NYACP Newsletter - Spring 2021

NYACP News ~ Spring 2021

Volume 3, Issue 2

In This Issue...

President's Message

NYACP Trainings
Applying Donna Hicks’ Dignity Model
Linked In - Improving Your Inbound Traffic
Gray Divorce and its Unique Challenges
The Importance of Prenups in 2021
Social Media Marketing 101...and 201...and 301
Denisa Tova Presents for the Second Training in the Financial Series

Pod Meetings
Long Island Pod Discusses Transgender Issues in Custody Cases
Challenges and Opportunities in Working With Non-Collaborative Colleagues
Northern Westchester Pod Continues a Two-Part Series on Tax Reform
TED Video Highlighted in LI Pod Meeting
Book Club Discussion on Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
How to Avoid Scams and Frauds During the Pandemic
The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting
Book Club Discussion on Caste - Part 2
Nesting: When Children Stay in the Home and the Parents Move In and Out
Collaborative Mediation. What is it?
What Divorce Professionals Need to Know Right Now About the NYC Real Estate Market

Ken Novenstern Connects with IACP Practice Group

Support Groups for Collaborative Professionals

Summer is Almost Here!

Have News?  Share It With Your Collaborative Colleagues!

 A Message from the 2021 NYACP President

By Ken Novenstern

Five months into his NYACP presidency, Ken Novenstern decided to do something different for his update to members -- a report by video rather than text. (Video length: 5:08)

Click Here to Watch Ken's Message!

NYACP Trainings

Applying Donna Hicks’ Dignity Model

On March 5, 2021, the NYACP presented Applying Donna Hicks’ Dignity Model to our Collaborative Practice. The program was led by members Teresa Calabrese, Andrea Hirshman, and Joy Rosenthal, Esqs. Based on the research of Dr. Donna Hicks, we were told of the enormous difference in resolving conflict available through understanding the underlying dignity concerns of grievances. The program examined how to lead with dignity, draw out the best in people and apply the Dignity Model to our work. Participants learned:

• The essential elements of dignity
• How violating dignity creates conflict
• How honoring dignity resolves conflict
• Ways to honor dignity and avoid traps that risk it

Donna Hicks’s website: https://drdonnahicks.com/
Videos: Exploring the Meaning of Dignity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAXBk1Ymgro
Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPF7QspiLqM&t=15s
Leading With Dignity: How to Create a Culture that Brings Out the Best in People https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780300229639
Dignity: It’s Essential Role in Resolving Conflict: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780300188059

Teresa Calabrese, Esq., is a mediator and collaborative lawyer concentrating her practice on serving LGBTQ people and families. Teresa also handles second parent adoption matters and provides basic estate planning services.

Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq., founded Rosenthal Law & Mediation in 2006 to help New York City’s families cope with transitions through divorce and family mediation; and by providing legal services including collaborative divorce, and adoption. She also currently serves as a Trustee and 17A Guardian in the New York City Surrogates’ Courts, and as an adjunct professor of family law at the City University of New York School of Law.

Andrea Hirshman, Esq., Andrea began her legal career in the family law section of Legal Services in Brooklyn and went on from there to handle matrimonial matters in a small boutique law firm. After seeing how litigating divorce tore families apart, Andrea left litigation and founded Hirshman Collaborative Law and Mediation in 2007.

Linked In - Improving Your Inbound Traffic

On April 9, 2021, Angela Dunz, MBA, presented Do You Want More Inbound Traffic from LinkedIn? In a program filled with practical suggestions, Angela gave us “Cliff Notes” for Business Development on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was described as the best networking, business development and, relationship building tool. Angela focused on:

1. The Top 3 Converting Factors of Your Profile;
2. Business Development in 10 Minutes a Day; and
3. Increasing your visibility on LinkedIn.

Gray Divorce and its Unique Challenges

On May 14, 2021, Lili Vasileff, CFP®, MAFF™, CDFA®, RIA, presented Unique Challenges for Late Life Divorce, moderated by Melissa Goodstein. In a remarkable contrast to other age cohorts whose divorce rates are decreasing, the divorce rate among older Americans is actually increasing. Having an understanding of two important economic concerns for divorcing couples in the 50-and-over demographic, accumulated wealth and retirement income, will help us as divorce professionals better advise clients. The presentation addressed:

1. Trends in late-life divorce
2. Landmines in late-life divorce
3. Valuing businesses during the pandemic
4. Equity compensation: property division and income available for support

Lili, a nationally recognized divorce financial expert, is the President of her private boutique practice, Wealth Protection Management. She was a founding member and is President Emeritus of the National Association of Divorce Financial Planners; and the author of four books on divorce; one by invitation from the American Bar Association entitled Money & Divorce (their first & only book on money and divorce).

