2023.04 NYACP Newsletter Spring 2023

NYACP NEWS ~ Spring 2023

Volume 5, Issue 2

In this Issue

President's Message
NYACP Board of Directors
Member Spotlight
     Northern Westchester
     Long Island
     Training & Education
     Streamlined Collabortative Divorce
     Racial Equity
Additional Programs
     Support Groups for Collaborative Practice
     Discipline Support Groups
Think Spring


By Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

Happy Spring! These past few months have been busy ones for NYACP. The training and education committee has presented wonderful programs on Cyber Security, QDRO’s, Two Homes One Family resources, and the Role of the MHP. I urge everyone to attend the upcoming Racial Equity in Collaborative Practice: Roundtable Discussion on June 1, 2023, led by racial equity committee chair Jessica Rothberg and Elana Katz. We need to talk about racism and why it matters in our personal and professional lives. With a full slate of programs planned for the remainder of the year culminating in our annual day of training on Nov 30th please check your emails and NYACP website to register for these terrific programs. In addition, as a member only benefit our POD meetings and support and development practice groups are in full swing. If you would like to join a support and development group, please contact Abby for placement in a group. We have also welcomed a new MHP support group and a new semester of our mentorship program so far, this new year. Our membership committee has been hard a work with scheduling member events such as collaborative connection luncheons in Westchester, NYC and Long Island  and an evening of bowling at Chelsea Piers on March 23, 2023, which was led by the efforts of Stephen Linker. All those who attended this event enjoyed the opportunity to connect and share time with our NYACP colleagues. The bumpers definitely enhanced my bowling experience as well! 

After a spring like winter, I am looking forward to the longer days an actual Spring brings and the opportunity to spend more time outside. Come Spring, our black and white world of winter morphs magically into a world full of color and beauty that can’t help but inspire hope, renewal and possibility. The longer days mean I can have more opportunity to take a walk outside to clear my mind and body. I also try to integrate walking meetings into my day. Here are some tips for an effective walking meeting:

  • Make sure your signal strength is good. Losing connection frequently during a call is annoying and distracting.
  •  Have good wireless headphones for best sound and noise reduction however an occasional sound of birds can be very calming - a honking train not so much.
  •  Choose the right meeting for this walk. I would not recommend a meeting where privacy is essential or where you need to review documents.
  • Take walking meetings when you can be mostly listening and be muted. 
  •  Voice calls not video calls. I, for one get motion sickness so never video call me when you are moving plus video chatting while walking can be hazardous.
  • Calls best for one on one conversations. You need to keep your focus on your surroundings while maintaining the intimacy and connection of your call. More than one on a call compromise both.

I hope you will consider taking more walking calls this Spring. Walking promotes the release of happy endorphins; stimulating relaxation, improving our moods and helping us all with stress reduction. Walking also boosts creative thinking and learning which is so important in the collaborative work we all do together.  Finally, finding ways to improve and support our health is one of the best ways we can most effectively serve our clients during often the most stressful time in their lives. So, if you do get a call from me this Spring expect to hear some birds on our call and I will expect the same - but please no video - a zoom break is also restorative!


Our most recent NYACP Board meeting was held on March 9, 2023. The NYACP Board has been successful in its efforts to create more benefits for members of the organization. The Board meets every other month to discuss how to utilize the organization's resources and develop efforts toward continually strengthening the organization. This year's goals are to increase membership benefits, provide informative and useful educational programming, and offer social events to develop our trusted relationships.  The collective knowledge and energy of this group is instrumental in brainstorming ways to offer the utmost advantages for members. The Board welcomes your ideas and wants to address your needs and concerns. To that end, a Member Survey is being developed and implemented to identify and better understand your perspective on your experience as a NYACP member. Board members will be reaching out to get honest feedback about what is working, what is not working, and how the organization can be improved. Thank you in advance for your participation in this effort. If you don't participate, your feelings and thoughts will not be included.


NYACP members continually do great things!  Each issue of the NYACP News highlights NYACP members and their special occasions so that we can all get to know each other better and become more familiar with what our members bring to the organization, both personally and professionally. Featured this month: 

Kathleen Donelli, Esq.

