Tonya Graser Smith


  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D. 2007
  • West Virginia University, B.A. Political Science 2003

Certifications and Accolades

  • North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, 2013
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and American Bar Association Family Law Section Trial School, 2011
  • Collaborative Law Practice Training, 2015
  • Super Lawyers – Rising Stars 2017 and 2018
  • North Carolina Business Legal Elite 2015 and 2018

Tonya Graser Smith

Tonya Graser Smith is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and licensed North Carolina attorney.  She focuses her practice on child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, divorce, prenuptial agreements, contract enforcement, and other family law matters.  Tonya works with her clients to solve problems and to reach durable, enduring resolutions in each case.

While she recognizes that clients are often most satisfied when cases resolve through settlement agreement, she understands that some cases must go to court.  Having argued and tried hundreds of motions and cases in North Carolina courts, Tonya is an experienced litigator who works cooperatively with her clients to comprehensively present cases in court.

For Tonya, every client is a personal relationship and is entitled to individualized attention and tailored service.  From the beginning of the attorney-client relationship, Tonya identifies the client’s goals, guides clients through the divorce and family law process, and sets expectations for possible and achievable resolutions.  Whether through settlement or trial, she partners with her clients in creating dynamic and unique plans which respect and reflect the priorities, paramount goals, and individual circumstances of each client.

Tonya takes a compassionate and empathetic approach to divorce advocacy.  She recognizes that, for many of her clients, this time is one of the most difficult and emotionally exhausting periods of their life.  In providing considered, reasoned, and time-tested advice, Tonya works to achieve both immediate and long-term outcomes which respect the primary objectives of the client.

Taking an assertive and straightforward approach to client representation, Tonya plans each step of a case alongside her clients while giving her clients specific tools to direct the case’s outcome.  One of her great satisfactions is in knowing her clients have received both the guidance they need along with the benefits they are entitled.

Since 2007, she has practiced family and domestic law exclusively in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, including Cabarrus, Union, Gaston, and Stanly.  Tonya has been recognized for her accomplishments in family law by Legal Elite of North Carolina and Super Lawyers of North Carolina.  She frequently presents in legal education events to lawyers and family law professionals on legal developments and litigation tactics.
In 2011, Tonya completed an eight-day trial school program through the American Bar Association Family Law Section and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.  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.

Tonya resides in Charlotte with her husband, Sean P. Smith, a Mecklenburg County District Court Judge since 2011, and their son and daughter.

Community Involvement and Professional Memberships

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals
  • Domestic Court Bar Committee, Mecklenburg County
  • Charlotte Women Lawyers