2022.03 NYACP Newsletter Winter 2022

NYACP News ~ Winter 2022

Volume 4, Issue 1

In This Issue...

President's Message
BCIT Training in May! We Need You!
Collaborative Divorce Intro Session on March 25th
NYACP Mentorship Program
What Has The NYACP Board Been Up To?

NYACP Trainings and Events

Collaborative Matters and Clients with Substance Abuse Issues
4 Pillars of Retirement
2022 Annual Business Meeting and Training
Answering Those Difficult Client Questions
End of the Year Share and Review
Revisit our Working Assumptions
Improving Outcomes for Children and Families
The Role of Social Security in Planning for Collaborative Divorce
MCT Learing Initiative
Avoiding Hot Mic and Groundhog Day Experiences
N. Westchester Pod Offers Insight to the NYACP
Alternative Payment Systems, Blockchain Cryptocurrency and More

Ongoing NYACP Programs

NYACP Pod and Support Groups for Collaborative Professionals
2022 NYACP Committee Meetings
2022 Growth...Share Your Love of Collaborative Work
Have News?  Share It With Your Collaborative Colleagues!

 A Message from the 2022 NYACP President

By Ken Novenstern

In his Winter 2022 President's Message, NYACP President Ken Novenstern, Esq. covers the following topics:

        • Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training (BCIT) coming in May
        • Mentorship Program
        • Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (SGCP)

 (Video length: 5:11)

Click Here to Watch Ken's Message

NYACP Offers the BCIT! Spread the Word!

The NYACP is so excited to be offering our own Basic Collaborative Interdisciplinary Training in May and we hope our members will forward the information to colleagues and professional acquaintances!  If each of our members recruited just one professional to attend and join the NYACP, it would mean more professionals spreading the Collaborative word, more couples utilizing this great option in divorce, and more cases for our members!

To Non-NYACP Members, this is your chance to shift your focus, shift your practice, shift your life!!!  If you are interested in becoming a true “peacemaker” and transforming the way people resolve conflict, register today and join us virtually for this training. 

Even if you are already trained, the Paradigm shift is an ongoing process. Each time you attend a training, you will learn something that will enhance your professional and personal development. 

BCIT Information Page

Attention: Professionals Interested in Learning More About Collaborative Divorce and the BCIT!

Please attend our Introduction to the NYACP Basic Collaborative Interdisciplinary Training on Friday, March 25, 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm.

This Event is Free to Any Legal, Financial or Mental Health Professional Interested in the Collaborative Method of Divorce!

BCIT Intro Session Event

Please Welcome Our New and Returning NYACP Members!

Legal Professionals:
John Pappalardo, Esq.
James Joseph, Esq.
Ariella Deutsch, Esq.
Marcos Fernandez, Esq.

Legal Associate:
Shelley Klein, Esq.

Financial Associate:
Lina Sanchez, CDFA

NYACP Mentorship Program

The NYACP Mentorship Pilot Program that concluded in January 2022 was a great success! We had two pairs of mentor / mentees of the same discipline for our initial four month program. Melissa Goodstein, Esq., and Michael McLaughlin, CFA generously volunteered their time as reportedly wonderful mentors for mentees Morgan Anthony, Esq. and Sallie Mullins Thompson, CDFA for this launch project. Each month the mentors and mentees connected to answer the mentee's questions regarding ongoing cases, specific issues or practice management. At the end of the session, we had a feedback session which gave us some good ideas for how to improve the program going forward. 

Because the program was so successful, the next session began right away on February 15th and will run through June 15th!  This session we have doubled our pairs!  Mentee / Mentor pairs are: Ariella Deutsch, Esq. / Teresa Ombres, Esq.; Lina Sanchez,  / Nancy Kaye, CFP, CDFA, RIA, MBA; Helene Bernstein, Esq. / Adam Berner, Esq. and back for another round, Morgan Anthony, Esq. / Melissa Goodstein, Esq.!  Many thanks to Co-Chairs, Shara Goldfarb, Esq. and Catherine Canadé, Esq. for making this well received program a reality!

What is Your Board Doing for You?