The Importance of Prenups in 2021

On June 4, 2021, Deborah Wayne, Esq., CDFA, presented Prenups 2021: How Will The Partnership Be Defined? The discussion included considerations underlying prenuptial agreements, and common misconceptions and best practices leading to a productive negotiation.
Deborah explored how creating opportunities for a clearer sense of the rights and obligations of marriage can improve the relationship. The program covered:

• The importance of clarifying the client’s goals.
• Making sure the agreement is balanced.
• Prenups and the significance of independent counsel.
• What makes a prenup legally binding?
• What can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement?
• Business ownership and prenups.

Deborah Hope Wayne is a collaborative attorney and mediator and an Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (Pace Law School). She is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She is the immediate past President of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM) and the Chairperson of the Accreditation Committee. She is a former member of our Board of Directors of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals (NYACP) and is a trainer of collaborative practice for NYACP. She is the author of Prenups and the Elephant in the Room: A Handbook for the Prenup Process.

Social Media Marketing 101...and 201...and 301

At the June 16, 2021, Northern Westchester Pod meeting, Vikram Rajan,began his 3-part series on Social Media Marketing with the 101 course: Getting Started. Vikram discussed the primary demographics, purpose and usage of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse, Tiktok, Twitter, Snapchat & YouTube and provided practical tips on setting up of pages, profiles, channels & tags.

Social Media Marketing 201: From Profile Dormant to Posting Active, will be offered July 21, 2021. the various types of posts will be discussed - written, images, audio and video. You will learn how to create a client-centric content calendar and learn about apps to make it quick, easy & automated.

On August 25, 2021 Vikram will present Social Media Marketing 301: Cross-Promotion & Multiplying Results, discussing how to multiply referrals by sharing and getting shared. You will learn seven ways to cross-promote and the ANEW framework to multiply likes, comments and shares.

Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder of Videosocials.net and phoneBlogger.net, has presented on behalf of every major Bar Association in the Greater New York City area. His marketing column premiered in the AICPA’s CPA Insider publication in Fall 2009 became the most popular column in July 2010. He has also presented to the AICPA, the National Network of Accountants, the National Conference of CPA Practitioners, the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation; the Association of Conflict Resolution (GNY), the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (Queens), the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and more.

Denisa Tova Presents for the Second Training in the Financial Series

On June 17, 2021, Denisa Tova, MBA, CFP, CDFA, CQS, presented her second session: The New NYC Police Pension Rules, Due Diligence, and How “Equalization” in Settlements Leads to Misallocation of Benefits. Denisa discussed how dealing with retirement assets has been oversimplified, where the process breaks down and specific steps to get it right. Denisa explained how to do due diligence to verify retirement assets and benefits; the new NYC Police Pension Rules; and also how to avoid one of the top settlement traps: “equalization.” The program offered a detailed review of retirement assets, explained the rules for tax free transfers between divorcing spouses, and the use of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO).

Denisa Tova is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™), and Founder and President of TOVA QDRO & Retirement Valuation Consultants LLC. She brings nearly 20 years of experience working with matrimonial attorneys.
Denisa is also trained as a collaborative financial neutral and has been involved in over 50 collaborative matters.

Pod Meetings

Long Island Pod Discusses Transgender Issues in Custody Cases

On March 2, 2021, Amel Massa led the LI Pod’s discussion on Transgender Issues in Custody Cases. We discussed the changing nature of gender-based pronouns. The Pod also discussed dealing with anger at the table; what to do when a party keeps manifesting his or her anger at the other spouse. It was noted that the anger can stem from a feeling of being betrayed. As mediators and collaborative professionals we cannot neutralize those raw feelings. Expressing anger leads to continuing victimization for the victim; self-induced revictimization. However, if every question or discussion raises anger and blame, such is in the nature of abuse of the other spouse. Suggestions:

• You can ask, “How should this affect the settlement?”
• You can talk privately with the party, “What do we have to do to pass this?” or “You have been heard; can we move past it?”
• You can say, “I am your divorce mediator/counsel; and what you are raising is not legally relevant; although I recognize that it is very important and must be dealt with; what do you plan to do to deal with it? How can you deal with it?”

