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Sean F. McIlveen

Family Attorney at CHARLOTTE, NC

4.3   11 reviews

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About Sean

Learn Sean’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Family
    North Carolina Family Law - Adoption, Alimony, Alienation of Affection, Child Custody, Child Support, Equitable Distribution, Mediation, Divorce, Separation, and more.

    24 years

  2. Child custody
    North Carolina Child Custody, Child Custody Mediation, Child Custody Settlement, Child Custody Trial

    24 years

  3. Divorce and separation
    North Carolina Divorce - Alimony, Equitable Distribution, Divorce, Custody, Support, Mediation, Separation

    24 years

Sean McIlveen is a Family Law Attorney in Charlotte, NC. Sean has been practicing family law for more than 20 years. Sean McIlveen represents clients in all types of family law cases including divorce, child custody, alimony, child support, equitable distribution, alienation of affection, and adoptions.  He chose to go into divorce and family law because he has a passion for families. Sean McIlveen grew up in Gastonia, NC and has continued to practice locally. He currently takes custody, divorce, and family law cases in Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, and the surrounding cities. 

Sean McIlveen is a Co-Founder and Partner Attorney at the McIlveen Family Law Firm. Sean earned his undergraduate degree in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 1998, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law. Sean has devoted his practice exclusively to family law. He is also a certified family mediator. He has over a decade of experience in mediating family law cases for attorneys in the area. 

Clients of Sean's will tell you that he is honest with them about their case. He tells it like it is. He has a reputation for fighting passionately for his clients. Whether you are looking for an attorney who is experienced in family law mediations or child custody trials, Sean is the family law attorney for you. If you ask Sean why he goes to court, he will tell you, "I only go to court for two reasons: 1) to win and 2) not to lose." 

Sean is often asked to teach CLE's and he mentors Associate Attorneys at the McIlveen Family Law Firm. Sean welcomes speaking opportunities and enjoys teaching others. 

Sean is married to Angela McIlveen, an attorney and his partner at the firm.  They have 4 children ranging in ages from 14 to 26 years old. When he's not in court, he enjoys spending time with my children, woodworking, and traveling with Angela.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 24 years
State NC
Status Active
Acquired 1998
Updated 12/27/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Sean