Since the publication of our last newsletter, your NYACP Board of Directors met on November 11, 2021 and January 14, 2022.  At the most recent meeting, the Board had indepth discussions on what has been happening with NYACP and how to build on that to provide the best possible opportunities and experiences to our membership in the upcoming year! There are so many things planned, including, and not limited to our Basic Training, to be elaborated on later in this newsletter. The Board is planning a strategic planning retreat for the upcoming summer in an effort to develop plans that will further support and benefit our membership. Our President, Ken Novenstern, Esq. welcomed our new Board Members, Dr. Randy Heller and Kathleen Donelli, Esq.

The agenda included a review of the 2022 Budget, Committee Reports and discussion of plans for the committees this coming year. Committee Reports were provided for the following Committees: Education & Training: Melissa Goodstein; Membership: Ellen Janko-Baken; Mentorship: Catherine Canadé; Newsletter: Randy Heller; SGCP Best Practices: Andrea Vacca. The office report was provided by Abby Curro.

The NYACP is always looking for our members to participate and benefit from committee involvement.  If you are interested in getting involved, contact the NYACP office today!

Meet Your Newest Board of Directors!

Kathleen Donelli, Esq. is a partner of the firm and concentrates her practice in the areas of Appellate Practice, Collaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law. In 1996, Kathleen won a landmark New York State Court of Appeals custody decision in Tropea v. Tropea, 87 N.Y.2d 727, 665 N.E.2d 145, 642 N.Y.S.2d 575 (1996). Tropea established that courts should determine if a custodial parent should be permitted to relocate with a child based on the "best interest" of the child. Kathleen frequently lectures on ethics and a variety of matrimonial and family law issues. Kathleen is a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, an association dedicated to resolving matrimonial and custody disputes without court intervention.

Kathleen is an adjunct Professor of Law at Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and co-chair of its Board of Visitors.

Kathleen is a Past President of the Westchester Women's Bar Association and the White Plains Bar Association. She is the Co-Chair of the Collaborative Law Committees of the Westchester Women's Bar Association. She is a former Member of the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District. Kathleen has also been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in the area of Family Law.

Dr. Randy Heller has recently expanded her Family Therapy practice from Florida to NYC and Connecticut and is s one of our newest Board Members. Dr. Heller received her doctorate in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has held multiple positions as an Educator, Exceptional Student Specialist, and Family Counselor for The Broward County School Board beginning in 1980. She is now a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Supreme Court Family Mediator, Qualified Parenting Coordinator, and Certified Hypnotherapist, and Founder and Clinical Director of The Family Network, Collaborative Counseling Center for Positive Growth and Change, established in 1994. Heller has had highly successful experience working with all aged individuals, parents, couples, step-families, children of divorce, and students with educational, motivational, and behavioral challenges; facilitating change in their behavior, interactions, and relationships. Dr. Heller is a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She has also received specialized training in Collaborative Family Law. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Heller serves as a Board member of The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, is Vice President of The Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida and is an active member on the Research and Access to Collaboration Committees of the IACP.  Dr. Heller has researched and published her doctoral dissertation on Competency and the Role of the Mental Health Counselor in the Collaborative Family Law. She has also published an article in the Collaborative Review Research Edition, and three book chapters on this topic as well. Heller has also written the syllabus and teaches an elective course for Masters and Doctoral students in Collaborative Divorce at Nova Southeastern University in the Department of Family Therapy, now in its seventh year.  Additionally, Dr. Heller is the creator and director of the NSU/Mission United/Family Network/ Collaborative Family Law Professionals Veteran Pro Bono Clinic, also in its seventh year, guiding veteran families through Collaborative process in conjunction with Legal Aid, the University, and the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of S. Florida. Randy is looking forward to her active participation and contribution to the Board. 



Collaborative Matters and Clients with Substance Abuse Issues

On November 12, 2021, NYACP hosted Dr. Laurence M. Westreich, MD, a psychiatrist who reviews the forensic assessment of a custodial parent who has, or is accused of having, problematic use of intoxicating substances. He gave an informative presentation and then discussed questions raised by the participants. Dr. Westrich is the author of Helping the Addict You Love (Simon and Schuster), A Parent's Guide to Teen Addiction (Skyhorse Publishing) and is Past-President of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

4 Pillars of Retirement

On November 17th, the Northern Westchester Pod was thrilled to have Judi R. McAnaw present the landmark study, the Four Pillars of the New Retirement – a five-generational study by Edward Jones and Age Wave.  This new, comprehensive framework helps people live well to and through retirement by considering both the challenges and opportunities within four massively important, interconnected pillars: health, family, purpose and finances.  The program went over how they’ve been tracking how the pandemic has disrupted our lives like never before, how Americans are faring across the four pillars, and what’s next in the “new retirement.” The newest findings show how Americans have been faring throughout the pandemic across each of the four pillars, highlight the importance of purpose in retirement, and explore the most vital aspects of comprehensive retirement planning. While this pandemic has touched us all, our findings remind us that each individual and family has been uniquely affected.

