Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AFCC eNEWS - August 2010

VOL. 5 NO. 8

Register Now for AFCC's Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations

Early bird registration is available for AFCC’s Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations, October 28–30, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Take in autumn in New England, enjoy a crisp morning walk by the Charles River and see the historic sights of Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown and more. As for the Symposium, there are more than 75 presenters including the leading practitioners, authors and instructors in the field in a choice of four pre-symposium institutes, two plenary sessions, and 30 conference workshops.

Click here for the conference program...

Click here to register...

Click here to apply for a scholarship...

Click here to book your hotel room...

Special Issue of Hofstra Law Review on Collaborative Law Available Online

The Winter 2009 issue of Hofstra Law Review (Vol. 38, No. 2) is a special symposium issue dedicated to collaborative law. It includes the final version of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA), approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws at its 118th annual Conference in July 2009. The law review articles arose from a conference on collaborative law held at Hofstra Law School in November 2009 and are written by leading academics, judges, collaborative law practitioners, and other professionals providing a behind-the-scenes look at the drafting process of the UCLA; insight into conference discussions; the repercussions that intimate partner violence may have on a collaborative law process; and the biological, ethical, and psychological issues that arise in the context of collaborative law.
Click here for Table of Contents and links to the articles...

Member News

Andrew Schepard, AFCC member from Hempstead, New York, has been nominated as one of the best law teachers in the United States as part of the “What the Best Law Teachers Do” project at Washburn University School of Law. The goals of this project are to identify the best law teachers in America, synthesize the principles by which they teach, and share these principles and the stories of these exceptional teachers by documenting them in a book. Andy is the Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and a Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, as well as the Editor of Family Court Review.

Jill Egizii, AFCC member from Leland Grove, Illinois, is hosting a new radio show called Family Matters on, which airs on Wednesday nights biweekly from 7-8:30 EST. Jill is the author of a novel titled The Look of Love.

In Memoriam
Ellen Cowell, Founding Member of the AFCC Missouri Chapter

Ellen Kaye Cowell, nee Esterly, 42, died Wednesday, August 4, 2010, at her home in Webster Groves, Missouri, surrounded by her family after a courageous three-year battle with cancer. She graduated from Belleville Township East High School in 1985. After obtaining her BS degree from the University of Missouri in 1989, she went on to Auburn University and received her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1991. She eventually worked with the St. Louis County Family Court as a mediator, a role she held for sixteen years. Ellen and AFCC Board member Andrea Clark were instrumental in founding the AFCC Missouri Chapter. AFCC extends condolences to Ellen’s colleagues, friends and family.

AFCC's 48th Annual Conference
June 1–4, 2011
Call for Presenters
Research, Policy and Practice in Family Courts: What’s Gender Got to do with it?

Gender issues are frequently front and center when it comes to family law. But how important is gender? What does the research tell us?
Click here for Call for Presenters...

Click here to submit a proposal by the October 6 deadline...

Read the following to see how gender factors into political decision making:

Why Gender Neurology Matters in Political Decision Making
By Ruth Bettelheim, Ph.D., courtesy of the Huffington Post
Neuroscience research confirms that, when stressed, men tend toward “fight or flight” reactions, while women prefer to talk—and that men take more risks, while women are generally more cautious. However, neither the mechanisms underlying these findings, nor their implications for businesses, politics and families, have been adequately explored.

Top Ten Biases Often Overlooked by Child Custody Evaluators
By David Martindale, Ph.D., ABPP (forensic), St. Petersburg, Florida

[David Martindale is teaching an Institute, The Essentials of Child Custody Evaluations, at the Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations on October 28, 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

None of us is free of bias. Biases come in various forms, but as the term is used here, it will refer either to any tendency to process the information that we gather in a manner that is strongly influenced by our personal and professional beliefs (attitudinal biases), thereby impairing our objectivity, or to the methods utilized by us in processing information (cognitive biases).

The Peacemaking Option for Divorce and Dissolution of Domestic Partnerships: How Family Scientists Support Interest Based Conciliation and What This Means for Separating Couples
By Thurman W. Arnold III, courtesy of

Anyone who has experienced “adversarial divorce by Court process” knows that it is toxic, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, destructively expensive, and that it resolves only legal rights—typically unsatisfactorily—while ignoring the personal grieving and raw disruptions that accompany almost all relationship breakups. This lingering dislocation, pain, and resentment is perhaps the most devastating aspect of contested, adversarial divorce because not only does it fail to heal old wounds, it gouges new ones.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Child Custody Dangerous for Mum, Child
Courtesy of

Child custody evaluators should know how to differentiate between types of violence, because a one-size-fits-all approach to custody can endanger both mums and kids, according to new American research.

The University of Illinois study reveals that evaluator's beliefs generally fall into two categories, and one group is far more likely to prioritize safety for women and children when making custody decisions.

[One of the researchers quoted in the above article, Jennifer Hardesty, Ph.D., will be part of a panel presenting a workshop at the Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations in Cambridge/Boston, Massachusetts on October 29, 2010: New Research on Child Custody Evaluations and Domestic Violence: Implications for Practice and Professional Education.]

Eliminating Child “Custody” Tries to Ease Pain of Separation
By Denise Ryan, courtesy of the Vancouver Sun

The “c” word may soon be a thing of the past, at least for families negotiating the most painful aspect of separation and divorce: custody of their children.

Changes proposed for B.C.’s Family Relations Act include eliminating the terms “custody” and “access,” and replacing them with new concepts of “guardianship” and “parental responsibilities.”

Adults Recall Negative Events Less Accurately than Children, Study Finds
Courtesy of ScienceDaily

Emotions—particularly those provoked by negative events—can cause distorted, inaccurate memories, but less often in children than in adults, according to a new Cornell study. The findings, published online in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, contradict prevailing legal and psychological thinking and have implications for the criminal justice system, report Charles Brainerd and Valerie Reyna, professors of human development and co-authors of the 2005 book The Science of False Memory.


AFCC Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations
October 28–30, 2010
Hyatt Regency Cambridge
Cambridge/Boston, MA

AFCC 48th Annual Conference
June 1–4, 2011
Hilton Orlando Bonnet
Creek Resort
Orlando, Florida

AFCC Regional Training Conference
October 27–29, 2011
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana

AFCC 49th Annual Conference
June 6–9, 2012
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

AFCC 50th Annual Conference
May 29–June 1, 2013
J.W. Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live
Los Angeles, California

Ontario Chapter Annual Conference
October 14–15, 2010
The Future of Family Law
University of Toronto Residences
Toronto, Canada
More information...

Texas Chapter Annual Conference
October 15–16, 2010
Children Caught in the Conflict: A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Houston, Texas
More information...

Arizona Chapter Annual Conference
January 28–30, 2011
Sedona, Arizona
More information...

California Chapter Annual Conference
February 11–13, 2011
Times They are a-Changing
The Mark Hopkins Hotel at Nob Hill
San Francisco, California
More information...


Advanced Issues in Child Custody: The Child's Perspective
Mindy F. Mitnick, Ed.M., M.A. Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2010
Kansas City, Missouri
More information...

Parenting Coordination: Working with High Conflict Families
Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D.
December 6–7, 2010
Baltimore, Maryland

Parenting Coordination: Advanced Practice Issues
Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D.
December 8–9, 2010
Baltimore, Maryland

Advanced Parenting Coordination Practice: Working with Parents and Children
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
February 1–2, 2011
Tampa, Florida

Intractable Issues in Child Custody Disputes
Mindy F. Mitnick, Ed.M., M.A.
February 3–4, 2011
Tampa, Florida


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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.
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