Professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families throught the resolution of family conflict.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
AFCC eNEWS - April 2010 | AFCC Conference Goes Green | New AZ Guide for Parenting Plans | Ask the Experts - Unbundling
Vol. 5 No. 4 april 2010
AFCC's 47th Annual Conference Goes Green
AFCC is making some “green” changes this year for the annual conference, June 2-5, 2010, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. Eco-friendly conference tote bags are made from recycled materials and are flat-bottomed, which makes them perfect to re-use for grocery shopping. Conference attendees will receive handouts in an electronic format. Handouts will also be available to registrants online before and after the conference. Conference materials will be posted by May 14 and conference registrants will get an access code so they may print out the sessions they desire to bring with them. A charging station for laptops will be available at the conference. Materials for the conference that must be printed, such as the silent auction catalog and room assignment sheets, will be on paper with at least 30% recycled content. As you leave the conference, turn in your name badge at the AFCC desk for re-use.
Planning for Parenting Time: Arizona's Guide for Parents Living Apart
The Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, Courts Services Division has published a comprehensive guide for parents containing sample parenting plans for various age groups, and has addressed numerous special issues that impact parenting plans. The guide is intended to help parents reduce conflict and reach agreements more easily. The workgroup included many AFCC members: Faren Akins, Sidney Buckman, Edith Croxen, Nancy Gray-Eade, Grace Hawkins, Marlene Joy, Steven Larson, Kathy McCormick, Rhonda L. Repp, Philip M. Stahl, K.C. Stanford, Barrie Wagner and Theresa Barrett.
Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Moyer, the longest serving chief justice in the United States, died unexpectedly on April 2, 2010. He was a champion of ADR, advocating the use of mediation and the idea that mediation should be available to everyone, without cost. In 1998, he accepted the Irwin Cantor Innovative Program Award from AFCC in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Ohio Supreme Court in recognition of the efforts he led to promote mediation throughout the state. Chief Justice Moyer hosted a reception in 2007 at the Ohio Supreme Court Building for attendees of AFCC's Regional Training Conference in Columbus. He was innovative, creative and will be missed by those who knew him and his work.
Top Ten Tips for Using an Unbundled Approach to Expand Your Services and Build Your Practice
By Forrest (Woody) Mosten, J.D.
If your family practice is currently so overwhelmed with clients that you are turning people away, then read no more. If, on the other hand, you are interested in further building your practice, the following tips may help you develop additional unbundled approaches that meet the needs of divorcing families. Rather than self-representing due to their desire to maintain control and reduce fees, many clients will pay for affordable innovative limited scope services.
Making Referrals for Supervised Visitation, an Important Survey for Judges and Attorneys
If you are a family court judge or an attorney representing clients in family law cases, you may have occasion to refer litigants for supervised visitation when parent-child contact presents a risk. Are you able to feel confident about the qualifications of the individual or program providing supervision? Although Supervised Visitation Network has written standards for practice and there are some state regulations, there is currently no process for enforcement and no credential that establishes provider qualifications. The Supervised Visitation Network is considering the following question: should there be some form of credential for providers of supervised visitation?
Tennessee Bill on Equal Physical Custody Drawing Attention
A bill pending in the Tennessee legislature to mandate equal sharing of a child's time with each parent (with few exceptions) is sparking serious debate between women's advocacy groups and fathers' rights groups. On one side is an alliance of women's groups, some judges and the Tennessee Bar Association, who say the change would make divorces tougher to settle and give abusive ex-husbands leverage they shouldn't have. Spending half of the time with each parent would also impose impractical schedules on kids, they say. On the other side are fathers' rights groups who say kids get deprived of full relationships with both parents. Courts have too long ignored laws calling for custody decisions to be made in children's best interests, they say, and judges are overly influenced by notions about the mother-child bond.
Featured Website: National Clearinghouse for Mediation Ethics
This searchable online database by the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution provides information on hundreds of opinions on mediator ethics from 43 states. Each listing includes a brief summary of the opinion, citation information and, when available, a link to the full opinion online.
Thanks to the generosity of members, AFCC has been able to increase the number of scholarships awarded to our conferences each year. This year, additional travel stipends have been created, as well. If you would like to be part of this generous group of contributors who help make these scholarships possible by making a tax deductible contribution to the AFCC Scholarship Fund, please click here.
Family Law Centers a Growing Alternative to Attorneys
By Vikki L. Conwell, Courtesy of AJC.com
Irreconcilable differences led to the dissolution of Lara Kaufmann's marriage, but harmonious agreement yielded a swift and efficient resolution. The DeKalb County couple settled on custody of their two young children, child support and division of assets. They also decided against hiring attorneys, thus saving thousands of dollars in fees. "That's more money you'll have toward raising your kids," said Kaufmann, a marketing consultant who downloaded the forms and filed them for less than $100. "If you can agree on the terms and fill in the blanks, you can get started without paying $125 an hour for something you can discuss on your own." Kaufmann is one of a growing number of pro se litigants, people who use the courts without representation from an attorney.
Canadian law must be changed to make it far more difficult for disgruntled parents to file disciplinary charges against psychologists, psychiatrists and other health professionals who do assessments in child-custody cases, says a group of leading lawyers and therapists. The complaints submitted to professional bodies by the losing side in custody battles are turning experts off the important work, the group says in a discussion paper. The result is a "major social and legal problem," it says. The group urges changing the rules so disciplinary bodies can only consider complaints from such parents if they have been first approved by the judge in the case or by the other, winning parent, or have been screened to weed out frivolous grievances.
Deadline for Comments on Draft Guidelines Extended
The AFCC Task Force on Court-Involved Therapists was given the task of defining guidelines for the professional practice of therapists working with court-involved families. A draft document is now available for comment and the deadline for comment has been extended to May 1, 2010. Instructions on how to submit comments are included in the draft.
Each time a colleague joins AFCC as a first-time member and names you as the referral source on the membership application, you earn ten AFCC dollars to spend on conference registrations, membership renewals and publications. For more information, please contact AFCC at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 664-3750.
AFCC eNEWS is a 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 practice tips, research innovations and international news. Readers are welcome to forward this e-newsletter to interested colleagues.