On March 2, Kathleen Donelli, Esq., a member of the NYACP Board of Directors, was presented the Society of Irish American Lawyers (SOCIAL) 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award. Pictured is Hon. Sondra Miller (ret 2006) introducing SOCIAL President, Hon. Colleen Duffy (A.D. 2nd Dept.), during the presentation of Kathleen's award at the March Gala Award Ceremony at the Mansion on Broadway in White Plains.


Jacqueline Caputo, Esq.

On March 31, NYACP Board member, Jacqueline Caputo was very well received for her presentation to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) New York Chapter about the benefits of the utilization Collaborative Practice during the pandemic and beyond. Jacqueline spoke about the ways in which Collaborative Practice provided consistency and support for people who wanted to efficiently and effectively divorce during a time when the courts were shut down, tensions were high, and people wanted to move forward in their lives.


Learn From Our Programming, Get Involved, Be Connected, Build Relationships, and Collaborate!

NYACP offers monthly member-only virtual Pod meetings to provide opportunities for members to learn and grow together. Presenters showcase their expertise and deliver important information for participants on areas of interest related to our practice. Visit the NYACP website calendar for upcoming programs.

COVID & Collaborative: Disrupters and Silver Linings 

On Tuesday, February 14th, Dr. Barbara Rothberg led a fascinating discussion with members about their positive, negative, and overall experiences going through the pandemic over the past three years. There was a tremendous amount of sharing, connecting, and conversation about some of the personal and professional challenges, tragedies, blessings, life changing events, lessons learned, overall growth in people’s lives, and how they emerged. The meeting was moderated by Dr. Judy Stein, who leads the Pod.

Dr. Barbara Rothberg is a licensed clinical social worker and has been in practice for more than 40 years. She has additional training and certifications in Family and Couple Therapy, Mediation, Collaborative Practice and Child Inclusive Mediation. Barbara has worked as family and couple therapist, mediator, parent coordinator with high conflict couples, and divorce coach/family specialist in conjunction with collaborative attorneys and other mediators. She has experience teaching couple therapy to graduate students, leading seminars and workshops at conferences and presenting to various organizations over the years. She is a member of FDMC, where she is a board member, NYACP, AFCC, NYSCDM, and is on the Advisory Council of Familykind, as well as the Gender Project at the Ackerman Institute. She received her doctorate in Social Work at The Graduate Center, Hunter School of Social Work. 

Dr. Judie Stein is a licensed clinical social worker and has been a mediator, family specialist, parent coordinator, and therapist (individual, couples & family) for nearly 20 years.  She specializes in high-conflict, parenting plans for young children, discernment, parent coordination, and reconciliation between parents and children. As a therapist, she specializes in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, relationships, and ADHD.  Her therapeutic approach integrates CBT, DBT, ACT, Contemplative Psychotherapy, Nonviolent Communication, Mindful Self-Compassion, Schema Therapy, and Wellness.

Divorce: More Hidden Assets and Unreported Income Than You Think

On March 14th, Stephen Linker, CPA, CVA, CFF, FACFEI presented what to do when you suspect that “something is not appearing to be on the up and up,” but you're not sure where to look.  Stephen described the red flags of fraud in divorce and shared illustrative war stories. He gave particular emphasis to "reading between the lines" in a tax return.

Stephen Linker is a forensic CPA and business valuation expert. Steve has appraised more than 1,100 businesses pursuant to divorce, estate planning, and a myriad of other matters.  In divorce matters, Steve finds hidden assets and unreported income and assists collaborative divorce attorneys, mediators, litigation attorneys, and their clients in settling all the financial challenges in their marital dispute.  Every business is vulnerable to fraud.  Steve can be consulted to either prevent embezzlement or uncover embezzlement.  If you wish to contact Steve, he is available for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation.


Successful Client Intakes 

On February 15, 2023, Margaret A. Nicholson, Esq. presented the informal round-table discussion "Practical Tips for Getting the Most Out of New Client Intakes." The presentation's intention was to hear from colleagues and share practical tips about what works and what doesn’t when meeting clients for the first time. The discussion included how to prepare, develop rapport, join with clients, gain an understanding of client goals in choosing the process, and how to set yourself up for success from day one. Additional conversation centered on what paperwork is provided, when and how fees are charged, as well as how to make referrals and build teams. Margaret led the discussion on what types of questions can impede success at this early stage and/or cause clients to fear moving forward, as well as what type of follow up to employ after the initial meeting.  The program was highly interactive and extremely informative for all attendees.