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4.3 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
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Posted by Darren | September 21, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Will fight for you, and fight to win.
Do not pursue any family law actions without Sean's representation. Sean represented me on a custody modification, and lived up to his reputation to fight for you and produce the results that you are looking for. I had full conidence throughout my custody modification, communication was outstanding and prompt. I strongly advise having Sean represent you in any legal needs you may have.
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Posted by Maynard | October 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Representation
Initially called this firm for an attorney in a case where my ex was attempting to strongarm custody by filing false claims and DVPO. Sean stepped in and took control of my case, his aggressive approach and patience to understand and instruct me on the process, was hands down the best that I could have ever asked for. The whole thing was thrown out, and my ex was left walking out with her tail between her legs. Best decision I could have made. I absolutely recommend anyone even considering making the call, to just do it and come on in to meet Sean.
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Posted by anonymous | February 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
custody and support
Sean handled my case with professionalism and diligence. He went above my expectations as did his paralegal and the rest of the office that I dealt with. They made me feel relaxed and welcome when ever I was in the office. Sean is very easy to communicate with and very knowledgeable with the laws.
Posted by Sandra and Tina | February 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you
Adoption is suppose to be a a wonderful thing. Ours started out that way and 7 days later our world collapsed when the bio mother changed her mind. Sean handled all this for us. Fourteen months later this same little boy was placed back into our lives by DSS!! It took a year and a half for us to receive the FINAL papers. None of this would have been possible without Sean and his wonderful staff. Sean guided us in the proper direction at all the obstacles we faced. Our case is one that I am sure he will never forget. He is the best attorney we have ever had and has become part of our family! From the bottom of our hearts we thank all the wonderful staff and Sean.
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Posted by Jeff | November 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sean was the most honest attorney I have ever worked with. I am a father who was fighting for my kids not to be able to move out of state. I had a lot against me, but one thing I have always been a good father to my kids. Sean was always straight honest with me and him and his staff made sure I was prepared and new exactly what was going on. If you are a single dad you need to look into hiring Sean,, I promise you will not regret it. He gives a 110% to his cases and the most important thing is he is straight and honest. I can't thank him and his staff enough for all the work they did to help me out.
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Posted by Leigh | March 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sean Exceeded ALL of my Need and Expectations! I would not use anyone else!
I used Sean about four years ago when he was in practice with his partner Larry Langston, from the very beginning I was very dissatisfied with Larry. When I met with his partner Sean, I found the perfect fit! Shortly after that Sean left and started his own Law Firm and Mr. Langston gave me an ultimatum to stay with him and not Sean, but there was no way I would ever do that. I have only met with Sean ONE time before he left. I was one of Sean's first client before he had his office completely remodeled and open. Sean promises he will stick with you through thick and thin and he goes to court to win not to settle. There was never a time that I did not call or hesitate to contact Sean and he didn't call me back or reassure me he stuck with me through thick and thin and now four years later I can still depend on him. His office has grown by Leaps and Bounds and I would recommend them to anyone. Although I do not need him anymore my children are in college and everything is settled Sean has constantly reassured me he will be there for me if I should ever need him and I trust what he says. Sean is a very hard and dedicated worker. When going through a divorce as a mother having children Sean will go the extra mile to make you feel like you have a a voice when it comes to fighting for your children. Simply put Sean is the best!
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Posted by Katie | February 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney!
We had an excellent experience using Sean McIlveen for our custody case. He met with us quickly and was extremely helpful throughout the process. I highly recommend his law firm!
Posted by Leigh | September 4, 2013
Patient and honest!
Sean McIlveen has been honest since our first consultation about the custody case my teenage daughter and grandson are a part of. He has given us honest answers and done all he can to make this process as easy as possible. Things could not have gone better. In our unique circumstance we decided to do gradual visitation with several consent orders. His entire staff has been patient and courteous during this process. I would definitely recommend him as I already have.
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Posted by Sophronia | November 3, 2011
Don't make the mistake of not chosing Sean!
You will never regret chosing Sean McIlveen as your attorney. Sean is a knowledgable, experienced, aggressive, and caring attorney. Sean took the time necessary to answer all of my concerns. He kept me informed from start to finish and made one of the most difficult times in my life tolerable. There are not many attorneys out there that will fight as hard and with as much passion as Sean McIlveen will.
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Posted by Matthew | April 12, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Would not hire again
I hired Sean in 2014 for a child custody case and right off the start he was representing his best interests by not mentioning because my girlfriend had skipped out of my home state a week before giving birth that I could hire an attorney near me to try to have the case moved back to the home state both the ex and I were from instead of me traveling 1200 miles each way for court. Things did not get better from there with him having me travel for dates I really did not need to attend to threatening me should I try and take off with my son that he would drop me….I really wondered if he was my attorney or hers? On top of it all there was numerous billing errors and mix-ups on time used followed by them continuing to add hours onto my bill after I had long past dropped them as my representation.
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Posted by anonymous | August 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sean McIlveen
Really didn't want to post this.. but truly believe others should know. Had Sean represent me 3 years ago and he allowed specific " wording" to be allowed into my modified custody court order from the opposing attorney which I specifically questioned him about as I did NOT like the wording or implication and he said "Oh, that's not a big deal..that's just legalese wording. I TRUSTED him and boy was I WRONG to do so! 3 years, sitting in court he ran into me just at the moment I was explaining to my current (Great) attorney how this wording happened and Sean walks through our door and I said "WOW, what a coincidence... it was because of him that this happened...Sean was red in the face and he had to stay through our entire hearing as he had his own case afterwards. Well, to say the least.... I LOST... because of this specific wording that SEAN ALLOWED in my court order and said " Oh, that's not a big deal..that's just legalese wording. " Sean, I hope you sleep well tonight and for the next few nights to come knowing that you are severely disturbing the joy, peace and happiness of our 11 year old son. Don't even have your office respond to this because you know you are grossly at fault. You even admitted to me while I was your client that you all (attorneys in general) complicate the wording in the court orders so that people like myself and many others have to re-retain your services in the future to straighten or correct things in the orders. It's just a sick and manipulative way of making money. In my book, not ethical, not right, not Christian and certainly not upstanding. If I could give you a negative rating I would, but honestly~ seeing the embarrassment and your red headed bald face today was quite the satisfaction for all of my years of silence. P.S. Just so that you know... our local justice system is in disarray. If you can, stay married!
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  • Hourly Rates $ 200-450 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.1 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • McIlveen Family Law Firm
  • 2011 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Langson Law Firm
  • 1998 - 2011


