2024.01 NYACP Newsletter Winter 2024

NYACP NEWS ~ Winter 2024

Volume 6, Issue 1

In this Issue

President's Message
NYACP Board of Directors
NYACP 2023 Annual Meeting
Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (SGCP)
Member Spotlight
Upcoming Events


By Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

As we begin the new year, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to each one of you for your continued support and dedication to NYACP.  2023 was an incredible year filled with growth, connection, and inspiring achievements.

I am thrilled that on 11/30/23 we had the most successful annual training and holiday party to date at Brae Burn in Purchase, N.Y. with record-breaking sponsorship and attendance. We were also one of the first associations to participate in IACP’s Around the Globe initiative. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our members who have helped make these events a resounding success.

Throughout 2023, we organized over 70 programs and membership events, fostering a sense of engagement and collaboration among our members. Our Membership and Training and Education committees have been hard at work developing programming and planning events for learning and getting to know each other better together. I am delighted to see our membership numbers grow, as they reflect the value and impact, we are making within the collaborative divorce community.

Looking ahead to my second year as President, I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. My mission remains focused on connecting our members both within and outside our association so we can build and sustain relationships in our collaborative communities. It is my aim to promote diversity, inclusion, and access to collaborative divorce, establishing alliances with professional associations to enhance the recognition and understanding of collaborative practice.

By building alliances with professionals and associations outside of our own, we can create a stronger network to help families in our communities resolve conflicts and navigate the complexities of divorce. Together, we can make collaborative divorce a more widely recognized and accessible option.

I want to express my deepest gratitude for the work done this year and the optimism I have for the work to come. I am confident that with our collective efforts, we will continue to inspire connection, engagement, and growth within our association, furthering our mission and goals.  As we look forward to the new year, it is also important to reflect on those moments that made last year memorable. It is these moments that nurture and sustain us. Maria Shriver writes:

“The moments in our lives are fleeting... Allow yourself to be present so that a year from now when you look back, you can recall the beauty of this magical moment that you are blessed to be alive in. Close your eyes and let it sink in.”

Maria Shriver’s words deeply resonate with me and to that end I am excited to share the engagement of my first child, Ariel, and a picture capturing this joy with Ariel and my other daughter Ava. I am truly savoring the joy of this moment and encourage you to take a moment and remember all the moments that bought you joy this year and savor them. Speaking of savoring, this recipe for healthy truffles is a sweet, healthy treat that is satisfying, nourishing, and energizing. Hoping you all had a joyful holiday season and wish you a peaceful, healthy, and productive new year! 

Chocolate Date Truffles- makes about 12 truffles.
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 tsp good vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt

For toppings your choice; coconut, mini chocolate chips, finely ground nuts of choice, sprinkles, matcha powder, expresso powder, crushed freeze-dried berries, cocoa/cacao powder, ground spices such as cinnamon melted chocolate – be creative!

Note if covering in chocolate: one cup chocolate chips with a teaspoon coconut oil in microwave in 30 sec intervals or over a double boiler on stove top.
Boil dates in water until softened. Drain dates and in food processor, add cocoa or cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla and salt Blend until smooth then refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Make balls using about 1 tablespoon and then roll into topping of choice on parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerator until set for about an hour. Keep in an airtight container and enjoy!

With Gratitude, Melissa


Your NYACP Board meets every 2 months on the Second Thursday and works diligently to identify what is happening in the organization and what we can continually work on to build a better and more fulfilling organization for our members. Each Board member chairs a committee, a group and/or a Pod. Additionally, the Board met for a “special session” this month in an effort to balance the budget and plan for next year’s events and member benefits!

Jeffrey A. Steiger, LCSW
Psychotherapist /Family Specialist

Jeffrey, your contributions to the Board have been immeasurable, and you will be missed!

Dearest Board!

I want to take a few moments to acknowledge your extraordinary (exquisite) gift and to thank you for the way you honored me yesterday at our Annual Meeting.

For those of you who do not know, I had no idea that you were going to do that. I was surprised and quite frankly, stunned. When Mellissa called me up to accept the gift , I was completely over come with emotion and felt myself one step away from bursting out in tears. I wanted to say many things but it all got jumbled up in emotion and so rather then choosing to loose it in in front of the entire membership , I kept my response short and sweet! I wasn't quite sure where these feelings were coming from.