Margaret A. Nicholson is a matrimonial and family law attorney with a practice located in Somers, NY. In addition to her practice’s family law focus, she also provides representation to clients in real estate transactions and guardianship matters. Ms. Nicholson attended the State University of NY at Albany and graduated from St. John’s University School of Law. Ms. Nicholson is a member of the Westchester and Putnam County panels of Attorneys for Children and regularly accepts appointments from the courts to represent children in custody, visitation and divorce proceedings.  Ms. Nicholson is a member of the Westchester County Bar Association, Putnam County Bar Association and Westchester Women’s Bar Association. She is also a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York and New York State Council on Divorce Mediation. She previously served as a legal presenter for “Parents Apart”, a program certified by the NYS Parent Education and Awareness Program designed to help separating and divorced parents focus on the needs of their children. She is a member of the Pace Women’s Justice Center Moderate Means Matrimonial Panel and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Putnam County Legal Aid Society.

“Big C” vs. “Small c”

At the March 15th Northern Westchester Pod meeting Margaret Nicholson, Esq. and Melissa Goodstein, Esq. led a roundtable discussion centering around the distinctions between “Big C” vs. “Small c”, what exactly does Small “c” mean, and who and why is Small “c” proposed. The conversation delved into questions such as what pitfalls to be on guard for when deviating from “Big C”, and what is lost, or gained, by the “Small c” approach.  All the attendees participated in exploring how we prioritize our clients’ needs and expectations in light of the unpredictable path to settlement in selecting the collaborative process.


Resolving Post-Collaborative Divorce Conflicts

On March 7th, there was a lively discussion about different options to consider when resolving parenting and financial matters that surface following a successful Collaborative Divorce. This was a continuation of the discussion of the February meeting that focused on parenting issues, particularly on parental differences regarding religious matters and changes as the children mature. Participants also explored whether greater attention should be paid to anticipating and discussing these issues during the divorce process itself.


Training and Education Committee

This committee meets monthly September-June on the first Thursday of the month from 12pm to 1pm via Zoom. The committee develops and implements interdisciplinary programs for all professionals supporting work in the collaborative process. This includes advanced collaborative practice trainings appromimately once a month from September to June for all professionals by members and non-members, periodic basic collaborative divorce training for prospective new members, and an annual day of collaborative process training and annual meeting in December. The committee is given an annual budget approved by the Board of Directors and programs are designed to enable members the ability to achieve excellence in collaborative practice.

For more information contact Melissa Goodstein (Co-Chair) or Anthony C. Markus (Co-Chair)


“Stop-the-Clock” Agreements Round Table Discussion
April 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm

445 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains NY Conference Room

Presented by Katherine Miller, Esq. and Neil Kozek, Esq.
Moderated by Anthony Markus, Esq. and Kathleen Donelli, Esq.

  • What does it mean to enter into a Stop-the-Clock agreement?
    • Asset Valuation Dates
    • Cut-off Date for Marital Property and Marital Debts
    • Duration of Spousal Support
    • Automatic Orders
    • Maintaining the Status Quo on payment of expenses
  • Content of Stop-the-Clock Agreement
    • Review of sample agreements
    • Comprehensive agreements compared to shorter formats
    • Enforceability if the matter proceeds to litigation.
  • How to introduce Stop-the Clock agreements at the beginning of the Collaborative Process?
  • Should all collaborative matters include a Stop-the-Clock agreement?


May 5, 2023: Denisa Tova will present virtually on the equalization of retirement accounts
November 30, 2023 Save the Date! The Board is making plans for our Annual Meeting and Training
The Streamline Collaborative Committee is continuing to evaluate the interest in conducting a training. 


529s and Less Appreciated Tax-Deferral Accounts: Ownership, Uses and Transfers

On Friday, January 27th, a follow-up program about 529s was presented by Steven Kaplan CPA/ABV, MBA and moderated Anthony Markus, Esq. of Markus & Sheridan, LLP.  The meeting covered a variety of college issues, including use of marital 529 accounts. At Steve's previous presentation, many questions came up about the ownership and transfer of 529 accounts. This session aimed not only to address open questions about the use and transfer of 529 funds but also to demystify various other tax deferral accounts with marital dissolution implications and opportunities such as HSA's (health savings accounts), ABLE Accounts and Roth IRA Accounts. Steve presented many ideas and possibilities that you may not have considered before this program. 

