Debra E. Guston

Top rated Family Law attorney in Glen Rock, New Jersey

Guston & Guston, LLP
Debra E. Guston
Guston & Guston, LLP

Practice Areas: Family Law, Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation; view more

Licensed in New Jersey since: 1988

Education: Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2024
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Guston & Guston, LLP

55 Harristown Road
Suite 106
Glen Rock, NJ 07452 Visit website

Details

Debra E. Guston is a partner at the firm Guston & Guston, LLP, located in Glen Rock, New Jersey. She focuses her practice on family law, adoptions, guardianships, surrogacy and donor law, assisted reproduction, prenuptial agreements, child custody, and estate planning and probate, and special needs and other trusts. 

With more than 35 years of experience practicing law, Ms. Guston is committed to providing each client with individualized attention, including a thorough analysis of their case, an explanation of the relevant laws and a range of strategies for problem-solving. She effectively steers her clients through the tangled web of the legal system and maintains open lines of communication to keep them fully apprised at all times. 

Graduating cum laude, Ms. Guston has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Mount Holyoke College. She pursued her master’s degree at Emerson College and her legal studies at Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, obtaining her Juris Doctor in 1988. She currently gives talks on adoption, assisted reproduction, and LGBT issues to her peers in her role as a visiting lecturer at Rutgers Law School.

In addition to New Jersey and the District of Columbia, Ms. Guston is licensed to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She serves as a fellow at the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Reproductive Technology Attorneys. 

Ms. Guston's years of service as a private practitioner to the LGBT community have been recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association, which has awarded her the 2017 Leading Practitioner Award. She has been chosen by the NJSBA Family Law Executive Committee to receive the 2022 Saul Tischler Award in recognition of her many years of dedication to the field of family law. She has a “Superb” rating on Avvo for her exceptional legal services. 

Active in the legal community, Ms. Guston holds memberships in the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Bergen County Bar Association, the Passaic County Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, the Women Lawyers in Bergen County, the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and the National Family Law Advisory Council of NCLR.

Practice areas

Family Law, Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning & Probate, Nonprofit Organizations

Focus areas

Adoption, Custody & Visitation, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Juvenile Law, Living Wills, Name Change, Non-profit & Tax-exempt Organizations, Paternity, Power of Attorney, Prenuptial Agreements, Probate & Estate Administration, Same Sex Family Law, Trusts, Will Contests, Wills

  • 60% Family Law
  • 10% Elder Law
  • 10% Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 10% Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10% Nonprofit Organizations