Judi is an Edward Jones financial advisor who strives to make a meaningful difference in her clients' lives.  Prior to joining Edward Jones, Judi served in a number of senior investment and wealth advisory roles at a leading global private bank. After her own husband passed away unexpectedly, it became crystal clear how critical having a thoughtful strategy in place can be when facing a life altering event. She chose to leave Wall Street for a more fulfilling career in which she could help individuals in my local community make informed decisions and be better prepared for life's expected – and unexpected – events.

 2022 Annual Business Meeting and Training

On December 2, 2021 NYACP held our very informative and productive Annual Business Meeting and Training!  We met virtually again this year out of an abundance of safety concerns for our members, and so that everyone, everywhere can join together.  We learned and shared with our renowned speaker, Donna Hicks, Ph.D.

Dr. Donna Hicks is an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  She facilitated dialogues in numerous unofficial diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Colombia, Cuba, Libya and Syria. She was a consultant to the BBC in Northern Ireland where she co-facilitated a television series, Facing the Truth, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.   She has taught courses in conflict resolution at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities and conducts trainings seminars in the US and abroad on dignity leadership training and on the role dignity plays in resolving conflict.  She consults to corporations, schools, churches, and non-governmental organizations. Her book, Dignity:  It’s Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, was published by Yale University Press in 2011.  Her second book, Leading with Dignity:  How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People, was published by Yale University Press in August 2018.

Donna presented her Dignity Model Workshop.  We learned so much about ways to share information, give and receive feedback, become more mindful of the ways that we may (consciously and unconsciously) violate a person’s dignity, leading them to feel undervalued and defensive, and ultimately creating and contributing to conflict, instead of resolving it , which is the intention in our work as Collaborative Professionals , Peacemakers, and sound human beings. Through thoughtful interactive conversation, we learned to utilize her teachings with our Teams and with our clients to promote successful and effective communication and outcomes in families, communities, in the workplace and among nations.

All attendees received  Donna's book, "Leading with Dignity" book in addition to a special “goody bag” from NYACP. I encourage all who attended to be mindful of how you communicate, and spread Donna’s word, by implementing what she taught us in all of your interactions. In doing so, you will be an agent for change in this very conflicted world we now live in. 

Answering Those Difficult Client Questions

Nancy Kaye, CFP, CDFA, RIA, MBA of the Long Island Pod led a discussion on December 7, 2021, on Answering Those Difficult Client Questions: What to say when a prospective client asks: “How much will a Collaborative Divorce cost?”; “How long will a Collaborative Divorce take?”; and “How does the cost compare to Mediation?” The discussion concluded with an introductory discussion on the Streamlined Protocol Process.

The IACP has been conducting Research on these topics for many years. Any IACP member  interested in these statistics  can log onto the IACP website and find numerous articles that can be shared with prospective clients and colleagues that will also shed light on these very important questions.

NYC and LI Pods Host End of the Year Share and Review

The NYACP began presenting webinars in March 2020 and will continue to meet virtually hosted by our local Pods.  On December 14, 2021, as the end of 2021 came to a close, the NYC Pod looked back on the past year and shared our challenges and joys together, both personally and professionally.  On January 4, 2022, the Long Island Pod hosted 2021: The Year in review with a discussion on How did we cope? What happened with our practices? What happened with our cases? Where do we go from here?

Both Pod meetings were attended by NYACP members from all over the Metro New York area, ending 2021 with reflection and starting 2022 with hope of great things to come, both personally and professionally, and as individuals and as an organization.

Revisit our Working Assumptions

NYC Pod Celebrates a BIG 17th Birthday!