I would like to say a few things now to put those feelings into words. Please indulge me because the moment was a profound one for me. Most of you do not know that I was the first MHP along with Lauren Berhman to be asked to join the board when the organization first formally formed an interdisciplinary Board of Directors. I was asked to stay on after my first term. I honestly don't remember if I served on 2 or 3 terms then but I finally completed my time. A few years later the organization was struggling and I was asked to rejoin the board for one year to help with some of the challenges. That one year turned into 6 because Ken urged me to join again even after I said....."ok, but don't ask me to do anything.....":-) I believe that I have been on the board for more then 12 glorious years.

Here is where I get emotional. During the time that I have been involved with this organization , I have gone through many life changes personally and professionally! It's been almost 20 years. Early on I went through a divorce, I became a single divorced dad to a 6 year old boy , I completely reinvented myself personally and professionally. Those were exciting and very challenging years. NYACP became my primary professional community and the place that I formed many very meaningful personal connections. This work has a way of changing us! The self inquiry is deep and the work itself transformational. My relationships with all of you have been very meaningful to me. I learned to develop a voice here and you all encouraged that. The organization is well on it's way to even greater greatness.

So when I thank you and I tell you I was overwhelmed with emotion, I hope that this puts it into a context. Ken thank you again for asking me to join again. Melissa thank you for making sure I was honored in such a loving way and for all your amazing work. Abby thanks for all your help and support. Meg, Ivan, Michelle, Catherine, Stephen, Jackie, Kathleen, Nancy, Ellen, Randy.....I value my relationships with each one of you! Marcos and Tony....it's so great to have you!

Ok that's enough!
With Much Love and Gratitude,



am so grateful to be admitted as one of two new board members, along with my esteemed colleague Tony Markus. Despite being relatively new to this organization, I have been astounded by the amazing professionals who warmly welcomed me into the fold. To be around such intelligent, experienced and successful individuals is humbling and I hope to repay the trust this organization has placed in me. I want to make a special thank you to my mentor, Andrea Vacca, who opened the door of collaborative practice for me and took a chance on me. Thanks to her and everyone else in the organization I feel I have found my professional “home.”  I look forward to helping this organization continue to do great things in the coming years.

I very much look forward to serving on the NYACP Board together with my fellow new board member, Marcos Fernandez. As a professional, I have much gratitude in my work helping my clients navigate through the difficult process of divorce and am inspired by how the team approach inherent in collaborative practice allows my clients to transition into a new family unit with contentment and hope. I aim to make a meaningful contribution to our organization beyond my committee work as co-chair of the Training and Education Committee. I plan to utilize my experience and skills to continue to develop best practices in conducting collaborative cases and to engage in outreach of other professionals with a common interest to join NYACP.

NYACP 2023 Annual Meeting

NYACP ended 2023 with our “Annual Meeting” and holiday celebration, which was held on November 29th, 2023 at the We had a great turnout, delicious food and drinks, lots of fun and great networking opportunities!


Skiing the backcountry and engaging in a Collaborative Law Process share a striking similarity in their emphasis on careful navigation, preparation, and risk management. Both involve venturing beyond the conventional, exploring uncharted territories where unpredictability reigns. Just as backcountry skiing requires detailed planning, understanding the landscape, and assessing potential dangers, the Collaborative Law Process demands a proactive approach. Thorough preparation is essential, akin to assessing snow conditions before a backcountry excursion. This involves setting clear goals, understanding client needs, and outlining potential challenges. Both endeavors thrive on communication and teamwork—backcountry skiers rely on each other for safety and support while professionals and clients rely on each other in navigating through complex disputes. Effective communication and teamwork are paramount—much like skiers relying on each other for safety, Collaborative Law professionals should maintain open, honest communication among team members and clients. Through active listening, respecting differing perspectives, curiosity, and awareness, teams foster an environment conducive to constructive dialogue. Additionally, anticipating potential obstacles is crucial. Just as backcountry skiers scout for dangers like avalanches, Collaborative Law professionals should identify possible stumbling blocks in negotiations and strategize on how to navigate through them effectively. Finally, ongoing education and adaptation are vital. Backcountry skiers continuously refine their skills; similarly, Collaborative Law professionals should stay updated on legal developments, conflict resolution techniques, and communication strategies, adapting their approach to meet the unique needs of each case. The Collaborative Law Process can yield exhilarating outcomes when approached with careful consideration, preparation, and a shared commitment to reaching a successful resolution.