Steve 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. Steve has lectured on a variety of tax, valuation, forensic accounting, collaborative practice and matrimonial dissolution topics for numerous statewide organizations including the NYS Society of CPAs, Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Resolution Association, Family Divorce and Mediation Council, the Collaborative Law Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the NYS Bar, the Financial Planning Association and the Foundation for Accounting Education. In addition, Steve has written articles for the CPA Journal, the CPA Litigation Service Counselor and the National Litigation Consultants’ Review. He has appeared on the PBS program, “Dollar for Dollar,” and served as a tax editor and consultant for Thompson Publishing Co. and Harcourt Brace Professional Publishing.

Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection

On Thursday, February 9th, NYACP sponsored a joint hybrid event (in person and virtual) on Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection with the Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Assn (HVCDDRA).

With the overwhelming reports of cyberbreaches in an evolving cyber world, NYS attorneys are newly required to complete one credit of cybersecurity, privacy and data protection training as part of their CLE requirements, and for all professionals this is similarly important information to know.  Thomas J. DeMayo presented the program to provide information on how to keep your firm and your clients safe in our ever-evolving cyber world. 

Thomas DeMayo is a Principal in the Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisory Group of the Firm and is responsible for the implementation and design of the Firm’s cybersecurity service client offerings, internal and external audit programs and testing procedures. His cybersecurity services relate to threat and vulnerability management, governance, privacy, incident response, business continuity, disaster recovery and computer forensics. He has 20 years of experience with securing and managing information risk across a wide range of industries including commercial entities, hospitality, not-for-profit, governmental, healthcare, private schools and higher education. He is also a computer forensic specialist and specializes in the areas of information threat and vulnerability management, PCI-DSS compliance, SOX 404 IT Controls, HIPAA, COBIT, and ISO 27001.

Our Family in Two Homes – A Wonderful Tool to Better Prepare for Collaborative Practice!

At the December NYACP Annual Training, Jacinta Gallant presented skills related to the art of inquiry. For an entire day of training, she offered insight and provided tools for practitioners to better join with and understand client's underlying needs, interest, fears, and hopes. Attendees also experienced how helpful the exercises in her Our Family in Two Homes were in building a more effective team.

During our February 24 webinar, Jacinta returned to explain how NYACP members can utilize the Our Family in Two Homes resources – both as individual practitioners and as a practice group. She shared a step-by-step process for engagement with clients in Collaborative Practice and explained how Our Family in Two Homes helps prepare clients for dialogue, creates a common framework for interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice work and improves efficiency and meaning in team communication – all the while harnessing the power of curiosity and great questions, to bring a better understanding to all.

Jacinta Gallant is a respected Canadian collaborative lawyer, conflict trainer and innovator. She is recognized internationally for her insightful and experiential approach to teaching and managing conflict, and has been welcomed as a trainer throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. Her law practice Waterstone Law Group focuses on out-of-court settlement, including mediation, collaborative practice and negotiation.

Jacinta believes that collaborative practice should be the number one choice for separating families, and that collaborative professionals are a positive force for change in the world. Her innovative Our Family in Two Homes resources help clients prepare to engage deeply, and productively, in Family Mediation and Collaborative Practice.

Jacinta’s ultimate goal as a trainer is to help conflict professionals engage with clients in a more meaningful way, manage conflict more effectively, and get more enjoyment out of this important work.

Negotiating the Retirement Benefits: A Primer for Collaborative Attorneys

On March 17th, Carolyn A. D’Agostino, Esq. presented information to the program's attendees about retirement accounts and settlement agreements. The presentation began with an overview of the types of retirement plans and accounts, and then moved into information regarding negotiation strategies and a checklist for your settlement agreements.

Carolyn A. D'Agostino is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and her career as an associate at the Albany Law firm of Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna. She is the former Director of Hearing Administration and the Matrimonial Unit at the New York State Retirement Systems. She has been a Continuing Legal Education speaker at New York State Bar Association functions and on nationally broadcast webinar. A past President of the Rensselaer County Bar Association and Secretary and Treasurer of the Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District. Ms. D'Agostino was the 2013 recipient of the Barry A. Gold Law Firm Leadership award given by the Legal Project of the Women's Bar Association of Albany. She also has a LLM (Master of Laws) degree in Estate Planning and Elder Law from Western New England College of Law.

