2022.11 NYACP Newsletter Fall 2022

NYACP NEWS ~ Fall 2022

Volume 4, Issue 4

In this Issue

President's Message
Committee News
Recent Events
IACP Forum
Mentorship Program
NYACP Support Groups
NYACP Board of Directors
Upcoming Events
Collaborative Chats - Jeffrey Steiger
Messages of Gratitude

NYACP has been greatly blessed to be under the leadership of our esteemed President, Ken Novenstern. Although we look forward to working diligently with Ken on our Board of Directors, this is his final message as President of NYACP.


By Ken Novenstern

I start this President's message with mixed emotions. While I will remain involved with the Board as the past President, and will certainly do everything I can to assist Melissa Goodstein as the next President, I have enjoyed my role as President to a degree that I did not anticipate. I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people in the areas of the law, mental health and finance, and have been able to direct the energy of so many people in this organization in a positive way for almost two years. Having attended the IACP forum in Orlando in October, along with people like Melissa, Neil Kozek, Michelle Lewis, Bob Raymond, Randy Heller, Tony Markus and Ivan Alter, I feel more connected to this group than ever before.

Since I still have a little under 60 days to go, I will focus on the work that we've done this year and what we have left to do. I can express my feelings about the organization and the friends I have made more fully on December 1st.

As a Board, we have maintained a fiscal awareness at all times. We have also seen a continuation of numerous trainings each month by Zoom, and now some in person, including the recent Psychology of Money training led by Abby Rosmarin, Kathleen Donnelli, and Michael McLaughlin. The Training and Education Committee has done tremendous work in 2022, and Ellen Baken and the members of the Membership Committee have reinvigorated that part of our organization.

In May 2022, we had our first in person Basic Collaborative Training since 2019. The trainers included Elena Katz, Katherine Miller, and Steve Kaplan. The Pods presented program after program, including a Long Island Pod program by Bob Raymond which took place on Tuesday this week.  The Long Island Pod, the New York City Pod, and the Northern Westchester Pod have consistently provided zoom programs containing important information for all of our professionals.

In June of 2022, Board members attended an all day strategic planning session in New York City. We are still working with the outcome of that meeting in an effort to more effectively move our organization forward. At this meeting, and in many of our Board discussions, we maintain a focus on how to get our members more collaborative cases. I would note that at the IACP forum in Orlando last month, the issue of gaining more collaborative cases was a regular topic of conversation.

Since I prepared this the first night of daylight savings time, and since it is dark out much earlier, I will keep this short. Your Board works very hard maintaining this organization, providing trainings, networking events, and thinking about member benefits, and I would encourage you to get involved in any way. Everyone who gets directly involved with this amazing group of people benefits by the emotional bonds that are made and by referral of collaborative divorce matters, mediation consulting matters, or litigation in broken collaborative cases. So please get more involved and I can guarantee that he will receive a greater return than you anticipated.

Pods – Join a POD, Get Involved, Be Connected, Build Relationships, and Collaborate!

The Psychological Side of Collaborative
On September 13, the NYC Pod hosted a very important conversation about psychological side of Collaborative. Topics discussed were the greatest psychological challenges doing Collaborative. Raging clients? Domineering attorneys? Over-accommodating clients? Team dynamics? Indecisive clients? Participants considered why they think the work is so challenging, how it shows up, and how to manage it--or try to? Members shared what has worked, what has not, learned from each other and spread the wisdom.

On September 6th and November 1st, Neil Cahn and Stacy Mullins Thompson led the Long Island Pod in a discussion on Dividing Retirement Assets. The goal was to make sure that before a settlement agreement is reached, the parties have had the opportunity to discuss the various substantive decisions that needed to be made; and for the attorneys and financial specialists had all of the details of the plans. For pensions, those included a clear cut-off date, addressing any loans before and after the agreement, shared and separate interests, whether joint and survivor and pop-up options would be chosen, and who would “pay” for them, beneficiary status, fees of the QDRO preparer and the plan administrator, COLAs, and disability benefits. For 401(k), IRA and similar plans, we discussed loans, offsetting different plans, and making decisions about post cut-off gains and losses. Tax issues and financial planning were also addressed with the help of Steve Linker and Nancy Kaye.