First Admitted: 1988, New Jersey

Professional Webpage: https://www.gustonlaw.com/our-team/debra-e-guston/

Firm News (Newsletters):
  • Firm Newsletter November 2011
Educational Background:
  • Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, M.A. in Theatre Arts: Concentration in Directing and Dramatic Literature, 1984
  • Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, B.A. in Theatre Arts, With Honors, cum laude, 1981
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Diversity Comm, ACLU - NJ, 2012
  • Member, Legislative Comm, NJSBA LGBT Rights Section, 2011 - 2018
  • Trustee, ACLU - NJ, 2008 - 2018
  • President, Companion Animal Advocates, Inc., 2009 - 2010
  • Trustee, Bergen County Bar Foundation, 2009 - 2010
  • Member, NJSBA FLEC Legislative Comm., 2008 - 2018
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples, NJ Esq, Volume 1, Issue 4, March 9, 2009
  • Moderator, Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018, NJ ICLE August 2018
  • Sexual Orientation and the Law, West Group, Vol. 1, Sec. 4.12 Dying Intestate, 1999
  • Adoption: Private Adoption and the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children, NJ Esq, Vol. 1, #13, May 11, 2009
  • Chapter 14: Unmarried Cohabitants, Domestic Partners & Civil Unions, with Jennifer Millner, Esq., New Jersey Family Law Practice 5 Volume Treatise, NJICLE, 2010
  • Chapter 14: Unmarried Cohabitants, Domestic Partners & Civil Unions, with Jennifer Millner, Esq., New Jersey Family Law Practice 5 Volume Treatise, NJICLE, 2012
  • Getting Up to Speed on Same-Sex Relationship Terminations and Dissolutions, Women Lawyers in Bergen County Newsletter, Volume 5, Summer, 2010
  • The Power of Words, Diversity is Natural, http://www.diversityisnatural.com/guston/
  • NJ ICLE Family Law Hot Tips: Indian Child Welfare Act, 2012
  • NJ Adoption Law, American Academy of Adoption Attys Annual Conf., 2012
  • GLBT Legal Issues, Judicial Family Education Conference, 2012
  • Webinar, Tax Implications for Non-Traditional Couples, NJICLE, 2012
  • LGBT Update, NJICLE, 2012
  • Middlesex Cty Family Law Section, Immigration and Family Law, 2012
  • Family Division Judicial Education Conference, GLBT Family Law, 2011
  • Reunification Therapy/Parental Alienation, NJICLE, 2011
  • Guest Lecturer, "Politics of Gay Marriage," Seton Hall University, 2011
  • Featured Speaker, Garden State Rainbow Pride Festival, 2011
  • Adoption Law Update, ICLE, NJ, 2011
  • NJ ICLE/NJSBA Annual Meeting: Representing the GLBT Client in Adoptions, 2011
  • NJ ICLE/NJSBA Annual Meeting: Parenting Coordination and Reunification, 2011
  • NJ ICLE/NJSBA Annual Meeting: Small Firm Hot Tips Panel, 2011
  • GLBT Update Panel, ICLE, NJ, 2011
  • Burlington County Bar Association, CU-DP litigation, 2011
  • Palimony Panel, Family Law Symposium, NJSBA, 2011
  • The Other Family Law: Adoption/ARTS, NJICLE, Dec 2010
  • GLBT Legal Issues, NJ State Bar Foundation Public Forum, 2010
  • Representing the GLBT Client in Family Matters, NJSBA Annual Mtg, May 2010
  • Family Law Rules Update, NJSBA Annual Mtg, May 2010
  • The Other Family Law, NJSBA Annual Mtg, May 2010
  • Adoption Law Update, NJ-ICLE March 20, 2010
  • Dissolving/Terminating NJ CU's and DP's, Rainbow Families of NJ, 2009
  • Update on Same-Sex Marriage Issues, NJSBA Mid-Year Mtg., 2009
  • Representing the Transgendered Client, Family Law Issues, NJSBA Annual Mtg., 2009
  • Same-Sex Marriage, Litigation & Legislative Update (Moderator), NJSBA Annual, 2009
  • Family Law for Non-Traditional Families, NJ ICLE, 2009
  • Speaker and Moderator, Estate Planning for Special Situations, NJ ICLE, 2009
  • Hot Topics in Family Law (Alimony and Civil Unions), 2008
  • Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Bergen County Estate Planners Council, 2008
  • Impact of NJ Civil Union Law on PA Family Law and Employment Law, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, 2008
  • NJ Civil Union Law (Family Law, Adoptions, Real Estate), NJICLE, 2007
  • NJ Civil Union Law, Jersey City State College, 2007
  • NJ Civil Union Law, Morris County Bar Association, 2007
  • NJ Civil Union Law, NJ State Bar Foundation, 2007
  • Estate Planning for Special Situations, NJICLE, 2004 - 2007
  • NJ Domestic Partnership Act, NJICLE, NJSBF, other groups, 2004
  • Children's Records (Adoption), Lorman, 2001 - 2004
  • Co-Editor, Chapter 14, New Jersey Family Law Practice Volume 5, NJ ICLE, 2010
  • Author, Getting Up to Speed on Same-Sex Relationship Terminations and Dissolutions, Women Lawyers in Bergen County Newsletter Vol. 5, Summer 2010, 2010