2023 Annnual Meeting and Reception Photo Board





The Training and Education Committee develops and implements interdisciplinary programs for all professionals supporting our work in the collaborative process. This includes periodic advanced collaborative practice trainings averaging once a month from Sept 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 is given a budget approved by board on an annual basis and programs are designed to enable members to achieve excellence in collaborative practice. The committee strives to provide trainings in response to membership interests and topical issues relative to our collaborative practices. Trainings 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.  The Committee meets monthly September-June on the first Thursday of the month from 12 to 1pm via Zoom. 

Basics of Special Needs Trusts and Special Needs Planning

On Friday, November 3, 2023, the Training and Education Committee organized the presentation "Basics of Special Needs Trusts and Special Needs Planning" with Gina M. Sinon, Esq.,  Wells Fargo Special Needs Trust Services and Peter Nrekic, The Rosh Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, and moderated by: Melissa Goodstein, Esq.. This presentation provided a high-level overview regarding the basics of Special Needs Trusts, including the purpose and the need and the types of trusts.  Also included will be a road map for families who have a loved one living with a disability, as well as common questions and concerns for families.

Gina M. Sinon is a senior special needs trust advisory specialist and a senior vice president with Wells Fargo Bank within the Wealth  & Investment Management Division. She covers New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Peter Nrekic graduated from Fordham University with a BS in finance and began his career in financial services as an operations analyst in Credit Suisse Private Bank’s Greenwich branch in 2010. Peter prides himself in providing optimal customer service and advice. He upholds the highest standards across all levels of the client experience and brings that passion and excitement to Wells Fargo Advisors having joined The Rosh Financial Group in 2022. 


An important message from the Committee Chair, Jessica Rothberg:

NYACP's Committee for Racial Equality continues to support our members to take a deeper dive into ourselves to better understand the ways in which racism has impacted us on a personal and professional level. This deeper dive is essential for anyone who is bothered by the demographics of our organization as not yet reflective of the larger New York population. If you are not bothered, we ask that you challenge the comfort you feel and ask how you benefit from being part of an organization whose members are mostly from similar backgrounds. We also challenge members to ask how an organization with our demographics maintains the status quo in ways that marginalize people of color and upholds the exclusionary systems that are part of the status quo. We all have work to do and the Racial Equity Committee is committed to doing this work within ourselves through conversation and education. We hope you will join us!

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

NYACP Racial Equity Media Club Meeting was held November 16, 2023, 5:30pm - 7:00pm and the topic was the book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, written by Robin DiAngelo, a 2018 book written by Robin DiAngelo about race relations in the United States. An academic with experience in diversity training, DiAngelo coined the term "white fragility" in 2011 to describe what she views as any defensive instincts or reactions that a white person experiences when questioned about race or made to consider their own race. In White Fragility, DiAngelo views racism in the United States as systemic and often perpetuated subconsciously by individuals.  Participants joined to share thoughts, feelings and observations.

From the New York Times:
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people'" (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.
In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

See What is White Fragility? by Laura Harold for a more indepth look at the book and some of the critiques that were raised:

Racial Equity Resouce List

Read This:
● The Chain Gang All Stars (Fiction) Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah- This science fiction novel is about a dystopian future in which there is a revival of gladiator bouts for public entertainment. The wrinkle, among many, is that the gladiators are all prisoners who have chosen near-certain death instead of life internment. It is about racism, the penal system and how they are linked and profited from.
● White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo (for a quick summary see The New Yorker review July 23, 2018 by Katy Waldman)
● The Sum of Us – by Heather McGhee (2021) - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

Watch This:
• Recently featured in the New York Times: The Busing Battleground, The Harvest: Two documentaries on school integration offer new views of an old problem.
• Freedom Riders (American Experience Documentary) Freedom Riders Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.

