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Shape Raleigh The Landmark Center 4601 Six Forks Road Suite 400 Raleigh, NC 27609
Kristin Ruth grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas, graduated from Kansas State University and worked her way through law school at Campbell University. In 2000, she was awarded the North Carolina Child Support Council’s Distinguish Service of Excellence Award. In 2003, she received the national American Business Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association.
As a partner in the firm, Kristin represents clients in all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, and equitable property distribution. She brings more than 25 years of courtroom and mediation experience to her practice, in particular to matters involving grandparent visitation and domestic violence, as well as family law disputes between same-sex couples. She is a certified mediator and certified financial mediator.
Prior to joining Smith Debnam, Kristin spent seven years in private practice before being elected to the 10th Judicial District Court bench in 1998, where she served as a district court judge in Wake County, Raleigh, North Carolina. As a family court judge, she concentrated the majority of her time presiding in the courtroom designated for the enforcement of child support. While in office, she earned re-election in 2002, 2006, and 2010, and was awarded the Commissioner’s Judge of the Year Award in 2004, presented by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement in Washington, DC.
Kristin is a frequent guest speaker at national and international events on issues covering child support and ethics. She is a former member of the Federal Child Support Task Force, National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and Chief Justices’ Commission on Professionalism, and has served as president of the North Carolina Child Support Council. Ruth currently serves on the board of Carolina Dispute Settlement Services and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Wake County Bar Association, and Tenth Judicial District Bar. Kristin is married to John Preston Ruth, LTC, USMCR (retired) and retired American Airlines Captain. Preston and Kristin have one son, Kenan, who attends the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“Riding horses is the one true passion that I have had as long as I can remember. My dad bought me a pony for my 6th birthday and I have been actively riding and caring for horses ever since. Riding is great exercise, but more importantly, spending time with my horse provides me an opportunity to enjoy the company of my “friend” and the great outdoors.”
“My very first “real” job was as a flight attendant for American Airlines. After graduating from Kansas State University, I traveled to Texas to teach horseback riding at a girl’s camp for the summer. One of the camp counselors from Dallas introduced me to her mother who was a former flight attendant. She encouraged me to apply at the end of summer. By chance, I called American Airlines, they interviewed me and I was hired. I retired from American in 1996 with 17 years! Because of the flexible scheduling, I was able to attend law school while flying for American Airlines.”
“It is personally rewarding and a privilege to be able to counsel and advocate for my clients as we navigate together through the complexities of the legal system while making difficult decisions that affect not only them but their families.”
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