Session Descriptions

Thursday

Presentation: Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Family Conflict Resolution

Presenter: Ken Cloke

Description: TBA

Presentation: The Logic of Emotions in Divorce: How to Mediate Anger, Fear, Grief and Shame (Part 1)

Presenter: Ken Cloke

Description: TBA

Presentation: Using Mediation to Help Couples Stay Married (Part 1)

Presenters: Ken Neumann and John Fiske

Description: TBA

Presentation: Beginning and Advanced Forensics for CDFA Holders

Presenter: Nancy Hetrick

Description: This session will help participants understand the overlap between Financial Forensics and Forensic Accounting. Topics will include definitions, process, work product and separate property tracing, as well as determination of income, Lifestyle Analysis, Marital Fraud and Hidden Assets and Small Business Estimates Valuations.

Presentation: How Can You Say That?

Presenter: Kate Fanger

Description: This is an interactive workshop for discovering and improving your choice of words to help any parties involved in conflict conversations successfully navigate the minefield of emotion that gets expressed verbally during conflicts. Role play common impasse scenarios and gain insights and specific tools for recognizing — and harnessing –the power of language in conflict conversations. Learn ways to adapt your language to create faster and better rapport, both with clients and other professionals. Learn how to ask more useful questions to elicit positive and creative responses. Enhance your effectiveness by practicing neutral framing and reframing.

Presentation: Working Together Better-Stronger Team Dynamics

Presenters: Jeffrey Fink, Linda Cohan

Description: Any complicated case requires teamwork. How do you form a team that works well together despite having clients who may have competing interests? Drawing from the literature on team building from corporate organizational development, especially the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, Linda and Jeff will help guide attendees toward affirmative steps they can take to be more collaborative and effective in a group.

Presentation: The Logic of Emotions in Divorce: How to Mediate Anger, Fear, Grief and Shame (Part 2)

Presenter: Ken Cloke

Description: TBA

Presentation: Using Mediation to Help Couples Stay Married (Part 2)

Presenters: Ken Neumann and John Fiske

Description: TBA

Presentation: Adjuticative Creep

Presenters: Alex Glassman and Steve Erickson

Description: TBA

Presentation: Creative College Planning Resolutions

Presenters: Beth Aarons, Justin Kelsley & Kim Whelan

Description: TBA

Presentation: Conflicting Values Between Parents

Presenter: Kira Nurieli

Description: This session highlights how to handle conflicting values as they are reflected in parenting styles. When parents don’t embrace the same values, or when values are contradictory, there can be increased fighting and distrust, especially in divorce situations. This can lead to mixed signals for the children, who end up confused or hurt. This session highlights specific ways to target, address, and handle conflicting values, so that parents can be more mindful and purposeful in their choices and messages to their children and each other.

Presentation: Women in ADR and Finance

Presenters: Amanda Singer, Vicki Shemin, Donna Petrocelli, Kristyn Carmichael, Cheryl Glazer and Marilyn Mcknight

Description: TBA

Presentation: What Would Gandhi Do?

Presenters: Paul Fair and Robert Bordett

Description: Participants will analyze vignettes of two complex cases involving challenging financial, parenting, emotional and communications issues and share their experience and perspectives on if or when to terminate a case. Attendees will have the opportunity share their own cases and receive feedback and helpful suggestions from the group. Topics will include: How a mediator makes a decision to terminate or continue the process when there are significant factors for and against; what pre-mediation assessment and client teaching tools are available; how to confront your suspicions about clients lying, withholding or hiding information and/or money, and undisclosed outside influencers; and how to bring in attorneys, coaches, etc. to expedite the mediation process.

Presentation: Managing Student Loans in Divorce

Presenter: Adam Minsky

Description: Attorney Adam S. Minsky will provide a detailed overview of the complex student loan system and issues that often come up when student loan borrowers are going through a divorce, so that practitioners will be better prepared to help clients who are struggling with student debt during a difficult time. Participants will learn about 1) the different student loan types, players, and statuses so that they can get a better handle on the complexities of the student loan system; 2) the nuances of the multiple repayment plans and forgiveness options that are available to student loan borrowers, as well as changes that may be on the horizon, so they can better advise their clients; and 3) unique student loan-related issues facing borrowers who are going through divorce.