Experience This:
• American Folk Art Museum - opens to the public Nov. 15th: Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North, has been noted as a "landmark effort" by Roberta Smith in the New York Times fall preview. As a corrective to histories that define slavery and anti-Black racism as a largely Southern issue, this highly-anticipated exhibition offers a new window onto Black representation in a region that is often overlooked in narratives of early African American history. • Diane Goodman: Webinar- Understanding White Privilege: A Key to Dismantling Systemic Racism. Diane Goodman. Using a participatory approach, she helps people increase their awareness, knowledge, and skills to foster equity and inclusion. Programs address how cultural differences and issues of power and privilege affect individuals, interpersonal relationships, and organizational culture and practices.


The Membership Committee is hard at work.  A group of 14 meet virtually on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at noon. Members include: Chair Ellen Jancko-Baken, Catherine Canade, Jacqueline Caputo, Ariella Deutsch, Marcos Fernandez, Shara Goldfarb, Adam Halper, Randy Heller, Michelle Lewis, Stephen Linker, and Bob Raymond.  The Events Subcommittee includes, Chair Michelle Lewis, Randy Heller, Ivy Menchel and Stephen Linker.

The Events Subcommittee held a highly successful Meet and Greet event at Randy Heller’s social room in her NYC building on October 5, 2023.  They also put on an incredible holiday celebration after our annual meeting which included a toy drive, music and icebreaking activities.  Everyone who attended agreed this was a huge success!  A subcommittee "Collaborative Connections" plans lunch gatherings every month, alternating between Westchester, NYC and Nassau/Suffolk counties (Jackie Caputo, Michelle Lewis, Catherine Canade and Randy Heller) which all should consider attending as a wonderful opportunity to get to know fellow collaborative colleagues. 

The Mentorship subcommittee (co-chaired by Shara Goldfarb and Catherine Canade) continues to pair up seasoned members with new members in an organized program that has had rave reviews.  Consider being a mentor as it is a rewarding experience. 

The GCC (Grow the Collaborative Circle) subcommittee (Chair Marcos Fernandez, Shara Goldfarb, Randy Heller and Jackie Caputo) is hosting its first meet and greet for our members to host members of the Asian American Bar Association ADR section on January 31, 2024 in NYC between 6-8.  Don’t miss this chance to meet other professionals to tell them about our organization and our work.  Keep your eyes and ears open for more details.  It’s a great networking opportunity!   

Finally, we are now working on a longer-term effort to educate the public about the collaborative process.  We will keep you posted as we make more progress with our plan. 

Grow the Collaborative Circle (GCC)

As part of the NYACP’s initiative to increase awareness about collaborative divorce, the “Grow the Collaborative Circle” (GCC), was created as a subgroup of the Membership Committee. Chaired by Marcos Fernandez, Esq., the GCC membership includes Randy J. Heller,  Ph.D, Jacqueline Caputo, Esq., Shara H. Goldfarb, Esq. and Ariella Deutsch, Esq. The GCC hopes to form liaisons with legal, mental health, financial professional organizations across the state and spread the word about collaborative divorce. In doing so, those professionals will be able to advise their clients about collaborative divorce and thereby increase the public’s knowledge of the non-adversarial divorce options available to them. To achieve this goal, the GCC intends to host quarterly mixers with varying professional organizations for 2024.  The first of those will be held on January 31, 2024, at 6 pm at the Imperial Room at 230 W. 56th Street and the NYACP is proud to be hosting the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) ADR group as its first ever event. Book you calendars! The GCC and NYACP hope to see you all at what will hopefully become a fun tradition of networking and learning.

Collaborative Connections

If you are a collaborative professional looking to expand your connections with your collaborative colleagues, join us for our bi-monthly meet ups for lunch, coffee, or drinks after work. The NYACP Membership Committee is launching gatherings in Westchester, Long Island and Manhattan to offer an easy way to get to know your collaborative counterparts better with a simple RSVP. These small group (eight person) meet ups will offer a wonderful opportunity to connect with collaborative colleagues you might not already know, share experiences and insights, and learn more about one another both personally and professionally. Invitations will be sent out by the office for each scheduled meet up, and the first eight NYACP members to register will reserve a spot for the next meet up at a designated time and location. These meet ups offer a great chance to build up you professional and personal network and to find support and encouragement in helping families who have chosen the collaborative process. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your peers and get more involved in the NYACP. 

