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Characterized by humility, strength, and compassion, Rose Stout is a highly respected attorney with a proven ability to effectively advocate for her clients. With over 30 years of experience, she coaches clients through the crises that confront them with both responsiveness and refined legal insight.

Rose represents clients in all aspects of family law, including divorce, custody, property division, child support, and alimony. She has been a Board Certified Family Law Specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 1991, with extensive trial experience in family law court. She frequently handles highly contended cases involving financially complex litigation. Though a talented and seasoned trial litigator, Rose believes many differences can be resolved through mediation, without the costly and difficult process of going to court, and she often helps families avoid this by acting as a mediator.

As a parent, Rose is passionate about child custody cases and works tirelessly to obtain the most equitable judgment, prizing above all the ultimate flourishing of the children at the heart of these matters. Her ability to prioritize what is most valuable helps lead to outcomes that ultimately bring families the most benefit, as it allows them to maintain working familial relationships with each other for the sake of their children after the divorce is final.

Not only does Rose listen intently to clients’ stories, but she also remembers every detail. This attribute, along with her exceptional organization and foresight, allows her to successfully steer her clients in light of their personal goals as well as the potential obstacles that she anticipates ahead of time. Clients come out of the trying events that confront them with minds eased and burdens lifted thanks to the care and attention Rose gives them. As she told North Carolina Lawyers Weekly magazine upon receiving the 2014 Women of Justice Award, “I feel a great sense of accomplishment when a client who has come to me feeling sad or angry over his or her domestic situation is able to start a new chapter with restored self-worth and optimism.”

Proven Record of Excellence

Rose has been consistently recognized by her family law peers as an outstanding lawyer in her field of practice. In 2018, she received the Sarah H. Davis Excellence Award from the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization for her proven ability to maintain a long and consistent record of handling challenging cases successfully, mentoring attorneys, and keeping high ethical standards at the forefront of everything she does. As a leader in the family law practice group at Smith Debnam, Rose places a high priority on mentoring younger attorneys in the field. She is a model of integrity and sincerity with an intimate knowledge of her area of law.

Clients and professional colleagues alike are impressed by her poise and responsiveness, which arise from a genuine concern and respect for others. Those who work with Rose are never surprised to receive a hand-written note or a thoughtful gift. This evident character is also modeled through her active participation in the community, and her committed service to her church and family.

With her warmth, understanding, and dependable, straightforward counsel, Rose easily earns clients’ full trust. As a colleague of hers put it, she “sees, cares, then acts,” compelled by an earnest, innate desire to provide justice to families in difficult times. Rose combines conviction with a first-rate proficiency in her field to bring clients the outstanding legal service she believes they deserve.


What would you be if you weren’t a lawyer?

“I’d be a gardener, enjoying the outdoors and watching things grow.”

What was your first job?

“I worked on a farm. I picked cucumbers and worked in tobacco and a vegetable garden. We worked from sun up to sun down. Although living on a farm was hard, as I look back on this experience, I realize that I am who I am today because of that life experience. I wouldn’t take anything for that work experience. It taught me discipline, the value of a dollar and perseverance.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“I enjoy the newness and excitement that each day brings. I really enjoy people – talking to people, listening to people and working to find solutions to their problems. The results are often rewarding – helping a family navigate and survive a very difficult storm. I’ve been practicing so long now, I see the results of divorce, and I have to say there are some good endings to the stories that started over 20 years ago.”

My Credentials


  • North Carolina State Bar


  • J.D., Campbell University, 1985
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Campbell University, 1982


Professional Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

Civic Involvement

  • Wake Chapel Christian Church, Member
  • Active Participant in the AWANA Program
  • Participant in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS Challenge 50 K Walk

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