The Best Child Custody Lawyer in NC

There’s nothing about divorce that is pleasant, but the absolute worst part is not knowing how often and under which terms you will be able to see your children.

Considering the outcome of this proceeding will determine your future, you need the most competent North Carolina child custody lawyer. Hopefully, this post will help you find the lawyer that will get you the time with your children that you deserve.

Featured: Graser Smith, PLLC

Child Custody Law Firm Logo

Even though she only opened the doors to Graser Smith, PLLC in 2016, its founder, Tonya Graser Smith, has been practicing family law in North Carolina since 2007. She has since gained a lot of recognition, from her colleagues and clients alike, including being recognized as one of the rising stars in 2017 and 2018 by Super Lawyers, and getting a close to perfect rating on Avvo.

It is hers, and her firm’s belief that in these cases, you should always strive to come to a settlement with as little bad blood and litigation between the parties as possible, knowing that they still have to find a way to work with one another even after the trial is over.


Want to keep the custody of your children? Graser Smith, PLLC is there to help you with:

  • Child custody
  • Child support arbitration
  • Pre and postnuptial agreements
  • Litigation relating to other parental rights
  • Negotiating the other terms of the divorce
  • Mediation of related family law issues
  • Equitable distribution of property


The Charlotte, NC office of Graser Smith, PLLC is opened to clients from Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM, but before going there yourself, you should reach out and give them the details of your case. You can do so either by dialing (704) 626-6795, or by visiting their website and completing the form on their Contact Us page.

Average Cost

Regardless of the practice areas they focus on, it is highly uncommon for legal firms to publicly list their pricing structure, and Graser Smith, PLLC is not an exception. However, based on client reviews, we can assume that their prices are within the norm for quality lawyers.

Online Reviews

We already mentioned the firm’s almost perfect score on Avvo, marred by one review from someone who doesn’t seem to have been a client. They have also managed to secure impressive ratings on other platforms as well, including 5 stars on Google.

They’ve also received similar commendations from lawyers practicing in other fields, which is always a good sign.

Why Did We Choose Them?

Aside from the impressive client and peer reviews and numerous accolades issued by different relevant bodies, what made us decide to recommend this firm over the others is the fact that its founder, Tonya Graser Smith has shown unwavering focus on family law matters, as shown by her work bio and education.

When looking for competent North Carolina child custody lawyers, you need someone who cares about the issues you are facing, and Tonya’s history indicates that she truly does.

Legal Firm #2: Breeden Law Office

Breeden Family Law Logo

Jonathan Breeden opened Breeden Law Office in 2000 and has since been helping the residents of North Carolina not only with family law issues, but also with those pertaining to criminal defense. Breeden Law has been building the firm’s reputation, and gaining recognition from his clients as well as from institutions like the National Council for Adoption and the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys.


Even though they also practice criminal defense, Breeden Law Office is mainly focused on family law issues, particularly:

  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support agreements
  • Interstate custody and relocation
  • Mother’s, father’s and grandparents’ rights
  • Foster care
  • LGBTQ legal issues


Visit any of their four North Carolina offices (in Garner, Smithfield, Raleigh or Angier), all of them open on weekdays from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, or first give them a call at (919) 230-8626. You can also use the contact form on their website.

Average Cost

While the website of Breeden Law Office never explicitly states their pricing, reading through the testimonials of their former clients, we can find those stating that their prices are much lower than those of large legal firms. While this might not be enough to form an educated opinion, it should at least give you a clue regarding what you would be dealing with.

Online Reviews

Even though they have no reviews on Better Business Bureau, they did manage to secure an enviable A+ rating on this platform, and since this is where most people that have something to complain about usually do so, even the absence of reviews is a sign of reliability.

As for the reviews that we did find, like those on Google which got them a perfect 5 stars rating, they describe the team as highly efficient and meticulous child custody attorneys who went out of their way to ensure that they are always available to their clients and who really took the time to listen to their every demand.

Legal Firm #3: Culbertson & Associates Attorneys at Law

Child Custody Attorneys Logo

Since opening Culbertson & Associates Attorneys at Law in 1991, Krispen Culbertson has litigated in more than 3000 cases and achieved amazing results for his clients in North Carolina. While the firm handles cases of different profiles, family law remains one of their primary focuses.


Aside from federal or state criminal law, as well as corporate and immigration law, they can help you with an entire range of custody issues, including:

  • Physical custody
  • Sole and joint custody arbitration
  • Child custody law for unmarried parents
  • Notarizing child custody agreements
  • Determining the child’s competence to choose a preferred guardian


If you intend to visit their Greensboro office (open Monday through Friday 8 AM – 6 PM) you should first give Culbertson & Associates a call by dialing (366) 272-4299, or supply them with your basic information through the contact form on their website.

Average Cost

Even though they don’t explicitly state their prices for child custody, they do list some of the industry’s standard pricing in North Carolina, and we can only assume they fall within those standards. They mention a filing fee for child custody ranging between $200 to $400, while the case costs for hiring their child custody lawyers could be anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 if the case involves cooperating parties. The pricing for or can go all the way up to $40,000 if there is need for a prolonged trial, bringing in experts or filing additional legal motions.

Online Reviews

With enviable scores on Google Reviews and Martindale-Hubbell (4.4 stars and 93% respectively), Culbertson & Associates are most often described as highly competent and very understanding of the issues their clients are facing.

There were some negative reviews, but since the only verified review didn’t go into further details, it is difficult for us to determine what the issue was. They are one of the best-reviewed legal firms in Charlotte, and of the best-reviewed child custody legal firms in North Carolina.


Despite how it may seem, falling out with a partner doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault, but if there’s someone to blame, it doesn’t mean they have to be punished. It is important to remember that everyone involved in the proceedings is likely to be suffering, particularly the children.

The only way to guarantee the best outcome is to remember that the purpose of child custody is to find the best possible setting for your child}. It’s not about your pride, it’s not about who has the superior legal team, or who hired the better child custody lawyer–it’s about your child that you love.

However, the mistake of hiring a combative child custody lawyers can cause great emotional damage to your former partner as much as it can hurt you and your child. Choose wisely the lawyer that will represent you. Hopefully, this article got you closer to doing just that. Good, luck!

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