Long Island in November - Organized by Jackie Caputo
This was from the Collaborative Connections lunch on Long Island on November 14 at Spuntino 

Wine Bar in Garden City... Nora Marcus, Dave Gralnick, Steve Linker, Teresa Ombres, Nancy Kaye and Jackie Caputo.

Western Long Island - On November 14th, our group from Western Long Island gathered at Sputino’s Wine Bar.

NYC - Organized by Randy Heller – On January 12, 2024 - a group will meet at Tommy Bahama’s in mid-town for lunch in an effort to connect and collaborate, get to know more about each other and deepen our relationships. Great way to end a work week.

Westchester - Organized by Michelle Lewis – The plan is to host at Aberdeen on February 15th from 12:30 to 2pm.

2024 Collaborative Lunch Schedule

JANUARY - New York City
FEBRUARY - Westchester
MARCH -  Eastern Long Island
APRIL -  New York City

MAY -  Westchester
JUNE -  Western Long Island
JULY -  New York City
AUGUST -  Westchester

SEPTEMBER -  Eastern Long Island
OCTOBER -  New York City
NOVEMBER -  Westchester

Mentorship Program

The Fall - Winter Mentorship Program is Underway!

Each Mentorship session will run for four months. The current session runs to 1/15/24 and consists of two one-hour meetings in each of the four months.

In the first meeting, participants are encouraged you to share a little about their background and how they became involved in collaborative practice, as well their expectations for the program. Based on prior experience, we suggest that the Mentor and Mentee schedule all of their mentorship meetings in that initial meeting, which can then be confirmed or changed as needed. We will send a reminder each month regarding scheduling.

There is a full group gathering (virtually) on January 17, 2024 from 5 to 6 pm for feedback, discussion and networking for BOTH the 2023 SESSIONS, spring and fall, as part of the mentorship program.

This program is intended to provide an informal opportunity for newer collaborative professionals to have access to the experience of a more seasoned professional for informal case consultation and advice on business practices. This not a formal training program or apprenticeship. It is up to each Mentor whether they wish to have the Mentee observe, take notes, or otherwise take part in Collaborative meetings.

Thank you to the Mentors for your generosity, and to the Mentees for your interest in further developing your Collaborative practices. Please reach out with any questions, comments or concerns.

Contact: Catherine Canadé (co-chair) [email protected] or Shara Goldfarb (co-chair) [email protected]

Interested in the 2024 Spring Mentorship Session?

Click Here for More Info


Dear Members,

I am writing to you to speak about our SGCP Groups. Historically they have been an opportunity for our community to connect in a more in-depth way regarding our work and best practices.

This is separate from our POD Groups. I ran an SCGP group with Deb Wayne for several years and it has come to my attention that we may want to create another group in Westchester.

These are closed groups and they require a commitment. This commitment includes being responsible for presenting. Let me tell you why! This is a place where we share our experiences in cases and often it's an opportunity to address some of the complexities that can arise. We may need to share some confidential information about our client's, the team dynamics and even ask questions about our own role and functioning in a case. It's a place to reveal our concerns and ask for support and guidance from the other group members. This can be a vulnerable undertaking and building trust and understanding with our colleagues is an essential part of why these groups are valuable. That is why once a group is formed (the groups are generally 6-10 members) we close the group and ask for a commitment of attendance. I remember laughing and crying in these groups. We all know how challenging our work can be.

There are typically one or two leaders for each group. They usually meet once a month for 1-1.5 hours. Often topics for discussion are prepared ahead of time especially if there is going to be a case presentation. We all make a commitment to confidentiality and don't gossip about what is said in these groups. It's a way to get to know each other, network, and refer cases to each other.

It is important to have a mix of disciplines in these groups so we can deepen our insight about each other's roles and share ideas about experiences we had had that have worked and not worked . I believe that a group leader (s) need to be experienced.

If you have interest in leading or joining a new SGCP group please email Abby at [email protected]. It's a very rewarding undertaking that definitely requires a level of commitment.

