Friday, November 2, 2007

AFCC eNEWS - October 2007

Please click the following link for the website version:

AFCC and NCJFCJ Domestic Violence and Family Courts Project Update
Outcomes from the AFCC and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) cosponsored Think Tank on Domestic Violence and Family Courts, February 15-17, 2007 at the Johnson Foundation's Wingspread Conference Center are beginning to unfold. A special issue of Family Court Review, with articles co-authored by writers from the domestic violence advocacy and family courts community, will be published next spring to address topics including terminology; differentiated approaches to parenting plans; screening; cultural issues; and dispute resolution interventions. AFCC is planning conference sessions at its 45th Annual Conference, in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 28-31, 2008. In September, the AFCC and NCJFCJ Regional Training Conference featured a plenary session, Domestic Violence, Family Courts and Differentiation: A Look at the Future?, by the project's co-reporters Clare Dalton, LL.M. and Nancy Ver Steegh, J.D., M.S.W. AFCC members can access the audio from this session by logging onto the AFCC Member Center and clicking the link below.
More information...

Columbus Regional Training Conference Audio Online
Conference audio from the AFCC and NCJFCJ Regional Training Conference, Applications for High Conflict Families, Domestic Violence and Alienation, September 27-29, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio, is available online. All sessions can be purchased in CD, CD ROM or MP3 format through Digital Conference Providers, Inc. at AFCC eNEWS subscribers are invited to listen to free online audio samples of all conference sessions in MP3 format by clicking the link below.
NEW! Preview conference audio in MP3 format...

AFCC 45th Annual Conference in Vancouver
Featuring: New Three-Hour Advanced Workshops; New Programs to Build your Practice Skills;Breathtaking Coastline and Mountainside Views; and much more!
Start planning now for AFCC's 45th Annual Conference, Fitting the Forum to the Family: Emerging Challenges for Family Courts, May 28-31, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference takes place at the Westin Bayshore Resort, located along historic 1,000 acre Stanley Park and steps from downtown Vancouver. Conference attendees will receive the special room rate of CAD $178/single or CAD $199/double. In 2005, Vancouver was named the best city to live in the world, in 2010 it will host the winter Olympic Games-don't miss AFCC's return to Canada in 2008! The next issue of AFCC eNEWS will feature a top ten list of Vancouver's best activities and attractions. If you have any questions on AFCC's 45th Annual Conference, please contact AFCC at or (608) 664-3750.
Vancouver: Officially the Best City in the World (video)...

Don't Forget your Passport
All U.S. citizens traveling to and from Canada are now required to have a valid passport. If you are considering attending the conference, please plan ahead as passports can take up to six months to be processed. Information on applying for or renewing passports can be found at the U.S. Department of State Web site by clicking the link below.
More information...

AFCC Hosts Think Tank on Child Welfare Decision Making
by Bernie Mayer, Ph.D. and Joan Kathol, M.A., (Candidate), Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, Creighton University
When the use of mediation and related dispute resolution procedures in child welfare decision making was first introduced 25 years ago, it seemed to many a rather outlandish idea. How could mediation, facilitated decision making or other consensus building processes be used for such complicated problems with seriously disrupted families and troubled parents in a system that was overburdened and underfinanced, and where the stakes were so high?
Read article...
Family Court Review Update
Special Issue in January 2008 on International Perspectives

The January 2008 issue of Family Court Review (FCR), features a special issue concerning the international perspectives on including children in family law proceedings. The Guest Editor is AFCC member Dr. Jennifer McIntosh of Victoria, Australia. Dr. McIntosh is a member of FCR's Editorial Board and the Director of Family Transitions in Australia. The issue also features an article by Alastair Nicholson, former AFCC President and former Chief Judge of the Family Court of Australia. AFCC members receive full print subscription and searchable electronic access, dating back to the first issue in 1963. Please click the link below to access FCR online.
Read FCR Online Archives (Member Login Non-member)...

New Family Court Review Submission Guidelines
Family Court Review (FCR) has updated its submission guidelines. The new guidelines include a detailed description of the journal and list different categories of articles that are suitable for publication. For more information, please contact FCR's Student Managing Editor Laura Daly at Please click the link below to view FCR's submission guidelines.
FCR Submission Guidelines (PDF)...

AFCC Members Present at University of Missouri-Columbia Symposium
by John Lande, Director of the LL.M. Program in Dispute Resolution and Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law
The University of Missouri-Columbia Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution held a symposium on October 12, 2007 entitled, Innovative Models of Lawyering: Collaborative Law and Other Processes. AFCC member David A. Hoffman, founder of the Boston Law Collaborative, gave the keynote address, Colliding Worlds of Dispute Resolution: Towards a Unified Field Theory of ADR. Comparing mediation, Collaborative and Cooperative family law cases in his firm, he found that “the most robust predictor of cost, time and contentiousness is not the choice of process but rather the intentions, skill, and flexibility of the parties and counsel.”