Challenges and Opportunities in Working With Non-Collaborative Colleagues

On March 9, 2021, Myra Freed and Eve Helitzer led the NYC Pod discussion on Challenges and Opportunities in Working With Non-Collaborative Colleagues. Myra has been the principal of her own law firm in Manhattan since 2002. She is a Past President of the NY Women’s Bar Association and has been an officer and director of that association for more than 20 years. She has served as a Chair and Co-Chair of the NYWBA’s Matrimonial Law Committee and remains active in that committee. She also served on and Co-Chaired the Matrimonial Law Committee of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. Eve Helitzer, Esq., is a mediator and collaboratively trained divorce attorney. Eve, her husband Matt, their active and rambunctious four and half-year-old son Charlie, and their orange tabby cat Leo reside in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Northern Manhattan.

Northern Westchester Pod Continues a Two-Part Series on Tax Reform

On March 17, 2021, Sally Mullins Thompson concluded the Northern Westchester Pod’s two-part series on Tax Reform, begun by Barbara Bel the prior month. The series focused on anticipated areas of reform and its impact on business and individual tax returns.


TED Video Highlighted in LI Pod Meeting

On April 6, 2021, the LI Pod began with a portion of a TED video from world debate champion Julia Dhar on How to Have Constructive Conversations. The essential features of productive disagreements are grounded in curiosity and purpose, and can lead to constructive conversations that focus arguments and strengthen your relationships. At least one party to the conversation must choose curiosity over clash: have a curiosity conversation. “What can you share that can help me see what you see?” Think of the conversation as a climbing wall, moving upward as you continually adapt and re-explain. Expect to learn from the challenges thrown at you. You must have a clear sense of the purpose of the conversation. Ask the parties, “what type of relationship/interactions do you want a year from now; a decade from now?”

Book Club Discussion on Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

On April 13, 2021, the NYC Pod launched its first book club discussion. It was hosted by Emily Malloy and Shari Bornstein. Motivated by NYACP’s December training program with David Hoffman, members read Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. This well-researched and beautifully written book tackled the difficult topic of race and what happens when society’s citizens are dehumanized. Wilkerson compared the American history of African Americans with the castes of India and the Nazi’s treatment of Jews in World War II. The May meeting will focus on how this impactful information can be used in our collaborative cases and what we can do going forward.

How to Avoid Scams and Frauds During the Pandemic

On April 21, 2021, the Northern Westchester Pod hosted Gary S. Brown, Statewide Elder Abuse Coordinator and Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Attorney General’s Westchester Regional Office. He discussed How to Avoid Scams and Frauds During the Pandemic. The presentation focused on common scams and frauds during the pandemic - the warning signs, how to avoid becoming a victim, and where to seek help if you think you are a victim. There was special emphasis on COVID-related scams, as well as the latest twists on common telephone scams such as the “grandparent scam,” the “Internal Revenue Service scam” and the “foreign lottery scam.” The program also covered issues such as identity theft, romance scams and Internet safety. Participants were provided with “do’s” and “don’ts” to stay safe in their daily lives.

The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting

On May 4, 2021, the LI Pod discussed the book, The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting; A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce, by Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D., with Nesting as an interim solution to help ease children into a new family dynamic.


Book Club Discussion on Caste - Part 2

On May 11, 2021, the NYC Pod continued its Book Club discussion Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. Emily Malloy and Shari Bornstein again co-hosted the discussion, inspired by our diversity training, with an emphasis on implications for our work in collaborative practice.

Nesting: When Children Stay in the Home and the Parents Move In and Out

On May 18, 2021, the Northern Westchester Pod discussed Nesting: When Children Stay in the Home and the Parents Move In and Out. The Pod considered the experiences collaborative professionals have had with couples who choose to “nest” during or after divorce so that their children can remain in the home while parents rotate in and out. The group agreed that this option worked best when couples were able to establish and maintain boundaries regarding personal property, cleanliness, and not bringing new partners into the residence. Financial agreements must also be established regarding spousal support, child support and payments for household expenses. There was a general consensus that this arrangement is difficult to sustain for long periods of time but can be a good short term option.

Collaborative Mediation. What is it?