On October 19, 2022 the NW Pod hosted an informal discussion facilitated by NYACP President Kenneth Novenstern on how to best address these issues in our cases. The topic: Use of Marital 529 Accounts and Education Law Section  695 and Room and Board Credits and Public Policy for Remaining Children. Ken shared post divorce judgement issues that he has encountered in his practice and relevant case law. We shared how we have approached these issues in our cases and we have collaboratively resolved them. It was a spirited and informative discussion and Ken provided great materials. The recorded presentation and supplemental materials can be found on the members only section of NYACP's website. The PODs are one of the many member-only benefits of NYACP. 

The NW pod meets the third Wednesday of the month from 9 to 10AM. 

The NW POD also our new NYACP member Adam Halper, on September 21, 2022. Adam spoke about his work as co-chair of the ADR committee with the Westchester Bar Association and the programs and initiatives. The attendees included Sallie Mullins Thompson and Nancy Kaye, who in turn spoke about their role as financial specialists in collaborative and mediation matters. The group concluded that education is a powerful tool in conflict resolution and collaboratively trained professionals are well suited to offer this support. NWPOD hopes to co- sponsor more programs with local Bar Associations such as Westchester on collaborative practice. Our associations share similar objectives. That is to reach and serve  more diverse and underserved communities as well as offering professional trainings to achieve excellence and competency in our conflict resolution practices.

Joining forces in this regard will help us each achieve these goals more effectively and profoundly. Thank you, Adam, for sharing your work with us and Nancy, Lili and Sallie for joining this important conversation!


NYACP Training and Education Committee

The Training and Education Committee will develop and implement interdisciplinary programs for all professionals supporting our work in the collaborative process. This will include periodic advanced collaborative practice trainings averaging once a month from September to June every year for all professionals by non-members and members, basic collaborative divorce training for prospective new members by members annually or every other year and annual day of collaborative process training and annual meeting in December.  The committee will be given a budget approved by board on an annual basis and programs will be designed to enable members achieve excellence in collaborative practice. The committee will strive to provide trainings in response to membership interests and topical issues relative to our collaborative practices. Trainings to take place at locations in NYC, Westchester and on Long Island, with location and platform for a particular training taking into consideration preferences of trainers, sponsors, likely attendees, cost and other factors.  Training Committee meets monthly September-June on the first Thursday of the month from 12 to 1pm via Zoom. 

For More Information contact Melissa Goodstein (Co-Chair) or Anthony C. Markus (Co-Chair)

NYACP Membership Committee

The NYACP Membership Committee is a robust group of members working to enhance the quality of our membership, bring in new members and strengthen relationships with one another.  Some of the things we have been working on include a Mentor Program that was started last year chaired by Catherine Canade and Shara Goldfarb.  If you are interested in being a Mentor, please let us know.  You can get more information about the program on the website.  We are working on ways to increase membership to expand the reach of the Collaborative Process to our communities.  The committee includes members from every discipline.  We meet the first Wednesday of every month and we welcome anyone wanting to get more involved in the NYACP to join our committee.  If you are interested, please email Ellen Jancko-Baken at [email protected].

NYACP Streamlined Collaborative Model Committee

The Streamlined Committee has been working diligently over the past two years in developing and adapting the streamlined model to meet the needs of our jurisdiction and association. One streamlined case has been successfully completed and the committee is working together with the professionals involved in this case to further refine the model based upon their experiences. To be considered for the streamlined collaborative model, prospective clients are first required to complete an online assessment called the SDRI with results analyzed by the MHP team member. It is only after this assessment is completed and clients deemed suitable for the streamlined collaborative model can the matter proceed as a streamlined collaborative case. Some SDRI assessments outside of the initial streamlined case have been completed with the finding that the streamlined approach was not suitable,  however,  these cases did proceed in the traditional full team collaborative model. Ideally, the committee would like to complete more streamlined cases so that we can more fully refine the model for training. To that end the streamlined committee hopes to be ready to present a training by the Spring/Fall 2023. If any NYACP member has a case they feel would be appropriate for the streamlined model (for example, two W2 wage earners, simple assets, aligned parenting, good communication and mutual motivation) before this proposed training  please contact Abby Curro who can then connect you with one of the streamlined committee members to discuss the next steps.