  • Author, The Power of Words, issues of sexual orientation and fostering employment diversity, www.diversityisnatural.com/guston
  • Author, Ending a Civil Union or Domestic Partnership, NJ Esq. Vol. 1, Issue 5, March 16, 2009
  • Estate Planning for Same-sex Couples, NJESQ. Vol. 1, Issue 4, March 9, 2009
  • Author of annotations for Family Court Rules 5:9 - 5:25 [Kinship Guardianship, Adoption, Adult Adoption, Families in Crisis], New Jersey Court Rules Annotated (2008) (2009), Lexis Nexis, 2010
  • Co-Author, The State of Gay and Lesbian Adoption in New Jersey, New Jersey Lawyer, New Jersey State Bar Association, 2006
  • Editor, Dying Intestate, Sexual Orientation and the Law, West Publications, 1999
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • New Jersey, 1988
  • National Family Law Advisory Council of NCLR
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • District of Columbia, 1990
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2009
  • Chair, GLBT Rights Section, New Jersey State Bar Association, 2008 - 2010
  • Legislative Committee, NJSBA LGBT Rights Section, 2018
  • Chair, NJSBA Family Law Section Executive Committee Adoption and Reproductive Rights Sub-Committee, 2018
  • Member, Family Law Executive Committee, New Jersey State Bar Association, 2007 - Present
  • Past President/Member, Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York, 1986 - Present
  • Member, National LGBT Bar Association, 1990 - Present
  • Member, LGBT Family Law Institute, 2009 - Present
  • Member, Women Lawyers in Bergen County, 2010 - Present
  • Member, Bergen County Bar Association, 1988 - Present
  • Member, Passaic County Bar Association
  • Past President, Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Greater New York [Legal], 1991 - 1993
  • Past Secretary, Board Member, National Lesbian & Gay Law Association, 1990 - 1993
  • American Society of Association Executives
Honors/Awards:
  • Fellow, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, 2010 - Present
  • Fellow, American Academy of Reproductive Technology Attorneys
  • Member, Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Bar Association  
  • For work educating peers as a lecturer for NJ ICLE, Distinguished Service Award, NJ State Bar Association - NJICLE, 2015
  • Awarded for participation in submitting amicus curae brief to New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in Lewis v. Harris post-judgment motion to Supreme Court, Amicus Curae Award, New Jersey State Bar Association, 2010
  • Awarded to Past Presidents of the Association., Leadership Award, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Greater NY, 2006
  • Awarded for lifetime achievement in private practice serving the LGBT community, Leading Practitioner, National LGBT Bar Association, 2017
  • For service to Bar in furthering its legislative agenda, Distinguished Service Award, NJSBA, 2015
Representative Clients:
  • Copelco Capital, Inc. v. Shapiro, 331 N.J. Super. 1, 750 A. 2d 773, N.J. Super A.D., 2000
  • Massaro v. Massaro, 2006 WL 350065, N.J. Super. A.D., 2006
  • State v. Kennison, 248 N.J. Super 189, 590 A. 2d 708, N.J. Super L., 1990
  • Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415, 908 A.2d 196, for amici curiae New Jersey Religious Leaders and National Religious Organizations in Support of Marriage, 2006
  • State of NJ v. Kennison, 248 N.J. Super. 189, NJ App Div, 1990
  • Schottel v. Kutyba, N.J. App .Div, 2007
  • Schottel v. Kutyba, N.J. App. Div, 2010
  • Horowitz v. Horowitz, N.J. App. Div., 2005
  • Lewis v. Harris, Appellate Docket No. A-2244-03T5, Docket No. 58,389, on the Brief for amicus curae New Jersey State Bar Association, 2010
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Association Executive, certified by the American Society of Association Executives (A.S.A.E.). Not a legal certification., 2009
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Fellow, Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, 2010
Industry Groups:
  • Academy Of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
  • American Bar Association
  • Bergen And Passaic County Bar Associations
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • NJSBA Family Law Executive Committee
  • NJSBA LGBT Rights Section
  • Women Lawyers In Bergen

Office location for Debra E. Guston

55 Harristown Road
Suite 106
Glen Rock, NJ 07452

Phone: 201-971-7035

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