The MHP in Collaborative Practice: How Are They Useful and to Whom?

On March 24, 2023, Dr. Randy Heller presented information that emerged from her 2011 Research Study on The Mental Health Professional in Collaborative Family Law: What Do They Do?  Randy discussed the potential roles and responsibilities of the Mental Health Professional (MHP) in Collaborative Practice, how other professionals can utilize and explain the expanding role of the MHP as a Facilitator of the process, as well as developing a greater understanding of the value added of utilizing the MHP as they communicate to their clients how and why it will be beneficial to them to have this professional on the team. An additional discussion was had about the roadblocks to utilizing an MHP and how to overcome the resistance.

Participants learned:

  • How MHPs can be responsible and effective in generating collaborative matters;
  • From the research and vast experience how MHPs are being utilized around the globe;
  • The significant distinctions between the role of a Therapist and the role of the Family Specialist, Child Specialist, and Coach;
  • How to speak about and encourage your clients to utilize the MHP;
  • How to incorporate the MHP to move matters forward;
  • How the MHP can assist in managing team conflicts and obstacles;
    •  Some of the ethical dilemmas MHPs face and how to manage that.

Feel free to reach out to Randy to discuss ways to best engage an MHP at [email protected]

Dr. Randy Heller received her doctorate in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She is now a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida, New York and Connecticut, and works in all three states. Dr. Heller is a 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, and is a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Heller is an active member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, serves as a Board member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, is Past President of the CFLPSF, is Co-Chair the Research Committees for IACP and standing Chair of the Research Committee for FACP, on the IACP Higher Education Task Force.  Dr. Heller 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 and teaches Masters and Doctoral courses in Collaborative Divorce at Nova Southeastern University.  Dr. Heller also developed the NSU/Mission United/Family Network/Collaborative Family Law Professionals Veteran Pro Bono Clinic, mentoring new Collaborative Professionals and serving veteran families for seven years.

NYACP Membership Committee

Strong Collaborative Relationships are Built on the Ability to Work and Play Well Together… 

The NYACP Membership Committee is a robust group of members working to enhance the quality of NYACP membership, bring in new members and strengthen relationships with one another.  The committee is working on ways to increase membership and to expand the reach of the Collaborative Process to our communities. To that end, the Membership Committee has planned networking and social opportunities for all of NYACP’s members. The intention of these endeavors is to develop relationships with one another to grow our collaborative practices.

The Membership Committee includes members from every discipline and meets the first Wednesday of every month.  Anyone wanting to get more involved in the NYACP is very welcomed to join.  If you are interested, please email Ellen Jancko-Baken at [email protected]

Research suggests that positive outcomes in our Collaborative matters is contingent not only on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the Collaborative professionals, but also on the development of strong and connected teams. To that end, the Membership Committee has now formed a Social Event Sub-Committee.  The focus of this committee is to plan social events so that members can join together, get to know one another, and have fun doing it!  The committee needs your help and welcomes your ideas, suggestions, and participation.

The Event Sub-Committee is also planning a Speed Meet & Greet where we will have the opportunity to get to know our members in an atmosphere of friendship and fun! Date, time, and location TBD.  

Collaborative Connections – It’s Not Just Lunch

If you are a collaborative professional looking to expand your connections with your collaborative colleagues, join a bi-monthly meet up for lunch, coffee, or drinks after work. Gatherings will rotate each month in Westchester, Long Island and Manhattan. These small group meet ups offer a wonderful opportunity to connect with collaborative colleagues, share experiences and insights, and learn more about one another both personally and professionally. 

Watch for the event notifications! The first eight NYACP members to register will meet up at the designated time and location. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your peers and get more involved in the NYACP. 

The first Collaborative Connection Lunch meeting was held in Midtown Manhattan at Pera Mediterranean Restaurant on March 8, 2023. A great time was had by all!  The conversation flowed beautifully and everyone shared information about personal and professional lives, experiences, and discussed intentions, goals, and plans for the immediate and future aspects of careers as well.  Everyone at the lunch shared how they spend their time, find R &R, travel experiences, and times spent with families and friends. Future lunches are planned for Long Island and Westchester.  The next “Connection” will be made at City Cellar in Westbury, NY on April 17 and at Via Garibaldi in White Plains on Friday, May 12.  Please register online for your spot at the table!