Presentation: Innovative & Strategic Use of Neutrals

Presenters: Karen Levitt, Karen Ela Kenny, Susan Miller

Description: Neutrals can be critical to the mediation process whether or not they have an actual seat at the mediation table by adding creativity and innovation to settlement negotiations. Yet we are not always thoughtful enough about the use of neutrals in mediation. Explore the who, what, why, when and how of neutrals in mediation, and learn how to use neutrals in a strategic manner to facilitate the best resolution and most positive outcome for clients.

Presentation: Modernizing the Family Practice

Presenter: Barbara Manousso

Description: TBA

Presentation:  Mediating Divorces Involving Children with Autism

Presenter: Lawrence Jones

Description: The United States CDC has recently indicated that 1 in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism. With a divorce rate hovering at approximately 50%, the odds are fairly strong that every family law mediator will at some point in the future deal with a case where a child of divorcing parents has autism. This course will concentrate on important issues for a mediator to consider when attempting to resolve a divorce between parents of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program will provide a concise overview on autism, and will interweave special considerations on issues of custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, and related educational and estate planning issues (special needs trust, etc).

Presentation: Ethics for Mediators, Lawyers & Financial Planners

Presenters: Chris Chen, Lili Vasileff

Description: As mediators, lawyers, and financial planners, we are all committed to the best interests of our clients. Our ethics considerations mostly overlap, but not always. This session will be a panel to compare the ethics of three important professions involved in divorce. The panel will include a mediator, a lawyer, and a financial planner each representing their profession’s point of view. Participants will get an understanding of the ethical considerations of each profession.

Presentation: Financial Challenges in Mediating a Grey Divorce

Presenter: Renee Senes

Description: Among those aged 65 and older, the divorce rate has roughly tripled since 1990. When there are no longer enough working years left to make up the loss, the breaking up of these marriages can have a profound impact on future financial stability. This workshop will help you look at the financial challenges in mediating a grey divorce. Topics include: providing sufficient cash flow; understanding social security and claiming strategies; obtaining a mortgage or home equity line when no longer working; using a reverse mortgage for cash flow or to “buy out” a spouse; alternatives to life insurance for the uninsurable; and tax traps in required minimum distributions “RMD’s”.

Presentation: Radical Candor and Other Communication Strategies

Presenter: Kathryn Lazar

Description: Theories propounded in “Radical Candor”, “Appreciative Inquiry”, and “Difficult Conversations” provide us with tools to overcome challenges we face mediating effectively with challenging clients and with co-mediators. Participants will learn the underlying principles set forth in these books, will be able to apply the principles to situations involving challenging clients and challenges faced when co-mediating, and will understand how to apply the principles to support their office teams and mediation community.

Presentation: Case Consultation Workshop

Presenter: Woody Mosten

Description: Woody is a prolific author (6 books) and family mediator with over 40 years of experience in the fields of family mediation, collaborative law, and peacemaking.  In this very special workshop, Woody offers APFM Conference participants an opportunity to participate in his exclusive case consultation work group.  In addition to helping the case presenter, Woody will facilitate an interactive discussion of lessons learned with the detailed, insightful feedback for which Woody is internationally known.  This workshop is open to all conference attendees.  Whether you want to present your own case for Woody’s examination or just learn from others, this is an opportunity that will help your mediation skills move to the next level.

Friday

Presentation: What Makes People Tick: A Divorce Professional’s Guide to Our Multiple Parts

Presenter: David Hoffman

Description: TBA

Presentation: Child Support Account (Part 1)

Presenters: Marilyn McKnight and Steve Erickson

Description: Since 1983, divorce clients at Erickson Mediation Institute have been using the option of developing their own child support arrangement. They have chosen to develop a budget of their children’s expenses, and a method of sharing those expenses according to the prorate percentage of their joint incomes. Each couple decides the detail of their children’s budget and what will be shared, and what each will pay separately, when and how it will be changed. MN courts have accepted this arrangement as a deviation from child support guidelines. This workshop will demonstrate how this works in several different scenarios which will be presented in role play followed by observations and questions from the audience.

Presentation: Generational Panel (Part 1)

Presenters: Michael Aurit, Amanda Singer, Justin Kesley, and Don Saposnek

Description: TBA

Presentation: How to Make and Win Your Point with a Narcissist

Presenter: Christine Hammond

Description: It seems like narcissists are everywhere, especially in divorce court. And they are. Their inability to sustain long-term relationships means they divorce more frequently than other personalities. Their charm blinds attorneys, judges, and other professionals to the manipulation that lies beneath. Don’t be deceived. Discover their universal vulnerabilities that transform communication so effectively that you get what you want while they think it is their idea.

