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Brent Tanner



Gene Brentley Tanner is a Partner with Cheshire Parker Schneider and Bryan. He is a native of Cumberland County, North Carolina and has lived in Cary since the Fall of 2008. Brent earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 and earned his Juris Doctor from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University in 2007. Brent was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in August of 2007.

Since his admission to the Bar, Brent has focused his practice on family law matters including separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, military pension division orders, court orders acceptable for processing, issues related to survivor benefit plans, property distribution, high-asset divorces, divorces involving complex business valuations, professional practice divorces, domestic violence, premarital agreements, separation and property settlement agreements, and qualified domestic relations orders. Brent worked as an associate and then partner at the Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A., and Sullivan & Tanner, P.A., for approximately ten years before partnering with Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan.

In addition, Brent has practiced in an extensive amount of venues in North Carolina, including 26 counties such as Wake County, Cumberland County, Harnett County, Johnston County, Moore County, Lee County, Robeson County, Hoke County, Sampson County, Chatham County, Durham County, Orange County, Randolph County, Forsyth County, Onslow County, Craven County, Beaufort County, Franklin County, Granville County, Alamance County, Wayne County, Carteret County, Nash County, Pender County, Currituck County, and Transylvania County,.

Brent is known both statewide and nationally as an expert in family law matters related to military divorce issues, military pension division orders, federal pension divisions, court orders acceptable for processing, and former spouse survivor benefit rights. Brent has served as an expert on such matters and has consulted with attorneys on the federal laws related to military pensions and federal civil service retirements with attorneys from various states. He has also appeared pro hace vice in a case in Massachusetts in a case involving complex issues related to entitlements to survivor benefit plan rights to a former spouse.

Professional Recognition and Involvement:

Brent was certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of Family Law in 2012.

In 2016, Brent was certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Family Financial Mediator.

Since 2016, Brent has also been certified to serve as a court appointed certified Parenting Coordinator and has extensive experience in cases as a Parenting Coordinator.

In 2013, 2015, and 2016, he was named as a Rising Star by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.

In 2014, he was named to Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” in the area of Family Law.

Scholarly Articles, Manuscripts, and Publications:

“Mr. Smith goes to Washington for Work… and Ms. Smith needs Help!,” North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, August 1, 2011; Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, September 2011 and December 2011; Oregon Family Law Newsletter, February 2012; Michigan Bar Journal, October 2012 and November 2012.

“Fear of FERS: A Primer for Federal Pension Division,” North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, August 8, 2011; Family Forum (Family Law Section, NC Bar Association), May 2012.

“The Lord Giveth and the Court of Appeals Imputed More: State of Earning Capacity in Support Cases,” Family Forum (Family Law Section, NC Bar Association), February 2012.

“The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act,” Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Volume 27, 2015, Number 2.

“The Battle for the Biggest Assets: Dissolution of the Military Marriage and Post-divorce Considerations for Aging Clients,” Family Law Quarterly, Volume 50, No. 1, Spring 2016.

“Winds of Change: New Rules for Dividing the Military Pension at Divorce,” Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Volume 30, 2018, Number 2.

Courses Taught and Continuing Legal Education Presentations:

Author and Lecturer, “Special Issues in Military Divorce,” Advanced Family Law, National Business Institute Seminar, February 2012.

Author and Lecturer, “Lunch & Learn for Military Retirement,” Cumberland County Family Law Attorneys and Judges, 12th District Court Judges Office, Fayetteville, NC, March 2012.

Author and Lecturer, “Military Divorce: Dividing Military Retirement Benefits,” Strafford Webinar, September 2012.

Author and Lecturer, “Family Law and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and Child Custody and Visitation Issues,” NC LAMP Committee, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, NC, October 2012.

Author and Lecturer, “Veterans and Family Law,” Veterans’ Justice Project, New York City, NY November 2012.

Author and Lecturer, “Lunch & Learn for Survivor Benefit Plan,” Cumberland County Family Law Attorneys and Judges, 12th District Court Judges Office, Fayetteville, NC, February 2013

Author and Lecturer, “Basics of Equitable Distribution,” Divorce Law Guide from A to Z, National Business Institute, June 2013.

Author and Lecturer, “International Service of Process” Immigration Challenges Impacting Children and Families, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, September 2013.

Author and Lecturer, “Handling your First Divorce,” LawReviewCLE, September 2013.