On June 1, 2021, the LI Pod discussed so-called Collaborative Mediation. What is it? The Pod recognized that it was more appropriately called “Interdisciplinary Mediation” and that using the term Collaborative weakened its identification with the Collaborative Divorce Process.

What Divorce Professionals Need to Know Right Now About the NYC Real Estate Market

On June 8, 2021, the NYC Pod presented Julia Hoagland, discussing What Divorce Professionals Need to Know Right Now About the NYC Real Estate Market. Julia is a16-year NYC residential real estate agent and former finance executive and electrical engineer. She shared insights with the NYC Pod on the science and art of the NYC real estate industry. Julia discussed the impact of COVID, the recently passed state budget, current trends in inventory and velocity of sales, the convoluted taxation system, crime and interest rates, and the potential future value adds/detractors

POD Meetings Open to All NYACP Members!

Meeting Times:
Northern Westchester: Third Wednesday of the month - 9:00-10:00AM. Pod Leaders: Meg Sussman and Melissa Goodstein
Long Island: First Tuesday of the month - 8:15am greetings; meeting 8:30 to 9:30am; (next meeting is August 31st due to Jewish Holiday on 9/7). Pod Leader: Neil Cahn
New York City: Second Tuesday of the month - 8:30 to 9:30am. Pod Leader: Judie Stein

All NYACP members are welcome to attend any of the Pod meetings. Our Pods are open to all members so members can connect with colleagues from all geographic and practice areas, and if anyone has any ideas for any topics or speakers for future meetings to contact POD leaders. 

Support Groups (for our members only)

The NYC Wednesday Support Group was formed to share cases, networking and/or seek to benefit from meeting with colleagues doing collaborative work. The group aims to support skill-building and practice development. The initial meeting was on March 25, 2020, and continued to meet via Zoom on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Meetings resume on September 23rd at 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The group has a maximum of 18 people and is now closed. Members who are interested may contact the NYACP office to put your name on the wait-list. For questions, please contact Rachel Fishman Green, Esq., (718) 965-9236, [email protected] or Bob Raymond, Ph.D., (212) 769-2455; [email protected]

The Westchester Support Group meets the 4th Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. This support group was formed in response to multiple requests to facilitate a support and development group for practitioners in Westchester. Members collectively decide how the group operates, but the group is focused on building greater collaborative skills and insights, not to mention building community. The group is full and is closed to new members at this time.

Ken Novenstern Connects with IACP Practice Group

Ken Reports Back on this Networking Opportunity

“I had the opportunity to join in a Zoom call organized by IACP (which Steve Kaplan alerted me to), which takes place a few times a year. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Practice Group Leaders from around the country.  I made connections with attorneys from Syracuse, where I started my legal career, and an attorney right here in Westport CT, Mark Sobolsai, Esq. (we had breakfast Friday 6/18 at the Sherwood Diner!).  Mark and I discussed ways the Fairfield County and Darien Collaborative groups could connect and share programs.  I look forward to future meetings with this group and to more involvement for all of us with IACP.  They just posted the IACP Forum information for October, 2021 in San Diego, and I hope all of you will consider attending.  I plan on being there!”

2021 Membership Year is About Growth and You!

We Need You!

As you all know, it was after considerable research and serious consideration, the Board voted to reduce dues 30% to $595 starting in 2021. However, it is now imperative that we grow in numbers, both to secure the financial well being of the organization, and to help increase Collaborative cases for our members.   We need you to assist with recruitment and actively participate in the effort so we can maintain the new dues level, or even reduce it further in the years to come.  

NYACP Volunteer Positions are Open

There are positions opened for the following committees/work groups!  If you are interested in any of the following topics, contact the office today: Social Media, Professional Standards, Membership, Diversity/Inclusion.

Summer is Almost Here...and Life is Returning to (a new) Normal!

Here are some resources on what to know, and where to go this summer! And while your out, call one of your NYACP colleagues to join you!

New York City

Travel to New York City during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go
COVID & Cabin Fever Inspire New Uses for NYC Outdoor Spaces
NYC's Ultimate 2021 Summer Bucket List


What to Do in Westchester this Week
Westchester - Activities to Enjoy Now

Long Island

Trip Advisor - The 15 Best Things to Do in Long Island
Long Island Events - Things to Do - Plan Your Day


The NYACP wants to connect with you, and hear how you are.  Please send us an update, a story, or just well wishes to your fellow colleagues. We want to hear from you, please write!