Presentation: Meeting the (Big) Challenges of “Blended Families”

Presenter: Patricia Papernow

Description: Most divorces are followed by the recoupling of one or both partners. The result is a fundamentally different family form that inherently creates competing needs between children and adults, between parents and stepparents, and very often, between co-parenting ex-spouses. Mediators and financial planners without a solid understanding of these dynamics can inadvertently deepen the conflict and exacerbate the pain. This workshop integrates four decades of research and clinical practice to give you evidence-based guidelines for what works, and what doesn’t, to navigate these challenges.

Presentation: Social Security: What You Need to Know in Divorce

Presenter: Kurt Czarnowski

Description: Social Security’s retirement program has been a basic part of American life for over 83 years now. But, despite the program’s age and economic impact, the myths and misunderstandings about its operation continue to be substantial. Kurt Czarnowski, the Social Security Administration’s former Regional Communications Director for New England, will specifically focus on the things that divorce professionals need to know in order to assist those clients and prospects who come to them looking for help with this complex topic.  Besides covering general topics such as when to collect and how a benefit is figured, he will also focus on the specific features of the program that impact divorced spouses, including a discussion of the things that can be done to maximize one’s lifetime Social Security benefits.

Presentation: Child Support Account (Part 2)

Presenters: Marilyn McKnight and Steve Erickson

Description: Since 1983, divorce clients at Erickson Mediation Institute have been using the option of developing their own child support arrangement. They have chosen to develop a budget of their children’s expenses, and a method of sharing those expenses according to the prorate percentage of their joint incomes. Each couple decides the detail of their children’s budget and what will be shared, and what each will pay separately, when and how it will be changed. MN courts have accepted this arrangement as a deviation from child support guidelines. This workshop will demonstrate how this works in several different scenarios which will be presented in role play followed by observations and questions from the audience.

Presentation: Generational Panel (Part 2)

Presenters: Michael Aurit, Amanda Singer, Justin Kesley, and Don Saposnek

Description: TBA

Presentation: Divorce and Special Needs: Defining the Best Interests

Presenter: Cynthia Haddad

Description: When going through a divorce, the whole family is impacted.  This workshop will answer the following questions: How do you plan appropriately for a child with life-long special needs without disqualifying them for government benefits and services in the future?  What are some of the common mistakes advisors make when planning for a family with special needs? Is there more to child support than who gets the tax deduction? How do you take into consideration the financial needs of the caregiving parent when the child is living at home and when/if the child moves from the family home? How do you plan for the changing needs of the child along their lifespan? How do you strike a balance of what the children’s needs are and what the resources will provide?

Presentation: Navigating Divorce Ambivalence with Integrity

Presenter: Rachel Zamore

Description: When couples start down the road to divorce, momentum can take hold and not leave much room for slowing down or possibly even reconsidering this extremely important decision. Yet research shows a certain percentage of divorcing couples would explore the possibility of reconciliation if their spouse were also willing. This presentation discusses how to recognize and talk with your clients about ambivalence when it shows up in your mediation or planning work. Participants will be introduced to the referral option of a short-term counseling process designed to help ambivalent couples get more clarity and confidence in their decision about the future of their marriage. By providing practical tools and resources including a protocol you can use to help couples struggling with their decision, this workshop will help participants develop confidence in recognizing and assessing for divorce ambivalence, including the use of specific field-tested questions to include in a routine intake process, learn the 3 steps of ambivalence protocol for effectively responding to divorce ambivalence, and learn the basic structure, purpose, and usefulness of discernment counseling.

Presentation: Mediation on the shoulders of the Bible and Talmud

Presenter: Carl Viniar

Description: In this workshop, we will examine how mediation is consistent with, and perhaps even based on Jewish and Biblical principles. We will discuss Shalom Bayit (peace or harmony in the home), Teshuvah (repentance), Care for the stranger, widow and orphan, Tikkun Olam (healing the world) and maybe even Tzelem Elohim (Imago Dei, in God’s image). This is not a session on Jewish or canonical law, or even about the theological issues with divorce. It is about using religious principles to make divorce more peaceful and effective. No religious training or background is needed, but perhaps a feeling of spirituality, a connectedness to the human condition, or even just a willingness to explore new ideas would be helpful.

