Carolyn J. Woodruff - Woodruff Family Law Group

Carolyn J. Woodruff

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2009

Carolyn has practiced family law for more than twenty years.  She has helped North Carolina family law clients achieve their individual objectives with every case she takes.  Carolyn’s law practice focuses on the client and that client’s reasonable objectives.   She is very experienced in complex equitable distribution, business valuation in divorce, complex custody, alienation of affection, domestic violence, alimony, child support, grandparent’s rights and other areas falling within family law, such as termination of parental rights and adoption.  
Interestingly and unlike most other areas of law, the question has to be asked:  “how do you win a family law case?”  This varies, client to client.  Some clients are very sensitive to the well-being of children; others, perhaps with adult children, wish to focus on their respective retirement.  Some feel secure in the family home and do not want to move.   Then, there are the closely held businesses in the midst of a divorce.  There are the executives, or their former spouses, with all that deferred compensation who need help.  Carolyn tailors her case plan for each individual client, based upon her extensive background---not only as a family law specialist, but also as the only family lawyer who is both a CPA and a Certified Valuation Analyst (NACVA).     
Following her role as Research and Managing Editor for Duke Law Review, Carolyn graduated from Duke University School of Law with High Honors. She then began her legal career with Tuggle Duggins and Meschan, P.A. where she became a principal and shareholder in only four short years.  While at Tuggle Duggins, she created a dynamic practice, trying complex cases in the United States Tax Court.  During that time, equitable distribution was new in North Carolina. She consulted on many complex divorce cases and she became a divorce business valuation expert, testifying around the state, in many cases, as an expert witness.  Realizing that her rather unique skill sets of being both a trial attorney and expert witness really qualified her to handle complex divorce cases, she set out in her own firm in 1994 to be lead counsel in divorce and family law matters, forming the embryonic vision of what has become Woodruff Family Law Group.  Carolyn’s distinguished career continues as Woodruff Family Law Group has grown to five attorneys and three North Carolina Certified Paralegals with a team of able legal assistants.     
Other relevant experience includes Carolyn’s role as Chair of the Domestic Relations Tax Committee for the Tax Section of the American Bar Association where she was frequently featured as a national speaker on topics such as innocent spouse reform, child dependency regulations and corporate redemption regulations in divorce.  Carolyn was a leader in getting the IRS to both recognize and study domestic violence and abuse issues as they related to filing joint income tax returns.  She was also instrumental in these domestic relations tax reform, and based upon her efforts, Carolyn became a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, which has as a requirement a significant contribution to United States tax policy and is a very selective and esteemed national academic and think tank organization.  Carolyn is the ONLY woman in North Carolina who has been granted status as a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel.  Currently, there are 16 Fellows in the American College of Tax Counsel in North Carolina.   
Through the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA), Carolyn has been a speaker and trailblazer in continuing education for the CPAs in North Carolina who need knowledge of taxation related to divorce and business valuation in divorce in North Carolina.  Carolyn has authored two continuing education textbooks---Financial Guide to Divorce in North Carolina and Business Valuation Principles in North Carolina.  She has been an award winning and entertaining presenter at more than 30 continuing education programs for CPAs in this state on these topics.  Carolyn also served three years as an influential force on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Association of CPAs.  She has also served as the Piedmont Chapter President.  She currently serves on the Symposium Committee, which hosts the single largest annual continuing education program for CPAs in this State.  She is a frequent speaker at the Symposium.     
Carolyn is currently leading efforts on domestic violence reform in North Carolina.  The unnecessary and tragic death of Laurrissa Armstrong has spurred her to take an active role in seeking reform to North Carolina domestic violence laws.  She has been a spokesperson and writer on this topic.
Carolyn’s Mission Statement:
Through care, integrity, and honesty, Woodruff Family Law Group works to provide creative and impactful solutions for our clients. My focus and that of every member of my firm will always be achieving each client’s most important goals and objectives. From the initial consultation and throughout every step we take together in the legal process, each client and every member of our client’s family is of the utmost importance to us because it is important to our client.  With this approach, every client can be on the road to a promising divorce recovery and bright future.  

* Best Lawyers in America (for criteria, see:

* North Carolina Super Lawyer
(for criteria, see

* North Carolina Legal Elite  (for criteria see:

* AV Peer Rated Martindale-Hubbell (for criteria, see:  

Presentations - 2013
* Presentation to the North Carolina Family Law Specialists:  Seven Pitfalls of Complex Tax Issues
* Discussion Leader for NCACPA Course:  Financial Guide to Divorce in North Carolina 
* Discussion Leader for NCACPA Course:  Business Valuation Principles in North Carolina 
* NCACPA Symposium:  Seven of Hearts, or is it Seven of Broken Hearts? 
* Panelist for International Civil Rights Center & Museum: Ending Domestic Violence 

Community Service – 2013/2014
* Captain Green Eyes Dance Troupe: The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club
* Men Can Cook:  Women’s Resource Center
* Big Hair Ball:  Family Services
* Dancing With The Carolina Stars 2014: Operation Smile

Duke UniversityJ.D.

Office Location

420 West Market Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States

Practice Areas

Family Law

Other Information

Gender: Female