So how does a pod of collaborative professionals mark our 17th birthday? This was our collective best guess at the number of years we've been a multidisciplinary organization, and we took a meeting to reflect upon one of our core assumptions - i.e. "what happens in the collaborative team stays in the collaborative team". Most of the NYACP members in attendance have held to the truism that once our clients have signed their settlement agreement - or abandoned the collaborative process - our work with them concludes as well. Were all teams functioning this way? What were the exceptions? And was this still a useful paradigm? 

In a lively discussion co-led by Elana Katz, LCSW, LMFT and Barbara Rothberg, Ph.D, the participants reflected on these questions and shared vivid memories of cases that tested the limits of the paradigm on January 11th hosted by the NYC Pod. One member reflected on clients that seek to return to the collaborative table post judgment - i.e. they successfully completed the process and a change of circumstances invited revisiting or revisioning one or more aspects of the agreement. Our members felt comfortable with this practice. In contrast, some family specialists have been asked to offer therapy to one client after working as a neutral for both, and this was uniformly viewed as a "no go". In particular we wondered about how the other client would experience this change in roles; would it make them revisit whether the family specialist had truly been neutral in the process, or if they had - even subtly - been more on one person's side? We also considered whether it made more sense to refer out any parent coordination work even if it would be substituting one neutral role for another; is there something to be gained by having a fresh start and working post divorce with someone who didn't live all the worst moments of their process with the clients? This question remained unanswered, with varying viewpoints.

It also seemed essential for the financial neutral to remain a neutral and not serve as an investment advisor to one client post judgment. We noted that there is more of an opportunity cost for our financial specialists by adhering to the collaborative guidelines; there is more revenue to be made by investing a client's money over time vs helping them arrive at a financial settlement. The opportunity for everyone to participate in the discussion and share their experiences and feelings made this a very interesting Pod meeting.

Improving Outcomes for Children and Families with Structured Co-Parenting Communication 

On January 14, 2022, Michelle N. Barr, Esq., OurFamilyWizard Judicial Education Coordinator presented to NYACP on Improving Outcomes for Children and Families with Structured Co-Parenting Communication. Michelle spoke about the use of the OurFamilyWizard platform and its implementation as part of the parent agreement in an effort to reduce litigation, improve co-parent communication, and protect survivors and secondary victims of Domestic Violence. We learned how parents and professionals can apply its features to manage and document communication. Additionally, we explored options for who may access the family's activity. Given our intention of peacemaking, it is encouraged that this can be a helpful tool to promote effective communication collaboration between parents.

The Role of Social Security in Planning for Collaborative Divorce

The Northern Westchester Pod first meeting of 2022 was on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. We had an informal and interactive discussion led by Presented by Georgia Kramer, Esq, which included the criteria for receiving social security as a spouse, divorced spouse or surviving spouse and how to maximize the amount you receive. 

MCT Learning Initiative

January 2022 – October 2022

In January, our members were invited to participate, at no charge, in the “MCT Initiative" presented by My Collaborative Team on the third Thursday of each month at 1:00pm.

My Collaborative Team’s mission is to provide meaningful, dynamic, powerful, and thought-provoking resources to Collaborative Practice Groups and Practitioners worldwide seeking to transform the process by which people resolve disputes. It is that mission that drives our goal with this new initiative.

This introductory learning program is a series of ten monthly gatherings that will take the next step in the Collaborative training process. MCT will teach newly trained professionals what to do next and at the same time teach potential Collaborative professionals and referral sources what the Collaborative Process is all about. This program is also a fantastic way to provide our members and other Collaborative professionals the opportunity to network, despite the limitations of the pandemic. This will be your chance to invite a colleague “to lunch.” This program allows for, and encourages, networking.  For more information, contact: [email protected]

Avoiding Hot Mic and Groundhog Day Experiences

Myra Fried, Esq. kicked off the NYC monthly meeting in February and led an inspiring and comprehensive conversation about how we can respond to those feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and doubt when engaging. in Collaborative work. Participants shared ideas about what to do when feeling burnt out, when we are working harder than the clients, and how we can support our clients and our colleagues while maintaining structure and boundaries, We also spoke about fostering hope that can lead to positive outcomes. The participants brainstormed about the development of creative rituals to assist our clients in moving forward and moving on. This topic is to be elaborated upon and presented in a meeting later this year.