Presentation: What Mediators Can Learn from Social Science Relationship Research: New Perspectives on Anger and Conflict

Presenter: Don Saposnek

Description: Anger and conflict appear deeply endemic to our species, so why, as mediators, do we believe that we can resolve them? Peering into the empirical social science research on relationships yields fresh and potentially game-changing perspectives that suggest a different way to approach conflict. The results are very surprising and have implications for our expectations of mediation, and the models and methods we use. This workshop will explore the research on the function and purpose of anger and its relationship to conflict, and its implications for how to more effectively approach the conflicts of couples. Participants will identify the roots and nature of anger in relationships; describe several key social science research findings that inform our understanding of conflict; and characterize a fresh perspective and methodology for approaching mediation work.

Presentation: How Business Owner’s Create Liquidity in Divorce

Presenter: Ivy Menchel

Description: TBA

Presentation: Following Up with the Client Post Divorce

Presenter: Sandy Voit

Description: After their divorce, clients report that they were so exhausted and overwhelmed with the process, that they never got around to completing the numerous aspects of changing beneficiaries, locks, title transfers, logins and passwords and many more. As a rule, it is rare that attorneys follow up with their clients post divorce. I have made it a point to contact clients about a year post-divorce. They are extremely appreciative in addition to feeling embarrassed. This is your opportunity to provide excellent customer service, provide needed assistance (and perhaps some billable time), and generates great referrals. Every divorce is different, of course, and this workshop will help you craft your own checklist to provide to your clients for your follow up.

Presentation: Enneagram- mediating personality based differences

Presenter: Galit Sneh Lurie

Description: Understanding your clients at a deeper level assists the mediation process. The Enneagram model is a typology that defines nine major personality types. We will be introduced to the model and to different personality-based worldviews, perspectives, features and behaviors that characterize the different personality patterns of each type. In this interactive workshop, after defining our own type, we will explore the influence of our type and type differences among our clients on the mediation process. This model will introduce us to tools for enhancing our mediation work by developing an understanding and ability to work out differences that arise due to the variance of personality perspectives. These differences affect negotiation styles, decision making processes, comfort zones and more.

Presentation: Reflective Practice

Presenter: Michael Lang

Description: A pioneer in the field of family mediation with over 40 years of experience, Michael Lang showcases a case consultation group based on the use of reflective practice to learn from experience and become more competent and effective as a mediator.  For the past 18 months, Michael has led a small group of peers who meet monthly via video conference to discuss practice challenges as family mediators.  This workshop will demonstrate the richness of these conversations, the ways in which questions lead to insights, and the many ways the group members help one another learn to become better mediators.  Michael’s case consultation group is a membership benefit of APFM.  This workshop is open to all conference attendees.

Presentation: Reading Business Valuation Reports

Presenter: Michael Garibaldi

Description: TBA

Presentation: How to Earn a Living as a Family Mediator

Presenters: Virginia Colin and Panel

Description: Once you have become a good mediator, there are many people who need your services. The problem for many mediators is that they learned how to mediate but did not learn how to market their services. Some are uncomfortable with the idea of marketing, but it is necessary. You have to make it easy for the people who need your services to find you. Learn how choosing a business name, a logo, an email address, and a postal address are tied to branding. Find out how to get a good headshot, what to put on your business cards, how to get your website off to a good start, where to add your company to directory listings, and how to ask for online reviews. Learn about using social media for marketing, paying for advertising, and building a referral network. Learn about building a website that works, adding your company to directory listings, using social media for marketing, paying for advertising, and networking. Learn which people NOT to hire for help with marketing.

Presentation: The Story Behind the Story, or Human First

Presenter: Richard Barbieri

Description: Everyone knows that mediation requires good listening skills.  But the best mediators try to listen to what has not been said, as much as to what has.  What is the story behind the story, the events, feelings, and relationship issues that the parties are not revealing, or perhaps do not even recognize?  Through anecdotes from the presenter and the participants, artistic representations, and interpersonal theory, we will attempt to strengthen our ability to help our clients with both their presenting problem and their contributing but concealed challenges. In this workshop, participants will learn to enhance their listening skills, read beneath the “presenting problem”, and help clients resolve issues at a deeper level than they might have considered.

