Triangle is so lucky to have, including doctors, lawyers, academicians, business owners, and entrepreneurs. She also has established relationships with experts such as those listed above who she can and will utilize for your case if that is necessary and helpful to the mediation or negotiation process or to the Court.

Barri can help you assess your current position and clarify your long-term goals so that the best solutions can be found to fit a client’s individual circumstances. Call Barri’s office in Durham, North Carolina, to schedule your consultation regarding divorce.

We help you craft creative solutions for lasting outcomes.















Durham Family Law Specialist, Divorce & Family Law Attorney


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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

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. Anonymous

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

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

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.

Martindale Peer Review

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

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

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!


Google Review

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

Jeremy Powers

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.”


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

Martindale Peer Review

Outstanding lawyer and expert in all areas of family law.

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