Jeffrey A. Steiger, LCSW
Psychotherapist/Family Specialist


Northern Westchester SGCP Holiday Gathering

Our NWSGCP group had a holiday gathering 12/20. We meet the third Wed of the month from 5:30 to 6:30. We have been meeting for over 13 years. Anyone interested in joining a SGCP group should contact Abby. Use whatever pics you want or able to for newsletter if room. 

If you are interested in joining an SGCP group the best time to do so is in the fall so contact the group leader in the summer.

Lower Westchester - Steve Kaplan  and Ellen Jancko-Baken are leaders.  Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30.
Northern Westchester - Meg Sussman and Melissa Goodstein are leaders.
Mental Health Support Group – Our last meeting for this year was held on Tuesday, November 28 from 7:45am-9am. These meetings are a safe container for our MHP members to share ideas, express feelings, concerns, and challenges, as well as learn and grow together. If you ever have an item you would like to discuss (a case, a question, an issue, an idea, etc.). Facilitated by Jeffrey Steiger and Bob Raymond. Please let Jeffrey or Bob know beforehand to assure we make time for this.


Your NYACP Membership

On November 7th, The LI Pod along with President Melissa Goodstein, Treasurer Nancy Kaye and Catherine Canadé, Board Member, Co-Chair Mentorship Program and Racial Equity Media Club presented a roundtable discussion to learn about NYACP’s upcoming trainings and events and how to get involved so we can all grow our Collaborative Practices! If you were not able to attend, don’t hesitate to bring your questions to the panel members and share ideas on how NYACP can help you achieve your CP goals. 

Bringing the Voice of the Child into the Room: Three Avenues 

On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, The NYC Pod hosted  Presented by Alayna Katz, Esq. and  Barbara Rothberg, DSW, MSW, and moderated by Judie Stein, Ph.D., LCSW.  The original Collaborative Practice Model included a Child Specialist who would meet with the children and then with the parents and team to facilitate crafting a Parenting Plan that best addressed the children's needs and interests. Recently, the Child Specialist and Coach roles were merged into the "Family Specialist" title, with the understanding that Family Specialists would meet with children if they had relevant expertise and experience. But there are two other avenues for bringing the voice of the children into the room (albeit different rooms): Attorney for the Child (AFC) and Parent Coordinator (PC). This panel of NYACP members presented the three different roles, their distinctions and similarities, as well as potential implications for the Collaborative process. The panel concluded with Q & A and participants sharing their experiences of bringing the child's voice into the room.

Alayne Katz, Esq., is a family law attorney in private practice in Westchester County. Her practice is limited to the representation of adults and children in matrimonial and family law through litigation, mediation and collaborative practice. Her contributions to families span a more than tthirty-six year career.  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. Dr. Judie Stein is a licensed clinical social worker and a seasoned Ackerman-trained mediator, EFT couple and family therapist, discernment therapist, and family specialist with The New York Association for Collaborative Practice. 

The Marital Home and Taxes in Divorce

On November 15, 2023 the Northern Westchester POD along with NYACP’s own Sallie Mullins Thompson, CPA , presented The Marital Home and Taxes in Divorce.  This program covered the three main methods of handling the marital home and the various tax impacts that divorce professionals should consider when working with their clients and creating marital separation agreements. The takeaways from the presentation were
• Understand the associated taxes and what efficiencies are available for each type of marital home division.
• Define various language components to include in the MSA, so that your divorcing families avoid future negative taxation consequences.

Sallie Mullins Thompson is a CPA financial planner, CFP, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), and tax strategist, with over 2 decades of experience in the financial services profession. 

When Bankruptcy and Divorce Collide

On Tuesday, December 12, 2023 the New York City Pod featured Nathan Horowitz.  Following a brief primer on bankruptcy law and how a bankruptcy affects debts and assets, we discussed how a divorce action is and is not affected by a bankruptcy. Other topics will include bankruptcy’s effect on debts arising from a divorce and the impact on marital assets, timing when a divorce collides with a bankruptcy, and tips for structuring a divorce agreement.

Nathan Horowitz has been in private practice as a bankruptcy attorney for over 40 years.  He has represented clients throughout the New York metropolitan area, including the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. 

