Charlotte, NC – Family Law and Divorce Attorney
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” ~ George Santayana, The Life of Reason.
To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the beginnings of a family- a couple in love, the birth of a baby, and possibility of exploring life together. I have always been fascinated by families. I love exploring family trees. I want to know how people met. Was it chance? I am fascinated by the number of children people have and the unique names they create for them. I, too, am blessed with a loving family with a proud Greek heritage.
I was born in Athens, Greece and raised in Charlotte. Growing up speaking Greek ignited my passion for foreign languages leading me to later become fluent in Spanish and knowledgeable in Japanese. After graduating from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in English and Spanish, I moved immediately into the next phase of my life- law school.
After my first summer, I interned for Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont, helping families obtain public assistance, and a Mecklenburg County District Court Judge who handled primarily Family Law cases. Both of these experiences served as my first glimpse into domestic law…and I was hooked. After my second summer, I clerked with a local Family Law firm and for the first time was able to see how Family Law worked in private practice…and I knew there was no going back. Family Law was my passion.
Upon graduation from law school, I accepted a position in Union County. Not only would I work with a Family Law firm of experienced attorneys, but I would be a member of a small County Bar, which allowed me to gain invaluable experience. In a small town, there is no place to hide and no way to avoid diving in head first and that is exactly what I did.
And, years later my passion for Family Law still thrives and flourishes.
I think anyone would be devastated if they saw the Mona Lisa being defaced, so why not feel the same empathy for a family in distress? When I meet with clients, they are not just another case to me. They are not just billable time. My clients are members of families, and often times those families are hurting. Regardless of whose fault it is, if you are sitting in my office, something has gone wrong. Whether my client is in shock, angry or simply confused, I will do everything in power to right the wrong. I want to help. I want to be the one my client relies on for understanding and support while I educate him or her about their case and their options. I want to advocate on his or her behalf for what is best for their circumstance. I may not be able to recreate the masterpiece, but hopefully I can help my clients minimize the damage and create a new one.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- North Carolina
- Parenting Coordinator
Honors & Associations
- Leaders in the Law 2018
- W.I.S.H. Honoree 2018
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation STANDOUT 2017
- Family Law Section of the North Carolina State and Mecklenburg County Bar Associations
- 2017 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society Member
- Union County Bar – Past President
- Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women Award 2016
- Charlotte Women Attorneys Award 2015
- Charlotte Women Attorneys – Former Committee Member for Fighting for Women with Fashion
- Volunteer Attorney – Legal Representation Project of Safe Alliance
- Volunteer attorney representing active duty members of the military who are entitled to court-appointed counsel under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”)
- Volunteer Attorney – Legal Aid’s “Lawyer on the Line” Program
- Linking Lawyers Mentor
- Monroe Rotary Club – Member
- Union County Community Shelter – Board Member; Boots and Bowties Committee Member
- Charlotte Rescue Mission – ChariTEA Committee Chairperson
- Union Symphony Society – Former Board Member and Fundraising Chair
- Former staff writer of the North Carolina Banking Institute Journal
- North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly: Women of Justice Award 2014
- Rising Star: North Carolina Super Lawyer’s Magazine 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- North Carolina Legal Elite – Business North Carolina 2016, 2017
- Commitment to Justice Award – Safe Alliance
- Lawyer Penelope Hefner has been awarded with Avvo’s Clients’ Choice Award!
Areas of Practice
- Family Law
- Premarital Agreements
- Post-nuptial Agreements
- Separation Agreements
- Equitable Distribution
- Parenting Coordinator
- Post-Separation Support
- Child Support
- Child Custody