Matthews, Gabriela J.
Address: 100 E. Parrish St. Ste. 400, Durham, NC 27701
Lawyer Firm: Gabriela J. Matthews & Associates, P.A.
Fax: 855 422-6288
|Areas of Practice||Divorce, Family Law, Collaborative Family Law, Same Sex Family, Custody & Visitation, Child Support|
|Description||Gabriela Mathews was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Durham, NC at four years old. Raised in a bicultural, bilingual household, she had to constantly acclimate to different cultures, languages, lifestyles and ways of thinking. Her ability to adapt to different styles, personalities, processes, and strategies in any given situation has become one of her greatest strengths. Over her lifetime, Gabriela has also personally experienced numerous roles in various forms of family. She has been a child of divorced parents, a stepchild, a wife, a stepparent, a divorcee, and a single parent. She has been in just about every role one can have in the world of marriage. As a result, instead of viewing divorce as a failure, Gabriela views divorce as another chapter in a person’s evolution. In our society we take on new educations, careers, houses, and friends without any feeling of blame or shame. Gabriela believes that "as we grow, we sometimes also find ourselves needing to change our partners to reflect where we are headed." Gabriela believes there is no shame in that; instead, divorce is an opportunity for the person to grow and align with who they really are. With that in mind, Gabriela has trained as a life coach and now offers her services to empower clients to explore what’s next after their separation.
Gabriela has always been known for her passion. She is passionate about whatever she is doing. She is known in the legal community for passionately representing her clients, because to her, they are not just clients, but also people: mothers, fathers, domestic partners, stepparents and grandparents.
Gabriela is passionate about and has a track record of "thinking outside the box" and generating new conversations, new communities, and new ideas. She founded and co-chaired along with Durham Family Court Judge Nancy Gordon, the first Durham Family Law Section; established the organization now known as Durham & Orange Women Attorneys Association; initiated bringing the first Collaborative Family Law trainings to Triangle attorneys; helped organize and joined the first association of Triangle collaborative family law attorneys; and currently facilitates a monthly discussion among multidisciplinary (attorneys, fiancial planners and mental health) Triangle collaborative law practicioners. She is committed to having collaborative law expand into the remaining counties in North Carolina by 2020.
Gabriela is passionate about and has a track record of "thinking outside the box" and generating new conversations, new communities, and new ideas. She:
• founded and co-chaired the first Durham Family Law Section;• established the organization now known as Durham & Orange Women Attorneys Association;• initiated bringing the first Collaborative Family Law trainings to Triangle attorneys;• helped organize and joined the first association of Triangle collaborative family law attorneys;• and currently facilitates a monthly discussion among multidisciplinary (attorneys, financial planners, and mental health professionals) Triangle collaborative law practitioners. She is committed to having collaborative law expand into the remaining counties in North Carolina by 2020.
With twenty years of passionate courtroom advocacy, Gabriela realizes that at times it is necessary for an opposing party to "be told" what to do by a Judge. She has achieved those results for clients who were told by others that "it couldn’t be done." Gabriela realizes that in today’s society there are all types of families and that the law has not caught up with our technological advances. Therefore, she successfully litigated the first case in North Carolina where a same sex partner was granted custodial rights when she and her partner later separated and the biological parent attempted to restrict access to the child because her client was not a "biological" parent. Gabriela understood that, for this child, these were his parents, whether by blood or not. Gabriela fought for and won that child’s right to have both of his parents in his life, creating new law in North Carolina for hundreds of others non-traditional families.
Although a proven successful litigator and willing to take on the next court fight if necessary, Gabriela also recognizes the apparent and hidden costs of litigation to parties and their families. This realization caused Gabriela to explore additional ways to resolve family law disputes that allowed clients to achieve their goals, to preserve their dignity, yet to minimize their costs, time and stress. Along her path, she became certified as a family financial mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Committee and helped bring collaborative law trainings to her family law colleagues in the Triangle. As one of the first Triangle collaborative family law attorneys, Gabriela has been a strong advocate of collaborative law since 2001. Gabriela also understands, however, through her direct experience, that not all cases are appropriate for collaborative law or even mediation, and instead may need litigation.
Gabriela believes that, just as families are varied, the legal processes that best serve them are also varied. There should not be just one path which clients are forced to use. Instead, Gabriela believes in empowering her clients by offering and being skilled at various divorce processes and assisting her client to choose the one that best suits their particular goals, needs and interests. Today, few other area family law attorneys have the experience and adaptability to offer the variety of options with which to handle their family law concerns that Gabriela has.
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