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Tonya Graser Smith

Child custody Attorney at Charlotte, NC

4.6   11 reviews

also known as Tonya Graser Smith, Tonya Smith

  • Licensed for 16 years
    State NC
    Acquired 2007
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Tonya

Learn Tonya’s areas of practice.

Ms. Smith focuses her practice on family law including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, and other family law matters. Since 2007, she has been practicing family and domestic law exclusively in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. In 2011, Ms. Smith completed an eight-day trial school program through the American Bar Association Family Law Section.  Since 2013, Tonya has remained a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law.  In 2015, she completed a two-day training for Collaborative Law Practice and is a member of the Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals.

Ms. Smith believes families are the most important part of an individual’s life. Family relationships - good or bad, easy or difficult - help to shape one’s life and the lives of the other very important people that surround him/her. Ms. Smith believes her clients have a right and duty to protect and provide for their family. In order to protect the family and make children the number one priority, one must first have control over family finances and be able to provide for himself/herself.

The decisions clients face in family law situations regarding family and finances are of upmost importance and should not be made without competent guidance from an attorney after reviewing the personal circumstances from all angles. Ms. Smith strives to have the highest quality working relationship with her clients so that her client are informed, educated, and confident in their decisions on how to address their family law matters.

Ms. Smith's role as an attorney is to help her clients navigate through litigation or settlement proceedings strategically and efficiently. When presenting a client’s case she ensures her client’s goals are highly emphasized throughout the process. To achieve the best possible outcome, Ms. Smith believes she and her clients must work together to be creative, employ logical solutions, and use all the tools available through the settlement or litigation proceedings.

Ms. Smith grew up in East Tennessee outside of Knoxville. She attended West Virginia University where she earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science and graduated from the Honors College. After college, she spent a year working as a consultant for Delta Gamma Fraternity which had her work all over the United States and in Canada. Ms. Smith then attended law school at Texas Tech University School of Law where she was selected in her third year of law school to participate in the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic where she was the lead attorney on a variety of civil cases including many family law matters.

Upon graduation from Texas Tech Law and passing the North Carolina Bar Exam, Ms. Smith relocated to Charlotte and began her practice of law. She focused her practice on family law and domestic matters first with Hatcher Law Group, P.C. She then opened the Charlotte office of the national family law firm Cordell Law, LLP. Ms. Smith now brings her unique skills and compassion for her clients through her years of experience. She finds her work and relationships with clients most rewarding as she is able to help clients achieve their goals, protect their families, and allow them to financially provide for their families and themselves.


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GraserSmith, PLLC
223 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28203