Member Social Event at Bowlero Bowling

NYACP jumped into Spring with our first social event of the year which was a smashing success at Bowlero Bowling Alley at Chelsea Piers. There was a great turnout and everyone spent a fun filled evening eating, drinking, playing arcade games, and, oh yes, bowling! A special shout out to Steve LinkerCPA, CVA, CFF, FACFEI and NYACP Board member and membership Event Sub-Committee member for working hard to make this event happen so successfully! Steve attended to every detail, and the event couldn’t have been better (except to see even more members there)! 

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 Separation and Divorce Readiness Inventory (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 the office to connect you with one of the streamlined committee members to discuss the next steps.

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]).

Racial Equity in Collaborative Practice: An Invitation to Cultural Awareness, Cutural Humility and Cultural Responsibility

On June 1, from 8-9:30 a.m., the Committee for Racial Equity will present an interactive round table discussion. Many white people are confused about their own relationship to the racism that has been more overtly identified and discussed in recent years. How is this part of our personal and professional lives? Is there a relationship to our own awareness and the accessibility of collaborative practice to colleagues and clients of color? Let's talk about racism and why it matters! The Committee ask that participants watch a 1 hour long video Dr. Bukky Video in advance of the round table as a springboard for discussion

The round table will be facilitated by the members of NYACPs Committee for Racial Equity:

      • Jessica Rothberg, Esq. (Chair)
      • Elana Katz, LCSW, LMFT
      • Kate Bar-Tur, LCSW, FIP
      • Melissa Goodstein, Esq.
      • Catherine Canadé, Esq.
      • Ken Novenstern, Esq.
      • Adam Halper, Esq.
      • Carmen Rodriguez, Esq.

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


Mentorship Program

The Mentorship Sub-Committee of the NYACP's Membership Committee matches experienced members as mentors with less experienced members as mentees to share their knowledge and experience and to support the mentee in providing feedback on their collaborative cases, discussing the mentor's cases and in running the mentee's collaborative practice in sessions that run for four months. The current session, which began on January 15th, will run until June 15th, with a feedback session at the end of June.

The next session will begin on September 15th.  New mentor applicants are welcome, but new mentee applicants who wish to join the program are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in joining the next session, watch for email notifications regarding the program and the link to the online form. If you have any questions about the program, please contact co-chairs Catherine Canadé at [email protected] or Shara Goldfarb at [email protected].

Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (SGCP)

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 2 semesters per year: September through January and February through June.

  • New York City Support Group for Collaborative Professionals Second Tuesday of every month at 9:30-11am
  • Lower Westchester Support Group for Collaborative Professionals meet Second Tuesday of the Month at 5:30 PM

Please contact the office for more information.

Discipline Specific Support Groups

Support Group for Mental Health Professionals

The new process group for Family and Child Specialists has been well received and attended, and continues to refine its focus. The group was developed for mental health professionals to discuss the work and how it relates within the collaborative practice. Meeting attendees recently spoke about an interesting case that highlighted issues that relate to the role(s) as MHP’s. Everyone had the chance to share the actions to initially engage client’s, different styles and approaches and who takes the lead on a full team case in facilitating the meetings. This led to a more in-depth conversation about the nuances of neutrality and counter transference. To be continued!

Future group meetings will be at 7:45am-9am on the fourth Tuesday every other month:

May 23
July 25
September 26
November 28

To join the group, please register on the website to receive the meeting Zoom link. If you have questions or want more information, please contact either Jeffrey Steiger [email protected] or Bob Raymond [email protected]

Support Group for Financial Neutrals

Steven Linker will be facilitating a support group for financial professionals with designations and credentials such as CPA, forensic accountant, business valuator, RFC (Registered Financial Consultant), CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), and others who 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, please contact Steven Linker.


For the garden of your daily living:

Plant three rows of peas

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

Plant four rows of squash

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

No garden is complete without turnips

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

To conclude our garden we must have thyme

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.

Thank you for all of your contributions to building a meaningful and successful organization. Please don’t hesitate to send photos, blogs, or anything you want to share with our members to Randy Heller [email protected].