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. 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 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. As an example, 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, 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.
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.