Presentation: Trainwrecks in Mediation

Presenters: Don Saposnek and Chip Rose

Description: TBA

Presentation: From QDRO to COAP and RBCO: Decoding the World of Federal Pensions

Presenter: Steve Abel

Description: The Federal government may be the world’s leader in strange abbreviations and acronyms.  In this workshop, I’ll untangle the meaning of these abbreviations and explain how they resemble and differ from the more ordinary corporate or union QDROs.   Federal employees have regular monthly pensions and a Thrift Savings Plan (think 401k).  As the mediator, you may want to be positioned to help them work out the details.  This workshop will provide the basic tools to do so.

Saturday

Presentation: Cultural Myths Undermining Mediation Process (Part 1)

Presenter: Darcia Tudor

Description: The workshop will address conscious and subconscious cultural myths and stereotypes that undermine Mediator Neutrality, Equal Bargaining and Access to marginalized and oppressed participants; explain the history of the use of cultural myths to maintain the dominant groups’  privilege; discuss the historical use of media to control the narrative in an attempt to provide a justification for the oppression and suppression of marginalized groups; participate in interactive discussions and exercises that reveal personal bias and subconscious incorporation of cultural myths into ones psyche; and learn tools and safeguards to assure fairness and neutrality in the mediation process.

Presentation: Pre and Post Marital (Part 1)

Presenter: Laurie Israel 

Description: In this workshop, we will discuss the usual negative dynamics of prenuptial agreement negotiations where attorneys are involved. Among these are conflicts between asset protection goals, fiduciary duty, contribution to marriage, generosity, shadow parties, unlevel playing field, and unforseeability of future events. A summary of the various laws and trends of laws relating to prenups across the country will be described with particular focus on the unconscionability standard, what it means, and the effects on marriages. We will also explore mediation techniques in working with couples formulating a prenup. Participants will learn how to elicit both parties’ views in a safe setting, educating them about the role of non-monetary contribution in a marriage; how to build financial sharing into the terms of the prenup; how to address a family business or pre-existing business of a future spouse, and how to address parents’ asset protection trust planning.  This 3.5-hr session includes postnups and role plays.

Presentation: Mediation and Financial Planning

Presenters: John Fiske, Karen Cohen, Susan Miller & Renee Senes

Description: Divorce should be a planning process. The exchange of complete financial information is itself a loaded challenge, and can be carefully planned instead of mired in expensive legal discovery. Mediators provide a framework in which trained financial planners can help divorcing clients learn their finances and focus on the future. Freedom for one party and security for the other are often their basic interests, and they can design their financial plan and use financial planners to help them make the plan and then carry it out over the years. Framing divorce as a planning process takes away the traditional adversarial elements and encourages cooperation in helping couples make the most of their often insufficient incomes and assets.  In this interactive workshop two mediators and two financial planners explain their roles and how they can work together to help clients reach informed and workable agreements. This approach also helps couples who want to stay married. Mediators will learn how to help clients identify financial issues they are arguing about, how to bring financial planners into the process, how to manage the different roles and how to help clients learn how to use their financial planners after the divorce, when each person has become her or his own separate taxpayer and financial entity.

Presentation: Divorce by the Decades: 30’s, 40’s and 50’s Plus

Presenter: Lili Vasileff 

Description: Divorce patterns differ markedly by age and by nature of divorce financial decision-making for couples in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s plus.  Marriage and divorce patterns help us as advisors to better understand stark differences in the needs of our clients as well as how they will be supported in the different legal processes. In this session, participants will identify critical and essential financial issues pertinent to age category; identify current trends and notable differences in divorce patterns; learn more about risks with divorce on the cusp of retirement; and learn how to illuminate opportunities for your clients with key takeaways.

Presentation: Innovating from Elder Mediation’s Hybrid Approach

Presenter: Crystal Thorpe 

Description: The field of Elder & Adult Family Mediation has drawn from other dispute resolution processes (such as conflict coaching, facilitation, consensus building, and dispute systems design), and in turn, offers helpful takeaways for mediation in other contexts, including divorce.  Hear about the Elder Decision’s Hybrid Model of Elder Mediation and one experienced elder mediator’s lessons learned that have enriched her mediation practice in other areas. This workshop will offer a brief overview of Elder Mediation to provide context, and will then focus on takeaways relevant to other areas of mediation. There will also be time for participants to share their own innovative tools so that we can all learn from each other.  Don’t have anything in mind to share?  Come and listen; your presence is welcome!