NYACP Committee for Racial Equity

The Committee for Racial Equity is seeking members!

Our mission and goals: 

Mission:  Support NYACP members to understand the impact of systemic racism on each of us both personally and professionally. 

Goals: Provide programs focused on self-reflection and education to more effectively work with clients and colleagues who have been historically excluded from the collaborative process due to race.  Through this work, the goal is to create a safer community and to foster membership that more accurately reflects the diversity of the greater New York area. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact Jessica Rothberg at [email protected].

NYACP Events Committee

Research shows that building trusting and strong relationships with your collaborative colleagues can lead to the successful assembling of Collaborative Teams, and better outcomes for our clients. NYACP has formed an events committee. The focus of this committee will be to plan social events so that members can join together, get to know one another, and have fun doing it! We need your help! We welcome your ideas, suggestions, and participation. For more information, please contact Michelle Lewis at [email protected].

Recent Events

This past September, NYACP provided an exclusive opportunity for members to obtain new professional headshots. We hope you took advantage and benefited from the experience!

No Justice! No Peace! Understanding How Systemic Racism Impacts Us Personally and Professionally

Our first presentation of the Fall was presented by Barbara Burr, Esq., Candice D. Saketkoo, Ph.D., Psy.D., Natalie Goldberg, LCSW, LCSW-C, LICSW on September 23, 2022. Participants learned how to forge concrete action plans to remove obstacles and achieve meaningful change in our practices and practice group. We explored and examined what stands in the way of greater diversity, genuine equity and meaningful inclusion. 

The Psychology of Money

On October 13, 2022, Kathleen Donelli, Esq.  Michael McLaughlin, CFA, ASA, CVA, and Abby Rosmarin, Esq., LMHC, presented one of the first in-person events since the pandemic - The Psychology of Money.  The program began with an interactive social and continued with conversation and exploration of how people’s responses and reactions orientation are shaped by personal experiences and attitudes about money? 

Kathleen Donelli, Esq.
Kathleen Donelli is a partner in the law firm of Goldschmidt & Genovese, LLP in White Plains, N.Y. and concentrates her practice in matrimonial and collaborative law. Ms. Donelli is a board member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. She is an adjunct professor at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (“Pace Law School”) teaching Matrimonial Practice and Collaborative Law and is the Vice Chair of its Board of Visitors. Ms. Donelli is a member of the Matrimonial Practice Advisory and Rules Committee and the recipient of the N.Y.S. Bar Association Ruth Schapiro Award for promoting women in the legal profession. Ms. Donelli worked with the Hon. Sondra Miller to draft and promote the “No Fault” divorce bill which was enacted into law in October, 2010. Ms. Donelli is a former President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (“WWBA”) (2003-2005), the White Plains Bar Association (1998-2000) and member of the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District. In 2010, Ms. Donelli received the “Leading Matrimonial Attorney” Above the Bar Award. She is a graduate of Pace Law School (’85, cum laude) where she was the Articles Editor of the Pace Law School Law Review. In 2005, Ms. Donelli received the Alumni Leadership Award from Pace Law School. She is listed as a Super Lawyer in Thomas Reuter's annual list of top family law attorneys in the N.Y. Metro area.

