I love practicing law. Guiding clients through the stress and upheaval of divorce, a custody battle or the aftermath of a death in the family is position of trust that I take seriously. Drafting an amicable separation agreement, or completing an adoption efficiently with as little drama as possible is equally important. I have been a NC Certified Family Law Specialist since 2009. My law firm handles divorce, custody, child support, alimony, property division, grandparents' rights, domestic violence, tort claims and personal injury, prenuptial and separation agreements, estate planning and administration in Chatham, Orange and Durham counties.
- Family Law
- Domestic Violence
- Estate Planning
- Personal Injury
- Credit Cards Accepted
- North Carolina
- English: Spoken, Written
- Managing Attorney
- Averett Family Law
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- Family Law firm representing clients in cases involving divorce, custody, probate, estate planning and personal injury
- Founder and Executive Director
- DVC Legal Services, Inc.
- Non profit law firm representing indigent domestic violence victims in Orange and Chatham County, NC
- North Carolina Central University School of Law
- J.D. (1998)
- Honors: Magna cum laude
- North Carolina State Bar
- NC Bar Domestic Violence Committee
- Activities: Draft and recommend changes to NC statutes on domestic violence
- Judicial District 15B bar - Orange and Chatham County
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- NC Bar Association
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- NC Family Law Specialist
- NC State Bar
- Averett Family Law Blog
- Melissa Averett Certified as Member of The Lawyers of Distinction
11 October 2019
- Chapel Hill Attorney Speaks at Family Law Conference in Malta
27 August 2019
- Can My Ex Take Our Child Out of the Country Without My Permission?
20 August 2019
- New Process Document Explains DVPO Cases Involving Minors
2 July 2019
- Marital Property vs. Separate Property
10 June 2019
- What is an Inventory Affidavit?
10 June 2019
- 2018 Averett Family Law visits Hoi An, Vietnam
23 September 2018
- N.C. Annual Family Law Conference in Charleston SC (May 2018)
12 August 2018
- Melissa Averett Recognized by the 2018 Super Lawyers
11 March 2018
- Q. What is the time that an attorney has to respond to a Show Cause and Contempt?
- A: As stated by the other attorneys, no response is required. your ex attorney didn't need to do anything because that's your ex attorney and they know and have any responsibility in your case. You don't have to serve them with anything. Opposing counsel he's waiting for you to schedule a hearing. To schedule a hearing you need to know what the local rules are in your particular district on how to get your case on the court calendar. It can be really frustrating to go through this process without an attorney explaining how all of this works.
- Q. How do I get the courts to sign off on a child support order. I went for child support last year and still nothing
- A: You need to schedule a hearing on child support, and at this point retroactive child support. A family law attorney in your district, or child support enforcement can help you with this issue.
- Q. If your wife gets pregnant by another man while you are separated, do you still have to wait a full year to divorce?
- A: You still have to wait a year. You need to talk to a family law attorney in your jurisdiction about the steps you can take to protect yourself from having to support the child born to the marriage.
- Q. How to file custody when one parent left the state of NC and has threatened to come back and remove the minor child?
- A: you need to hire a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to file for custody. A custody case is not something you want to do on your own when the other parent is threatening to take the child out of state.
- Q. Is NC a compliant state with MD on child support? I live NC and just found out I have 4 yr.old MD DNA
- A: yes, Maryland can ask NC child support enforcement to register the child support order and enforce it. You need to hire an attorney in Maryland to see if the amount can be changed. you can search for a child support attorney in Maryland on this website.
- Q. Is going through child support enforcement agency better than getting an attorney to file child support for me?
- A: It varies from county to county, but in general, if both parents are wage earners with W-2 documentation of income, child support enforcement (CSE) is the way to go. But if the person you are trying to get money from is going to be hard to find, or is self employed, or you are seeking retroactive child support, have a unincorporated separation agreement for child support, your combined income above the statutory limit for child support guidelines, or your child has extraordinary expenses such as private school, a tutor, medical expenses for disability, etc., then a private attorney would be better to establish the amount, then you can hire child support enforcement to enforce the amount. As far as faster, that really depends on the county, and how easy it is to get a court date. CSE represents the state. So they are great at enforcing a child support amount that has already been established so that the child stays off of state benefits. CSE has more remedies for enforcing a child support order than a private attorney, and they can enforce out of state by transferring the case to a CSE office in another state. In my experience, and again, it depends on the county, they are not as great at establishing the amount unless the case is very routine.
- Q. I live in NC. I have been separated from my wife for 7+ years and want to buy a house without her having claim to it.
- A: You need a divorce, or you need a free trader agreement signed by your wife (this is a document that says both of you can engage in financial transactions as if unmarried), or quit claim deed signed by your wife giving up her interest and the new house. A separation agreement typically contains a free trader agreement as well.
- Q. As an unmarried mother from Florida without a court order, do I still automatically have sole custody over children?
- A: No. Both parents have the same custodial rights to the children until there is a court order stating otherwise. You need to talk to a family law attorney to protect your rights.
- Q. Can I be sued for visitation rights if I have proof by texts and pictures that the other parent has been making. Visits
- A: without knowing a lot more about your situation and seeing the actual paperwork that you were served with it would be impossible for any attorney to answer your question. You need to meet with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to discuss all of your options and analyze your situation.