Presentation: Understanding the Small Business

Presenter: David Goodman 

Description: Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to work with clients when one or both of them own small businesses and why it is important not to make assumptions about the business’ value. Topics will include: Forms of entities; understanding the tax return; understanding when a business has value and when it is just a source of income (and why this matters in divorce); understanding what the business income is, and how small business owners take income from the business; as well as challenges in working with business owners, and how to overcome such challenges.

Presentation: Cultural Myths Undermining Mediation Process (Part 2)

Presenter: Darcia Tudor

Description: The workshop will address conscious and subconscious cultural myths and stereotypes that undermine Mediator Neutrality, Equal Bargaining and Access to marginalized and oppressed participants; explain the history of the use of cultural myths to maintain the dominant groups’  privilege; discuss the historical use of media to control the narrative in an attempt to provide a justification for the oppression and suppression of marginalized groups; participate in interactive discussions and exercises that reveal personal bias and subconscious incorporation of cultural myths into ones psyche; and learn tools and safeguards to assure fairness and neutrality in the mediation process.

Presentation: Pre and Post Marital (Part 2)

Presenter: Laurie Israel 

Description: In this workshop, we will discuss the usual negative dynamics of prenuptial agreement negotiations where attorneys are involved. Among these are conflicts between asset protection goals, fiduciary duty, contribution to marriage, generosity, shadow parties, unlevel playing field, and unforseeability of future events. A summary of the various laws and trends of laws relating to prenups across the country will be described with particular focus on the unconscionability standard, what it means, and the effects on marriages. We will also explore mediation techniques in working with couples formulating a prenup. Participants will learn how to elicit both parties’ views in a safe setting, educating them about the role of non-monetary contribution in a marriage; how to build financial sharing into the terms of the prenup; how to address a family business or pre-existing business of a future spouse, and how to address parents’ asset protection trust planning.  This 3.5-hr session includes postnups and role plays.

Presentation: Mandatory Mediation is Not an Oxymoron

Presenters: Oran Kaufman, Kristina Bordieri, David Sacks and Betsy Williams 

Description: This workshop describes the first Massachusetts mandatory mediation pilot program, begun in 2014 as a collaborative effort of the court, a community mediation group, and since 2015, a law school. The panelists include a judge, a court ADR coordinator, the mediation provider, and the law school professor/mediator who oversees the clinic. Outcomes to date will be discussed. This workshop aims to teach participants about this innovative court ADR program, inspire and promote use of collaboration between court and community mediation organizations, inspire collaboration for other court/law school ADR programs, and provide participants with lessons learned from this program.

Presentation: Intimate Partner Abuse

Presenter: Tina Zhang

Description: Studies estimate that intimate partner violence (IPV) affects as many as 1 in 3 people in the US. Studies also indicate that divorce mediation more likely than not involves partners affected by IPV. As mediators, responding appropriately to clients experiencing IPV requires that we first be able to see the signs of abuse. This presentation seeks to help attendees develop awareness of and gain insight into what intimate partner abuse can look like, its mechanics, and how it relates to divorce mediation. The presentation will define abuse, the cycle of violence, and the power and control wheel. [~10 min]; outline signs of intimate partner violence (IPV), including how abuse manifests in different cultures and communities (e.g., the hard of hearing community, the sex/gender diverse community, etc). [~25 min]; understand victim and abuser mindsets, including personal and societal barriers to the end of domestic violence. [~25 min]; and highlight existing IPV research as it relates to divorce mediation and pre-mediation screening. [~25 min]

Presentation: Professional Ethics

Presenter: Nadia Shahram 

Description: There are some practices that are purported to be culturally based that are questionable in the eyes of the laws, rules and norms of the United States. Understanding these practices and developing the skills to meaningfully advise clients about the impact of these practices on families now living in the United States is an important part of competent advocacy. Though lawyers have an ethical obligation to advocate on behalf of clients, attorneys and mediators have an obligation to meaningfully discuss their clients’ objectives and the manner in which they wish to achieve their objectives. Advice can be rendered not only with relation to what the law is, but to other considerations, such as moral, economic, social, psychological, and political factors that may be relevant to the client’s situation.