Monthly Pod Meeting Schedule

The NYC Pod is now hosting a meeting the second Tuesday of every month, from 8:30-9:30a.m. - Contact Judith Stein, j[email protected].
The LI Pod meets the first Tuesday of the month from 8:15-9:30 a.m. - Contact Neil Cahn, [email protected]
The Northern Westchester Pod meets every third Wednesday, 9:00am-10:00 a.m - Log in information will be sent to you in a confirmation email.  For questions, if you have a topic of interest, or would like to facilitate a meeting, please contact Melissa Goodstein, [email protected] Contact Melissa Goodstein, [email protected].


Meet Helene Bernstein, PLLC

Helene is excited to begin her new role as President of the Family Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMC). Thanks to their proactive and ambitious Board, Helene states, “We are continuing to build support and access to the Divorce and Family Law mediation Community throughout NYC, Long Island, and Westchester." 

Many conversations are taking place throughout our NYACP Community how we may better Collaborate with the Mediation Communities. Afterall, we are all invested in providing excellent alternative dispute resolution services to the families who cross out paths.

Educating the Next Generation of Collaborative Professionals

It is so critical, not to mention rewarding, when we, as Collaborative Professionals, inspire, and watch our next generation of Collaborative Professionals, be educated about the process as they learn how to transform the lives of the families they will work with. Randy Heller had the honor of presenting on the Role of the Mental health Professional in Collaborative Family Law to the Collaborative Law Class at Pace Law School taught by Deb Wayne and Kathleen Donnelli. Several of their students attended our Annual Meeting this year, sponsored by Deb and Kathleen.

Randy Heller also just completed her 10th year teaching her semester course, Collaborative Divorce, to master’s and doctoral students of Couple's, Marriage and Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Several of her students will be returning to the NYC, NJ, and Connecticut after graduation. I hope we can welcome them into our community!

Messages from NYACP Members

A message from Board Member Steve Linker and  Annual Meeting Platinum Sponsor .…Happy New Year to all My Colleagues.  2023 was a very good year both professionally and personally. It’s all about people: Professionally, the clients we serve and our professional relationships. I simply love our Team work. In April, I completed my 1,200th business valuation. I enjoy my service as a member of the Board and a couple of committees. On a personal note, I stay in touch with my seven grandchildren who range in age from 23 down to 4 1/2. I was always a “down on the floor” grandpa, even though now when down on the floor it takes a bit longer to stand up.  Enjoy the Holidays! I wish you a Healthy, Happy New Year.  Warmest regards,  Steve Linker

UPCOMING EVENTS ~ Mark Your Calendar for these January Events!

Statewide Collaborative Planning Meeting

There will be a Statewide Collaborative Planning Meeting, Monday, January 8, Noon - 2:00 pm held on Zoom to discuss the possibilities of Collaboration throughout the state. This will be an exciting initiative!

Northern Westchester Pod Meeting

The NW Pod will meet 1/17/24 from 9 to 10AM, presenting How to Negotiate and Draft Terms for the Sale of a House in the Collaborative Process, presented by Georgia Kramer, Esq, Partner Abrams Fensterman, LLP.  

Mentorship Program Feedback Session

There is a full group gathering (virtually) on January 17, 2024 from 5 to 6 pm for feedback, discussion and networking for BOTH the 2023 SESSIONS, spring and fall, as part of the mentorship program.

NYACP Racial Equity Media Club Meeting

Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 12:00pm - 1:30pmFilm: “I Am Not Your Negro” - James Baldwin and Raoul Peck.  Watch and Let's Talk About It! 

Enacting the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (“UCLA”)

Friday, January 19, 2024 at 12:00PM-1:30PM Via Zoom. Free for all Attendees. Professor Andrew Schepard and Kathleen Donelli, Esq.

NYACP Meet & Greet

Come meet members of the ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK (AABANY) on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 from 6pm-8pm at the The Park Imperial ~ Clubroom, 230 W. 56th Street, between 7th & 8th, New York, NY 10019. $25 for members, free for guests.

Watch for Details and Check the Website for all NYACP Events

The NYACP Newsletter is intended to inform you not only about what is going on in your organization. It is an invitation and opportunity for our members to get involved as you strengthen your Collaborative relationships and your practice. Please send information about you, your practice, your activities, and your success to Randy Heller, [email protected].