Are you looking for a divorce lawyer who causes conflict or resolves it?

Esther Donald was trained as a mediator in the early 1990s, igniting her passion for solving legal problems through alternative dispute resolution.  Her clients value her ability to resolve their family law disputes outside the courtroom with favorable financial outcomes and minimal collateral damage to children.

Esther is a parent and stepparent who understands the realities of divorce and blended families.  She mixes her life experience and legal training with logic, patience, and persuasion to move even the most emotional family law cases toward a more peaceful future for her clients and their families.  She listens closely, asks the right questions, and works tirelessly to exceed her clients’ expectations.

Esther was trained in the collaborative divorce process five years ago and has never looked back.  She quickly rose to the position of chairperson of the Dallas Bar Association’s Collaborative Law Section and continues to actively develop her skills as a collaborative lawyer.  Her involvement in the Collaborative Divorce Collin County practice group deepens her relationships within the collaborative community and introduces her to resources that benefit her clients. Esther presented at the State Bar 13th Annual Collaborative Law Course in Spring 2020, and will be the assistant course director of the State Bar 14th Annual Collaborative Course in Spring 2021.

As a partner at GoransonBain Ausley, Esther joins forces with the firm’s talented family law litigators in those rare cases in which agreement is not possible.  But she prides herself on utilizing her negotiation, mediation, and collaborative experience to provide clients with the guidance and control to create custom settlements that are simply not possible in the courtroom.

Esther earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she served as an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review.  She is now a proud Texas Longhorn and Tulane Green Wave parent, a member of Temple Emanu-El, and a passionate advocate for helping clients divorce differently, with compassion and dignity.

Areas of Practice


  • University of Texas School of Law, 1988
    • J.D., Law
    • Texas Law Review, Associate Editor
  • University of Texas at Austin, 1985
    • B.A., English with Honors



Honors & Awards

  • Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Family Law, Woodward and White Press, 2017 – 2021
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Thomson Reuters, 2016 – 2019

Bar Admissions

  • Licensed to Practice in Texas 1988
  • Admitted to practice in Northern District of Texas
  • Admitted to practice in Eastern District of Texas

Professional Associations

  • Annette Stewart Inn of Court
    • Member, 2013 – 2019
  • Collaborative Divorce Texas (f/k/a Collaborative Law Institute of Texas)
    • Member
    • Spring Course, 2016 and 2018
    • Basic Training, 2016
    • Advanced Training, 2018 and 2019
  • Collin County Bar Association, ADR/ Collaborative Law and Family Law Section
    • Member
  • Collaborative Divorce Collin County
    • Member, 2020
  • Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court
    • Member
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association, Family Law Section
    • Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Collaborative Law Section
    • Member
    • Vice Chair, 2018 – 2019
    • Chair, 2019 – 2020
  • Dallas Bar Foundation
    • Fellow, 2019
  • State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section
    • Member
  • Texas Family Law Foundation
    • Member

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