Uniform Collaborative Law Act Drafting Committee Invites Comments
by Brittany Shrader, Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, NY
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws is currently drafting a proposed Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA). AFCC member and Hofstra Law School Professor Andrew Schepard is the appointed Reporter for the UCLA drafting process. The goal of the drafting committee is to develop a statute that defines collaborative law and clarifies its role in modern legal advocacy. In addition, a few states have already independently implemented collaborative law statutes, so a uniform law could help bring consistency to the quality and nature of the process across the United States. Hofstra Law School hosts a Web site that includes a list of committee members; background research on collaborative law; current and past drafts of the UCLA; upcoming events; related links; and a section for comments. The Web site can be accessed by clicking the link below.
More information...

Drops from Down Under: New Research on Less Adversarial Trial and Child Responsive Program

by Hon. Graham Mullane, New South Wales, Australia
In July 2007, a report by Australia's Family Transitions was submitted to the Family Court of Australia, regarding the Child Responsive Program operating within the Less Adversarial Trial. Family Transitions is a clinical research and training center dedicated to the needs of children and parents experiencing family separation. The report, authored by AFCC member Dr. Jennifer McIntosh and Ms. Caroline Long, can be accessed on the Family Court of Australia Web site by clicking the link below.
More information...

Canadian Department of Justice Features New Resources for Children Section on Web Site
The Canadian Department of Justice released a new resource online to help children cope with separation or divorce. Resources for Children is a user friendly database, which lists over two hundred Canadian and international resources in the area of separation and divorce. The Web site is useful for parents and for professionals who work with children affected by separation or divorce. A brief description is provided for each resource which includes books, workbooks, videos, web sites and games. There is also the option to view all resources available for a particular age group. The Web site can be accessed by clicking the link below.
More information...

Austria Holds First Divorce Fair
Courtesy of the BBC NEWS
Austria is to host the world's first "divorce fair" this month, aimed at helping couples untie the knot as painlessly as possible. The event, taking place in Vienna, then Linz and Graz, will allow would-be divorcees to consult lawyers about their rights and seek advice. The divorce rate in Austria hit an all time high of 50% in 2006, with 66% of marriages in Vienna ending in divorce.

Parents See Child Support and Visitation as Connected

Courtesy of J.M. Craig Press, Inc.
This study addressed the question of how parents viewed their responsibilities toward their children and former partners. The authors examined this question using the two concepts: Equity meant that "rewards/outcomes should be allocated in proportion to one's inputs" [p. 383]. For example, a father's right to see and make decisions about his child should be related to his financial contributions; and Equality suggested that, "rewards/outcomes and inputs should be independent of one another" [p. 383]. That is, fathers should have the right to see their children and be involved in decision making regardless of their financial contributions.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Finds Domestic Violence Police Response Case Admissible

by Barbara Glesner Fines, Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City
For the first time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has declared that the United States is responsible under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man for protecting victims of domestic violence from private acts of violence. The Commission found the case of Jessica Lenahan's (Gonzales) admissible. In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the United States Supreme Court held that Jessica did not have a property interest in prompt police response to enforce her domestic violence restraining order. Ms. Lenahan (Gonzales) has since then pursued this action before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

FAQs About Mediation To Stay Married

by Laurie Israel, courtesy of
What is Mediation to Stay Married? Mediation to Stay Married (also known as Marital Mediation) is a method of helping couples who are experiencing marital problems and who would prefer to stay together rather than get divorced.

Balkan heartbreak a hit in Berlin: A travelling exhibition devoted to the theme of failed relationships is proving a hit in Berlin.
Courtesy of the BBC NEWS
The Museum of Broken Relationships asks people in the cities it visits to donate mementos of everything from short flings to painful divorces. Originating in Croatia, the show has visited Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia and has amassed more than 300 exhibits. Berliners have donated more than 30 objects, including a wedding dress and an axe used to break an ex's furniture.

AFCC 45th Annual Conference
May 28-31, 2008Westin Bayshore ResortVancouver, BC, Canada
Save the Date (PDF)

AFCC Trainings

Parenting Coordination: Helping High Conflict Parents Resolve Disputes
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
December 3-4, 2007
University of Baltimore Student Business Center
Baltimore, Maryland

The Battle Between Abuse and Alienation: Assessment, Diagnosis and Interventions
Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D.
December 5-6, 2007
University of Baltimore Student Business Center
Baltimore, Maryland

Advanced Issues in Parenting Coordination: Functional Co-parenting for High Conflict Families
Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D.
February 18-19, 2008
Wyndham DFW Airport North
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

The Battle Between Abuse and Alienation: Assessment, Diagnosis and Interventions
Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D.
February 20-21, 2008
Wyndham DFW Airport North
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

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AFCC eNEWS is a bi-monthly e-newsletter published by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). AFCC eNEWS provides professionals with time sensitive and up-to-date topics including case law updates, research innovations and international news.
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David Vigliotta

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