Presentation: Estate planning and Divorce

Presenter: Melinda Milberg 

Description: This session will provide basic to intermediate information about the effect of divorce on estate planning documents and on estate planning considerations.  For example, the effect of a divorce on an existing Will.  The session will use case studies, as well as sections of the Uniform Probate Code.  The session will be both lecture style as well as interactive, and there will be opportunities for questions. In this workshop, participants will learn how to identify and spot issues related to the intersection of divorce and estate planning, and will learn basic information about the Uniform Probate Code provisions related to divorce and estate planning.

Presentation: Pending

Presenter: Conscious Co-Parenting Institute

Description: TBA

Presentation: Bringing Experts in and Preserving the Safe Space

Presenters: Jennifer Hawthorne, Beth Aarons, Halee Burg, Justin Kelsey and Crystal Thorpe 

Description: During many mediations, there is a point where the mediator realizes that one or more additional professionals may be helpful in assisting the clients through the mediation process. These experts might include attorneys, therapists, financial planners, accountants, appraisers, and others. This panel discussion, along with participant activities, will explore the practical and ethical considerations in managing relationships with other experts, such as: how to introduce the idea of experts to clients; how to address client resistance to cost; who initially contacts the expert; what are the appropriate methods for sharing information with and from the expert; what other ethical issues should the mediator and expert consider; under what situations should experts be brought into a mediation session; and how can the mediator protect the integrity of the mediation process when experts are brought into the process. Workshop participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the complex practical and ethical issues which need to be considered when mediation clients work with subject matter experts, and the benefits and potential challenges introduced by these other relationships.

Presentation: Divorce From the Child’s Perspective

Presenter: Liam Lustburg 

Description: During and after a divorce, parents and professionals often do not understand or take into consideration the experience, feelings, point of view of the children. Children don’t have a voice at the table when decisions are made that impact them deeply. In this session, 19-year-old Liam Lustberg will share his experience of his parents’ divorce when he was 10 and how it impacted him. In this interactive session, Liam will take questions from the audience. Participants will develop an understanding of a rarely articulated first-hand experience of divorce, and will gain exposure to ideas and inspiration for ways divorce professionals can help parents understand what their children may be experiencing.

Presentation: Recent Developments in Creating a National Examination for the Advanced Credentialing of Divorce and Family Mediators

Presenter: PMBS Board 

Description: TBA

Presentation: Sex, Drugs & Rock’N Roll & What Happened to the Money

Presenter: Vicki Shemin

Description: With Michael Cohen reminding us about the prevalence of Fiscal Infidelity, it makes sense to bring together a distinguished divorce financial analyst (Susan Miller) and experienced mediators (both of whom are lawyers with social work degrees – Alex Jones and Vicki Shemin) to discuss the various types of infidelity in relationships – ranging from sexual affairs to emotional affairs to psychological affairs to financial infidelity – and to address how best to address and resolve these matters in mediation. Topics will include: what the conversation or presenting problem is really about; how to address issues related to the “victim” and the “perpetrator”; how to reframe the issues at hand and tamp down the tension in the room to make the mediation sessions productive; how to steer the conversation away from “who did what to whom” and to operationalize working on solutions; what financial infidelity is – and whether it is a symptom or the actual problem; how to keep the clients in the room and away from litigators; teachable moments and how to focus on prevention; and the use of prenups, no-nups, and postnups to address these issues. Participants will learn new language and useful skills for dealing with the most uncomfortable of subjects we hear our clients discuss. This session is for practitioners of all skill levels (as well as anyone in a relationship!)

Presentation: Creative Options to Maximize Money for Parents

Presenters: Debra Smith, David Goodman & Cynthia Runge

Description: Creative Options to help maximize money for parents in light of the tax law changes. This program will assist with identifying financial issues early on to plan for the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  The program will also highlight the benefit of working with a financial professional before the parties sign an Agreement thereby enhancing the understanding of the professionals, so they can help the parties become more empowered.  Finally, the professionals will learn how to better support the parties with finding and obtaining the necessary financial information in the context of mediation and collaborative law processes. This workshop will help mediators and collaborative lawyers to become fluent in financial language to be more of a resource to parties they are working with; help mediators and collaborative lawyers know when to consult with a financial professional; and enhance the skill set of mediators and collaborative professionals.

Presentation: Fishbowl Mediation

Presenter: John Fiske & (Ken Neumann Moderating) 

Description: TBA

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