  • University of Houston
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1993

Legal Cases

  • Herrin vs. Herrin
  • Opposing party's appeal was dismissed and trial court order was affirmed.
  • Ewing vs. Ewing
  • Successfully dismissed as interlocutory


  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2019 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2018 - Present
  • North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission
  • Certified Family Financial Mediator
  • 2012 - Present
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Admitted
  • 1998 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Assocation
  • Attorney Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • Gaston County Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • Cabarrus County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2017 - 2018
  • American Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 2016 - 2018
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2016 - 2017
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Client Champion Award
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Top 100 Family Lawyers in North Carolina
  • American Society of Legal Advocates
  • 2015
  • Top 100 Lawyers
  • American Society of Legal Advocates
  • 2014
  • Preeminent 4.8 out of 5
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Cum Laude Graduate
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • 1993
View all awards


  • Word Association
  • A Mother's Guide to Custody
  • 2013
  • Word Association
  • A Father's Guide to Custody
  • 2013

Speaking Engagements

  • 2012 5th Annual CLA/NCCP Review Course
  • Family Law
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (10)
Endorse Sean
Family Attorney | Jul 24
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had the pleasure of working with Sean while litigating an emotionally and financially difficult case in Cabarrus County. He proved to be practical, ethical, and an excellent advocate for his client. While no one wins in these cases, as attorneys, it sure makes our job easier when we can be zealous advocates for our clients while together coming up with solutions them. I would recommend Sean to those needing a family attorney in Gastonia."
Unknown Attorney | May 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I am impressed with Mr. McIlveen's thoughtful advice and answers to legal questions on Avvo. He has an in-depth understanding of the law and an ability to communicate legal concepts clearly and effectively. I endorse this lawyer!"
Family Attorney | Feb 07
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Sean is a highly experienced attorney who is a zealous advocate for his clients. He is smart, compassionate, and aggressive in court when he needs to be. I would recommend Sean to anyone in need of a family law attorney."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 08
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"If you are looking for a smart, dedicated family law attorney, then look no further because Sean is your guy. Sean provides excellent representation for his clients and is highly respected in the community. He is at ease in the courtroom and knows how to successfully persuade the finder of fact that his argument is the winning argument. I strongly recommend Sean to anyone seeking a divorce attorney."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 04
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Sean is a compassionate, experienced family law attorney. He values his clients and works diligently to protect their interests in every situation. I would recommend Sean to anyone in need of a family law attorney."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 14
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Sean is a true expert in the field of family law and someone who I can always trust to provide excellent legal advice. His 15+ years experience are evident when he speaks with his clients. Sean is a strong advocate for those he represents and his knowledge and expertise make him a forceful presence in the courtroom. I endorse this attorney for his zealous representation skills which are backed up by a thorough understanding of the law."
Unknown Attorney | May 08
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have known Sean professionally for 14 years and continue to be impressed by his legal knowledge, work ethic and fearlessness. Sean has steadfastly proven to be a dedicated professional and tenacious advocate for his clients."
Family Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Sean has worked in family law for 15 years and has written two educating books on child custody. Not only is Sean an excellent family law attorney he is also a certified family law mediator. He is dedicated to his clients and will always strive to do what is best for the client."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 05
Relationship: Co-worker
"Sean is a dedicated attorney who is willing to go the extra mile to make sure his clients are represented to the best of his ability, both inside and outside of the courtroom."
Family Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Co-worker
"Sean is my partner and husband. He is one of the best trial lawyers that I know. Sean is dedicated to his clients and very caring. If you want an attorney that genuinely cares about you, then Sean is the attorney for you."
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