Child Custody lawyers nearby


4.6 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
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Posted by anonymous | May 27, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excelllent at sticking to the point and getting the job done.
In a bad time and when it was hard to focus Tonya kept on tract with all the facts and helped me Get full custody of my two sons.
Posted by Peter | August 31, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Lawyer who understands the family
My wife and hired Mrs. Tonya Graser Smith for a sensitive family custody matter. Tonya made us very comfortable and her knowledge of the legal system made the process must easier than we had expected. She took the time to make us feel like we were her most important client while we were with her. She purposefully did everything that she could to save us money on the services she performed on our behalf. In this day and age of lawyers with bad reputations, Tonya was a pleasure to do business with and I highly recommend her practice to anyone looking for a knowledgeable and compassionate professional.
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Posted by Rob | May 10, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Caring, Realistic, and Professional
I hired Tonya to handle my separation and child custody agreements. She was very attentive to my case and carefully explained each phase of the process. As we progressed, Tonya advised what my options were and explained the impact of each potential decision carefully. Her professional but caring demeanor helped me maintain a level head during a very emotional process. If I have additional legal needs Tonya will definitely be my first call.
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Posted by Tina | May 8, 2015
Excellent Divorce Lawyer
If you really need someone who is knowledgeable, friendly, professional and helpful, then Tonya is the lawyer for you. She helped me through a very long drawn out divorce, but was very patient and responsive to my needs and requests. She knows the law and was thorough in answering my questions and helping to get me overall get through a very stressful time. Thank you Tonya!
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Posted by anonymous | April 29, 2015
Simply The Best
I came into this family matter expecting the worst results being a man and hearing all the negatives about how men are treated in family matters. I heard good things about Burt Cordes law so I went to them for help. I met with Tonya and her associate Ashley for a consult and I agreed to retain them that day. I was under the gun with this matter and I was assured we would meet the challenge head on. Tonya and Ashley were fantastic in every way. Tonya was the brilliant attorney doing the fighting and Ashley was the fiery associate that loaded the gun for all the battles. They helped me to believe I had a fighting chance against the system and also against my X. They are a great team backed by a great firm. If you need Help with your family matters you will be doing yourself a wrong doing by not retaining them to help you through it. I'm not good with words but simply put Tonya is a awesome attorney that can keep you calm and guide you to the best results through her knowledge and wisdom in the court room. I didn't believe it could be done but Tonya gave me the support and help I needed to stay the course and achieve a great result.
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Posted by anonymous | September 18, 2013
A divorce Attorney with Character
I followed my divorce attorney to Arnold & Smith from another firm. Tonya Smith made no guarantees or promises or any means of coercion to get me to follow her. She simply let her record stand. It did well. I did not hesitate to follow her to Arnold & Smith. Tonya always held my interest at the foremost. She also kept a keen eye on keeping me on track, for the health of the case and to help curb paying unnecessary fees coving things that were not pertinent to the case. Tonya showed concern and believed my side of the case. Once I hired Tonya, I knew I had a fighting chance. There were many times when I would call her all frazzled and nervous about my divorce. She always knew the legal advice I needed to handle the situation. She always calmed my nerves. Tonya was constantly on the proactive side of the case. She tried to get everything settled in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the Cabarrus County Court System was not very conducive to that means. Not to mention the many, many communications through unanswered letters, phone calls, and emails to opposing council. Although this discouraged me, Tonya kept at it. When the situation warranted it, she would hold Opposing Council’s feet to the fire. During my Civil Trial, she picked apart what my ex-wife put together to try to get me to not be able to see my little girl. At the trial, my ex-wife didn’t stand a chance against Tonya. Not only did she make her look like the fool she is, Tonya got my case dismissed. I did my best to follow her advice to the letter. I know I wouldn’t have come through my divorce with what marital property I have, and more importantly, my wits without Tonya. She handled my case with professionalism, integrity, and without having to stoop to the tactics that the Opposing Council used. In short, I believe Tonya to be a rock solid attorney.
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Posted by C. Merle | September 5, 2013
First encounter with court system
I met Tonya when I needed a Family Law attorney for child custody. Her name was given to me by another attorney, who knew "of her". On blind faith, I called Arnold and Smith and was given an appointment for the following day. From the moment I met Tonya, I was impressed with her professionalism and sincere concern for the dilemma I was in. I would come to know that she not only a highly skilled, knowledgeable but passionate for her brand of law. This was my first encounter with an attorney, and the court system. Six months later, we reached a successful conclusion to my case. I am forever grateful to Tonya for her work on my behalf.
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Posted by Paul | September 5, 2013
Tonya Graser Smith review
From the moment you walk through the door and are greeted by the receptionist, you have a feeling that your legal problems are in capable hands at Arnold & Smith. Their staff of attorneys, paralegals, and support personnel are professional and caring. My attorney is Tonya Graser Smith and I would recommend Tonya to anyone in need of legal counsel. Tonya is knowledgeable in the law and the legal system, but more than that, she is responsive to my questions, keeps me updated on my case, is sensitive to my situation, and she represents me very well in Court (do not underestimate the importance of this; I have seen other attorneys in action and would be embarrassed to have retained their services). Tonya is the consummate professional -- always extremely prepared and up for the challenge. What more could you ask for? Paul (going through Divorce), client of Tonya's since July 2012
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Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2012
Just the help I was looking for!
As a father I was terrified of what divorce could mean for me and custody of my son. I wanted to ensure my time with my son and additonally protect myself legally and financially. Without the benefit of any previous advice I found her by chance and I took a chance. I walked into their office very nervous and unsure. I walked out confident and secure that things would be okay. Tonya set me at ease from the first meeting and I knew I had made the right decision choosing Arnold & Smith. As my case progressed she was always available for all the anxious moments. She guided me through the process and ensured that I understood each step. I never felt as though I was just another client as she treated me like a friend. Tonya was open and honest about my high expectations but worked hard to achive them. And in the end she got the reults (and then some) that I wanted. I could not be happier with the service I received and would gladly recommend Tonya and the entire Arnold and Smith team.
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Posted by anonymous | November 23, 2011
If you need a professional lawyer, here she is!
I was very impressed with Ms. Graser's preparedness and professional conduct during my hearing, I could not have asked for better representation.
Posted by anonymous | February 18, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
When I met with Ms. Graser, she was unbelievably condescending and patronizing. I felt like I subjected myself to be looked down on by her rather than receive actual, helpful advice. She needs to find another career where empathy and compassion is not required or where a cold, robotic demeanor is appreciated. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for a family law attorney who actually cares - Ms. Graser isn’t it.
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Response from Tonya Graser Smith March 20, 2020
I was very surprised to read this. I am unaware of the client's displeasure until reading this. I welcome the client to contact me directly to discuss when this person consulted with me. I recognize all attorneys are different and some are better fits for clients than others. I hope this person was able to find an attorney that was a good fit for him or her.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Founder and Managing Member
  • Graser Smith PLLC
  • 2016 - Present
  • Attorney, Managing Member
  • Law Office of Tonya Graser Smith, PLLC
  • 2014 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • Burt & Cordes, PLLC
  • 2014 - 2016
  • Partner
  • Arnold & Smith, PLLC
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • Cordell Law, LLP
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Attorney
  • Hatcher Law Group, PC
  • 2007 - 2009
View all work experience


  • North Carolina Bar
  • Board Certified Specialist in Family Law
  • 2013
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A
  • West Virginia University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Various Family Law Litigation and Mediation Cases
  • Positive outcomes for clients related to personal client goals.


  • Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals
  • Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • Women Lawyers of Charlotte (formally Charlotte Women's Bar Association)
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Membership Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Women Lawyers of Charlotte (formally) Charlotte Women's Bar Association, Membership Committee and Program Board Member
  • Co-chair
  • N/A
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • Volunteer Lawyers
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Legal Elite
  • North Carolina Business
  • 2018
  • Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Collaborative Law for Family Law
  • Collaborative Law Practice Training
  • 2015
  • Legal Elite
  • North Carolina Business
  • 2015
  • Board Certified Specialist - Family Law
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • 2013
  • Nominated for Emerging Leaders 2011
  • Lawyers Weekly Emerging Leaders
  • N/A
View all awards


  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • What You Need to Know About Parties in the Military [More for Family Law Matters]
  • 2016
  • “Family Law Section Lunch & Learn: A Discussion on Contempt”
  • "A Discussion on Contempt”
  • 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • Mecklenburg County Bar CLE: SCRA
  • What You Need to Know About Parties in the Military [More for Family Law Cases]
  • 2016
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Family Law Section Continuing Legal Education
  • What You Need to Know About Parties in the Military [for Family Law Cases]
  • 2015
  • “Family Law Section Lunch & Learn: A Discussion on Contempt”
  • A Discussion on Contempt
  • 2012
  • 10 Stupidest Mistakes
  • 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce
  • 2011
  • Divorce Questions and Answers
  • Divorce Questions and Answers - Discussion Seminar
  • 2009
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (18)
Given (17)
Endorse Tonya
Family Attorney | Jun 04
Relationship: Other
"I attended a weeklong family law trial advocacy session with Tonya. She is a well-prepared, well-trained family law attorney. When I need a North Carolina Family Law attorney, Tonya is always at the top of my list."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tonya is a smart and tenacious lawyer. She is a strong advocate and genuinely cares for clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I've known Tonya for years both professionally and personally. Tonya and I have had cases representing opposite spouses, and I have also mediated for her. Tonya passionately advocates for her clients while remaining calm and level-headed in the courtroom. She takes a big picture approach, but focuses on getting the best result for her client when court is the only option. She is also respected by the lawyers and judges in our community. I highly recommend Tonya to anyone looking for a strong litigator in the courtroom."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Smith is an excellent attorney who is an effective and passionate advocate for her clients."
Family Attorney | May 11
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Tonya is a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law with experience both in and out of the courtroom. Tonya is a strong advocate for her clients and well respected among her colleagues."
Family Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tonya is an amazing attorney with a quick legal mind and a strong desire to obtain the best results for her clients. Tonya is caring and detail oriented yet very efficient. I highly recommend Tonya!"
Divorce and separation Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Highly experienced in all domestic matters. Tonya is an incredibly strong advocate for her clients- whether it's negotiating settlements or litigating in the courtroom. She is also one of those rare attorneys who will return your call within 24 hours."
Family Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Child custody Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have worked with Tonya for quite a while on matters of family law. She is an exceptional and fair attorney. I do recommend and endorse Tonya."
Family Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wholeheartedly endorse Ms. Graser-Smith. She is a caring and knowledgeable advocate for her clients."
Family Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Co-worker
"Attorney Smith is extremely knowledgable, hard-working, and personable. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tonya has a keen sense when representing clients, especially in family law matters. She diligently represents her clients and anyone would be well fit to have Tonya Smith as their attorney. I recommend and endorse her."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Friend
"Tonya is an exceptional talent. She treats people with respect and handles matters with integrity. With a results focused approach, she provides the highest quality of representation."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Mar 07
Relationship: Co-worker
"As a fellow domestic attorney in Tonya's firm, I have been privileged to observe her skills and expertise firsthand. She is organized, pays great attention to detail, and is an outstanding advocate for her clients. Most importantly, she is highly responsive to her clients and finely attuned to their needs. I have a great amount of respect for Tonya, and I would refer family to her without hesitation."
Family Attorney | Mar 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ms. Graser and I worked on opposite sides of a high-conflict family law matter. I found her to be highly professional and a worthy advocate. She was helpful in coming up with ideas for resolving the matter without having to battle everything out in the courtroom. We were able to resolve the case so that both our clients interests were served."
Family Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Tonya Graser for several years now and and I have found her to be a knowledgeable family law attorney who works hard to achieve results for her clients."
Family Attorney | Jan 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tonya is highly professional and experienced.She is also a pleasure to work with and a great choice for your family law needs."
Family Attorney | Nov 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tonya is a fine family law attorney who works very hard for her clients. She is very professional, thorough and caring. She is an asset to our legal community in Charlotte and on AVVO."
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