M. DEBRA GOLD
Almost 30 Years of Experience, Knowledge and Insight in Custody Cases
Family law has always been my calling. Even before law school, as a temporary legal secretary, my favorite jobs were with family law attorneys. After my graduation from Georgia State University College of Law in 1988, I was fortunate to begin my career as an Associate Attorney with Jack P. Turner, who was one of the great pioneers of family law in Georgia. And, then, in 1994, I ventured out, and opened my own family law practice.
Over the years, I have litigated in hundreds of family law cases, including bench and jury trials in divorce, modification, paternity, legitimation, contempt and other family law actions.
My inclination and strengths have always leaned toward child custody cases. In 1991, I followed that pull when I took Georgia’s first Guardian ad Litem training. And, in 2004, it was a natural transition for me to limit my law practice to what I know and do best: Guardian ad Litem work, representing the best interests of children in custody disputes, and consulting with other family law attorneys in their high conflict custody cases.
mdg Custody Litigation Consulting grew out of my years of experience as a Guardian ad Litem and family law litigator. As a litigator it is important to me to zealously and compassionately represent clients without losing sight of the children’s best interests. And, as a Guardian ad Litem, I’ve always prided myself on my ability to zero in on what’s truly in the children’s best interests, after performing fair and balanced investigations. Now, I bring the benefit of my years of high standards, experience and insight to your custody cases.
In addition to my day-to-day law practice, I have always been actively involved in the family law legal community. My proudest accomplishments include:
- Forming the Family Law Section of the DeKalb Bar Association as one of the founding members in 2009, and serving on the Board from 2009 – 2015. Today, the Section is thriving.
- Spearheading and coordinating the first few years of the now annually-presented Not Your Everyday Custody Case: Advanced Issues Facing Custody Litigators and Guardians ad Litem Continuing Legal Education seminar.
- As Chair of DeKalb Bar Association Family Law Section, establishing a charitable partnership with Nia’s Place, Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center.
- Representing the Family Law Section, and the Bar membership-at-large from 2013 – 2015 on the Board of the DeKalb Bar Association.
- Authoring Confessions of a Guardian ad Litem column from 2006 – 2012 for the State Bar of Georgia “The Family Law Review.”
- Serving as the Associate Editor for the same publication (formerly titled “Family Law Section Newsletter”) from 1990 – 1994.
- Presenting/lecturing at Continuing Legal Education seminars.
- Organizing and/or presenting at Guardian ad Litem trainings for the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
- Mentoring for Guardians ad Litem through some of their more difficult cases. I love doing this.
- Volunteering as a pro bono or reduced-rate Guardian ad Litem in dozens of cases in DeKalb and Fulton Counties since 1991.
- Prevailing as an Appellant Guardian ad Litem in Kennedy v. Adams, 218 Ga. App. 120 (1995), a case still often cited.
In my spare time away from the office, I enjoy jigsaw puzzles (surprise!), crossword puzzles, and spending time with Lizzie, my sweetheart dog. I also love to travel. Probably the most interesting ‘fun fact’ about me is that in 2000, I took advantage of an opportunity to live in Barcelona, Spain, where I started a tour business giving private, small group tours of Barcelona and surrounding Catalunya. Being a born and raised Atlanta girl, however, I came back in late 2003. But Barcelona is still like a second home to me, so I return for visits as often as possible, and I help plan spectacular vacations for other travelers to Spain.