The Northern Westchester Pod Offers Insight to the NYACP

At the N. Westchester Pod meeting on February 16th, Ken Novenstern, Esq., NYACP President and Vice President, Melissa Goodstein, Esq. discussed the on-going work of the NYACP.  From board meetings, standing committees and member groups that include Membership, Diversity, Protocols, and Training and Education, regional Pod meetings; to the new Mentorship Program, the quarterly newsletter, and NYACP's social media initiatives, and the upcoming NYACP podcast interviews with our members that is in development.  The breadth of NYACP's member benefits was exchanged and discussed, including the improved NYACP website and all member section offerings including recordings of trainings and pod meetings,  and practice materials, NYC and Westchester SGCP groups as well as the Training and Education committee's monthly Friday webinars, We shared the many benefits of NYACP membership including the friendships that have emerged among members and the collegiality and support both on a professional and personal level. It was noted that the SGCP in particular was like collaborative professional therapy and in and of itself invaluable and worth the cost of membership. Nancy Kaye, Arnold Cribari, and Sallie Thompson among others shared their own personal experience as members of NYACP and the tremendous value they experienced as members. More involvement translates into more value and we hope that all members will take advantage of all NYACP offerings to better our Collaborative Practices.

Alternative Payment Systems, Blockchain Cryptocurrency and More

On February 18, 2022, NYACP member Steven M. Kaplan, CPA/ABV presented to our membership about non-traditional financial accounts and assets, covering what you need to know about payment platforms such as Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle, as well as discussing BlockChain and the emerging range of cyber assets and technology supported by BlockChain, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum and Solana to NFT's (Non-Fungible Tokens).  Perhaps you have heard terms like Airdrop, Forks, Wallets, Lockers and NFT, or heard about applications like Coinbase. Questions raised and considered were: Are they relevant to a case (if not yet, they will be soon), and how do we deal with them? Are they things you should embrace for your practice or your personal life?  

Steven is the founder and owner of S. Kaplan CPA, a practice focused on dispute resolution services. He has over three decades’ experience in public practice and is also accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) in addition to holding an MBA in taxation, giving Steve the “seen it all” experience to help clients with their dispute resolution, settlement support, business valuation and forensic accounting needs.

Pod and Support Groups (for NYACP members only)

NYACP Pod and Support Groups (SGCPs) fulfill two different types sustenance and care for our members. 


Pods are regionally managed groups that hold monthly meetings open for any NYACP member to attend.  A Pod's goal is to provide structured training programs each month, presented by Pod members or guest speakers. 

Long Island: Meetings are scheduled for odd months 8:15am - 9:30am. In even months 8:45am - 10:00 a.m. Leader: Neil Cahn 

NYC: Meetings are the second Tuesday of every month at 8:30am - 9:30am. Leader: Judith Stein

N. Westchester: Meetings are the third Wednesday of Each Month 9:00am - 10:00am. Leaders: Melissa Goodstein, Tony Markus, and Margaret Nicholson

Support Groups for Collaborative Professionals (SGCPs)

SGCPs are formed to privately share cases, network and enjoy support and knowledge from other group members doing collaborative work. The group's aim is to provide emotional and professional support, and to promote skill-building and practice-development.  Once an SGCP group is formed, the group is closed for a term.  However, there is no limit to the number of SGCPs, so if you are interested in forming a SGCP in your area, contact the NYACP office.  Members collectively decide how the group operates, but there are best practice guidelines that assist in forming groups focused on building greater collaborative skills, insights, and community. 

NYC Tuesday: Meeting the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Leaders: Barbara Rothberg and Marc Fleisher.

NYC Wednesday: Meeting will be the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.  Leaders: Rachel Fishman Green and Bob Raymond.

Westchester: Meetings are on alternate third Wednesday monthly. Leaders: Alternate with NW SGCP Members.

Lower Westchester: Meets the second Tuesday of the Month at 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Leaders: Ellen Jancko-Baken or Steve Kaplan.

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 2022 Volunteer Positions Open

There are positions open for committees and work groups!  NYACP committee participation is for NYACP members wanting to get more involved with the organization, and interested in benefiting from establishing more contacts and excellent networking opportunities to grow your collaborative practice. If you are interested in participating on one of the following committees: Training and Education, Social Media, Newsletter, Professional Standards, Membership, or Diversity/Inclusion, please contact the NYACP office at [email protected]



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!