Michael R. McLaughlin, CFA, ASA, CVA
Michael McLaughlin is a Managing Director in Sigma Valuation Consulting’s Litigation and Valuation practice. He has been a professional business appraiser for more than a decade. Michael has experience valuing companies and financial instruments for divorce, shareholder disputes, commercial litigation and investment purposes as well as for financial and tax reporting purposes. Michael is regularly appointed by various courts as a neutral expert in marital dissolution matters. He has also testified in court and at arbitration. Prior to joining Sigma Valuation Consulting, Michael worked at EisnerAmper LLP in their Forensic, Litigation and Valuation Services Group. Michael also worked for Morrison & Company, in New Jersey, performing valuations for litigation purposes. Mr. McLaughlin received a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College in 1984 and an MBA in Accounting from Pace University in 2009. Michael is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute and New York Society of Security Analysts. Michael is also an Accredited Senior Appraiser at the American Society of Appraisers and a Certified Valuation Analyst at the National Association of Certified Valuator and Analysts.

Abby Rosmarin, Esq., LMHC, is both an attorney and a licensed mental health counselor. She is a partner at the law firm Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP. She works with clients in the Collaborative process both as an attorney and a family specialist.  Abby draws on her training and experience in law, conflict resolution, and mental health to help her clients. She has a particular interest in the psychology of money and has trained directly with Oliva Mellan, a leader in the field of money psychology.  

IACP Forum

Several of our NYACP members participated in learning and growing as Collaborative professionals at IACP's Annual Networking and Educational Forum in Orlando, Florida this past month. Congratulations to Ivan for your achievement in the Leadership Academy. Kudos to those members who support the Leadership Links, and, to our presenters. All agreed it was a great experience! A special congratulations to Ivan Alter for successfully graduating from the IACP Leadership Academy!

How Attending IACP Forum Was Truly Magical for Me! Michelle Lewis, Esq.

Thirteen years after I completed the Basic Interdisciplinary Training (in 2009), I finally attended my first IACP Forum with Neil Kozek. Not only was this my first Forum, but my first multi-day “away from home” professional event. At first, the sheer size of the venue, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, was overwhelming. There were several conventions going on at the same time, and it took me a few tries to locate the IACP Registration. However, my anxious feelings soon turned to excitement, as I began to meet collaborative professionals from around the country and around the world. Thanks to Neil’s long history with the IACP and to Randy Heller’s deep ties to the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (who had a very strong showing at this year’s Orlando-based Forum) and to the IACP, I was introduced to many other Forum participants. What struck me most was how energized everyone was to be in the presence of so many professionals who share the same collaborative values and the same goals – to make collaborative law the norm for divorcing families. At the same time, the Forum was a chance to get to know the members of the NYACP who attended in a  more relaxed and social setting (for those of you who saw us posing with a walking pumpkin at the resort, you know what I mean).

The presentations I attended were very thought provoking and inspiring. Neil and I particularly loved one that we attended together about sympathy, empathy, and compassion. The workshop explained the differences between sympathy, empathy, and compassion, and also ended up focusing the group on self -compassion. It was eye opening to see that for most of the attendees, we treat ourselves with far less compassion than we would treat a client or a friend. On Sunday, I attended a workshop that focused on the issues that families in collaborative who have a special needs child face which collaborative practitioners should be aware of. As a parent of a special needs child, and as someone who has had the privilege of working with families with children with special needs (both in and outside the collaborative process), the workshop dealt with a topic near and dear to my heart.  The lecture attended by all participants in the Forum on Saturday by Nadine Smith who spoke about Florida’s attack on LGBTQ families was one of the most authentic and moving speeches I have had the privilege to hear. The whole room was clearly and deeply moved by her experiences and by the incredible things she is doing in Florida.  I am so glad that I accepted Neil’s invitation to come to the IACP forum this year, and can’t wait to go again next year – in Toronto!

Sharing the (IACP) Wealth

For those who couldn't make the IACP Forum this year, on November 8, 2022, Bob Raymond and Melissa Goodstein shared impressions and highlights.  

Learning, Growing, and Building Relationships with some fun mixed in as well! NYACP Members attend the IACP Forum in Orlando 

On Friday, November 18th, Marc O. Sheridan presented a virtual workshop on Civil Collaboration. Collaborative Practice has enjoyed overwhelming success in family-related disputes here in the U.S. and internationally, and continues to expand its reach into non-matrimonial conflict.