Author and Lecturer, “Tax Consequences in Divorce,” Financial Divorce Settlements from Start to Finish, National Business Institute, December 2013.

Author and Lecturer, “Special Issues in Military Divorce,” and “Advanced Child and Spousal Support Issues,” Advanced Family Law, National Business Institute, February 2014.

Author and Lecturer, “Discovery Procedure and Model Letters/Motions,” “Discovery of Social Media Use and Other Electronic Data,” “What Individual Tax Returns Can Show You,” “Common Issues in Dividing a Family Business,” “Witness Testimony,” “Mental Health Evidence in Custody and Abuse Cases,” “Legal Ethics,” and “Discovery Abuses and Remedies,” Discovery and Evidence in Divorce, National Business Institute, June 2014.

Author and Lecturer, “Divorce and the Military,” Family Law Survey, Law to the People, June 2014.

Author and Lecturer, “Special Issues in Military Divorce,” Advanced Family Law, National Business Institute, Charlotte, NC, August 2014.

Author and Lecturer, “Surrogacy Agreements: The Latest Case Law and Drafting Tools,” Adoption, Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction Law, National Business Institute, December 2014.

Author and Lecturer, “Divorce Case Intake and Pre-Litigation Tactics,” “Commencing Divorce Action,” “Trial of a Divorce Case,” and “Enforcement and Post-Trial Modifications,” Divorce Litigation from Start to Finish, National Business Institute, February 2015.

Author and Lecturer, “Continuing Farm Operations Through the Divorce,” and “Agricultural Use Valuation,” Divorce Law: Representing Farmers, National Business Institute, June 2015.

Author and Lecturer, “Equitable Distribution Primer,” Family Law Specialization Exam Review, North Carolina Advocates for Justice, September 2015.

Author and Lecturer, “Alimony & Post-Separation Support,” and “Deployment and Child Custody,” 2015 Military and Veterans Affair Committee (MVAC) Program, North Carolina Bar Association, September 2015.

Author and Lecturer, “The Hague/International Adoption Challenges,” Advanced Issues in Adoption Law, National Business Institute, October 2015.

Lecturer, “Military Family Law Issues,” Serving Those Who Served: Meeting the Legal Needs of Maine Veterans, Service members and their Families, Maine State Bar Association, January 2016.

Lecturer, “Military Divorce Issues,” American Bar Association’s Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Continuing Legal Education Seminar, ABA LAMP Committee, March 2016.

Author and Lecturer, “About-Face: Gradual Changes in the Military and Federal Retirement Systems,” North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, May 2016.

Presenter, “Post-trial Matters and Settlement Documents,” Covering All the Bases: 2016 Essentials of Family Law with Advocacy Skills Clinic, North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section, November 2016.

Lecturer, “Valor Symposium: Your Client is a Veteran, Now What?” UNC 2017 Festival of Legal Learning, February 2017.

Moderator/Presenter “Military Pension Division – Basics,” American Bar Association Family Law Section Spring 2017 Meeting, April 2017.

Author and Lecturer, “Divorce Law: Common Mistakes in Dividing Assets,” National Business Institute, February 2017.

Lecturer, “Survivor Benefit Plans and Military Divorce,” Strafford Webinars, June 2017.

Presenter, “New Developments in Military Pension Division: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” American Bar Association – Webinar, August 17, 2017.

Presenter, “Military Pensions”, Tips Aren’t Just for Waiters: Practice Tips for Even the Most Experienced Family Law Attorney, 2017-2018 NCBA Family Law Intensive CLE, Winter 2018.

Associations/Memberships:

Brent is a member of the Wake County Bar Association, the 10th Judicial District Bar, the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Brent has served as the Chairperson of the Military Committee for the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section and was appointed by the American Bar Association’s president to serve a two-year term with the American Bar Association’s Veterans Legal Services Initiative Commission.

Brent currently serves as the Chair of the Military and Veterans Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Military and Veterans Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He is serving as the Committee Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and has previously served as the Committee Chair for the Pro Bono Committee of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

To schedule an initial consultation with Brent, contact his paralegal, Amber Caling, at Amber.Caling@cheshirepark.com or (919) 833-3114. Brent can be reached directly at Brent.Tanner@cheshirepark.com or (919) 833-3114.


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Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan, PLLC 133 Fayetteville Street Suite 500 Raleigh, NC 27601 | Phone: (919) 833-3114 Fax: (919) 832-0739