In this advanced 90-minute session, Marc Sheridan, Esq., AFHE Board Member, founder of the New York Civil Collaborative Group, trainer, Northeast Regional Chair of the Global Collaborative Council, and Committee Chair of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Trainers’ Development and Practice Group discussed his and colleagues’ success in tailoring Collaborative Practice to family business and other commercial disputes.  Attendees were introduced to the Civil Collaborative Practice structure, and provided an understanding of the way in which interdisciplinary teams function as CP is learn about its application applied to the unique strengths and challenges of a family business. Participants learned about how they can make expand Collaborative Practice into their non-matrimonial areas as part of their dispute resolution toolkit offerings.  An additional discussion was held related to civil collaboration and trusts and estates matters. 

Marc Sheridan has represented individuals, closely-held and family businesses, and multi-national clients for over twenty years concerning commercial disputes and employment discrimination claims in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and arbitral forums. He has extensive litigation experience representing corporate clients on risk transfer and liability issues involving commercial leases and construction contracts. Building on his litigation and arbitration experience, over the last decade Mr. Sheridan has become a recognized speaker on Civil Collaborative Practice and has trained numerous lawyers and other professionals on Civil Collaborative Practice both domestically and internationally. He presently serves as Co-Chair of the Trainers Networking and Development Committee for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and the Northeast Regional Director for the Global Collaborative Law Council (GCLC).

NYACP Mentorship Program

The current session of the mentorship program is underway with 5 mentor/mentee pairs and will conclude January 15th. If you are interested in applying as either a mentor or mentee for the session beginning February 15 please contact Abby Curro at [email protected] and if you have any questions about the program please contact co-chairs Catherine Canadé at [email protected] or Shara Goldfarb at [email protected].

NYACP Support Groups

NYACP support groups were formed in response to multiple requests to facilitate a support and development group for practitioners. The groups are generally  focused on building greater collaborative skills and insights, share cases, and/or seek to benefit from meeting with colleagues doing collaborative work with our colleagues, while building relationships and community.

The Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (SGCP) are facilitated interdisciplinary groups of members who meet monthly over the course of two semesters per year: September through January and February through June.

Once a group is formed, it is a closed group.  Only those members who are assigned to the group, can attend the monthly meetings. As members leave a group, their seat opens and other members can be assigned. New members are usually added to the groups in September unless a member made it clear in the fall that they will not be participating in the spring semester starting the following February. In that case, new members can be added to a group in February.

If there are a sufficient number of members looking to be a part of a support group, but there aren't enough empty seats in the existing groups, a new group can be formed.  The new group would need to have 2 facilitators and 6 to 8 other members committed to attending. Please contact Abby Curro for more information.

Discipline Specific Support Groups

Support Group for Family Specialists. Bob  Raymond and Jefferey Steiger will begin co-facilitating a support group for Family Specialists and hope to begin in January 2023. All MHP’S are invited.

The plan is for the group to meet quarterly with the option of having a buddy system if the members so desire. The intention is to keep our members connected and to discuss any ongoing concerns we are experiencing regarding our work. We may discuss individual cases or larger membership concerns impacting our discipline specifically. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Abby Curro.

Support Group for Financial Neutrals.

Professionals with designations and credentials such as CPA, forensic accountant, business valuator, RFC (Registered Financial Consultant), CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), and others provide different services in collaborative divorce matters.

In the focus group meetings attended only by the financial neutrals, you will become familiar with what each can offer to the collaborative divorce process. This will enable you to refer another professional to a matter when the need for additional expertise arises. All NYACP members benefit from this, as every esoteric or unique financial circumstance will be attended to by the professional who can best advise the attorneys on Win/Win scenarios. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Abby Curro. 

New York City Support Group for Collaborative Professionals
Support Group meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 9:30-11am

Lower Westchester Support Group for Collaborative Professionals Meeting
Second Tuesday of the Month at 5:30 PM virtual Zoom Meeting

NYACP is beginning to make plans to develop discipline specific support groups for our membership.

Your Board Hard at Work

Our most recent Board meeting was held on November 10, 2022. Your board is working diligently on strategic planning efforts, increasing membership benefits, developing interesting and informative educational programs, offering social events where we can get to know each other and build strong relationships, and continuously brainstorming about ways to offer the utmost benefits for our members. We welcome your ideas, and want to address your needs and concerns. 

Upcoming Events


The Lost Art of Asking: Bringing Questions into Option Generating

Thursday, December 1, 2022
Reception 5:00pm-7:00pm


Please mark your calendar for our 2022 Annual Business Meeting and Training!  Jacinta Gallant will offer a full day interactive workshop on the Lost Art of Asking: Bringing Questions into Option Generating. This workshop will help Collaborative Professionals ask better questions and how to keep interests on the table. We will learn how to work with a Decision – Making Agenda. Jacinta, a former IACP Board Member and ongoing national and international trainer, is an excellent presenter whose knowledge, skill, and style will challenge and foster your learning and growth potential. 

Registration: (Same Price as 2019!)
$195 - Full Day (includes lunch) and Evening Reception
$125 - Evening Reception Only

$295 - Full Day (includes lunch) and Evening Reception
$150 - Evening Reception Only

New Edition of Collaborative Chats!

Vice President and Host of the NYACP Collaborative Chats, Melissa Goodstein, had the opportunity to chat with co-Board Member, Jeffrey Steiger.

On Gratitude…

Research shows gratitude isn’t just a pleasant feeling—being grateful can also support greater health, happiness, and wisdom in ourselves and our communities.

Thanksgiving  is a time of year to gather with loved ones and enjoy a lovely meal together. It's also a time to reflect on the things you're most grateful for and convey gratitude. Here’s some ideas …

Start Thanksgiving Gratitude Traditions Make Gratitude a Family Tradition Thanksgiving Day can be your launch day of gratitude. Commit to showing gratitude in some way every day of the year. You can write each day in a gratitude journal; you can draw your gratitude or verbally express your gratitude. Give the Gift of a Gratitude Journal. You can start small by setting aside time each day to think or write about three things that you’re grateful for or writing a gratitude letter once a week. If you’re comfortable expressing your gratitude, set a goal for yourself to tell someone that you appreciate them every day. After all—you’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to gain!

I am thankful  for my health, my family, and my opportunity to contribute to making the world just a little more peaceful through my work. I am also so grateful to be a part of this amazing NYACP community! I thank all of you for embracing and welcoming me to what I think is the “best city in the world!” Wishing all of you good health, peace, ease, and love! - Randy Heller

I'm grateful for everything in my life. Yes, everything....even for terrible things!  Gratitude simply feels better than anger, resentment, and self-pity.  When I am grateful, I am receptive.  When I am receptive, even terrible things provide me with knowledge. The attitude of gratitude is just that: an attitude. That's why I'm on the lookout for things to be grateful about because I feel the joy of being grateful.  I am grateful for the things I often take for granted: My awareness, my senses, my body, my life. the electric company for the electricity in my home, Thomas Edison for inventing the light bulb, the designer of the lamp in my living room, and my clients who provide the money to pay for the electricity.  I am grateful for all the people from my past and present, living and no longer alive, for all they've contributed to my life: teachers, lovers, friends, siblings, my spouse, my ex-spouse, children (mine and others), people who are or were famous most of whom I never actually met, my parents, and my kind, compassionate, intelligent, and helpful fellow members of NYACP.

Perhaps one book has impacted my attitude more than all others: "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought" by John-Roger & Peter McWilliams. I recommend that you google the book, and google Peter McWilliams Gratefully yours, Stephen Linker, CPA, CVA, CFF,FACFE

HAVE NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOUR NYACP FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES?  Email [email protected] or Randy Heller at [email protected]