2024.04 NYACP Newsletter Spring 2024

NYACP NEWS ~ Spring 2024

Volume 6, Issue 2

In this Issue

President's Message
NYACP Board of Directors
Welcome New Members
Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (SGCP)
Upcoming Events
Member News


By Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

As the vibrant colors of spring begin to blossom around us, I am filled with a sense of renewal and excitement for the future of NYACP. It is during this season of growth that I am reminded of the incredible impact we have made together and the countless seeds we have planted to cultivate positive change and growth in our community.

Just like the delicate plants that emerge from the soil, our organization has nurtured ideas, projects, and initiatives that have taken root and flourished. The Training and Education committee and the NYC, LI, and Northern Westchester PODs continue to offer multiple trainings and programs monthly to enhance our skills. In addition to education and training, our organization places great emphasis on networking and mentorship Our membership committee with its collaborative connection lunches, networking events, and public and professional outreach have expanded and enhanced professional and public understanding of collaborative practice. Our mentorship and Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (“SGCP”) groups provide invaluable guidance and support, nurturing the next generation of collaborative practitioners and conflict resolution advocates.

NYACP also remains committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our Racial Equity committee has been hard at work developing programs, sharing resources and planning outings supporting NYACP members understanding of the impact systemic racism has had on each of us both personally and professionally. The racial equity media club organized a Broadway outing to see Purlie Victorious and is organizing a Spring group visit to the Museum of the City of New York for the Activist NY exhibit in addition to our book and film discussion group meetings held every other month. We hope to continue to provide programs for self- reflection and education so we can 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 NYACP membership that more accurately reflects the diversity of the greater New York area.

I am immensely grateful for the dedication and hard work of our committee members, board, members, and partners. Your unwavering commitment to our shared mission has enabled us to make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve. Together, we continue to plant seeds of collaboration, education, and support, ensuring the growth and success of NYACP.

As the beauty of spring surrounds, I am also reminded of the importance of nurturing ourselves so that we may continue to plant collaborative seeds and blossom as individuals, both personally and professionally. Just like a garden, we must care for ourselves to be able to serve others effectively and competently. By practicing self-care, we cultivate a healthy garden within ourselves, allowing us to thrive and flourish in our roles as compassionate and effective conflict resolution advocates.

Nurturing ourselves requires patience, as growth takes time. Let us be kind to ourselves and acknowledge that personal and professional development is a journey. By embracing learning opportunities, seeking mentorship, and supporting each other, our collaborative practices can continue to grow and evolve in our respective disciplines.

Wishing you a season filled with growth, inspiration, and endless possibilities.

Girl scout cookie season is upon us. Here is a 3-ingredient recipe for a healthier version of the popular Caramel Delites cookies: Date Coconut Chocolate Cookies

10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked, 1 cup toasted coconut flakes, one cup dark chocolate chips ( Lily’s no sugar great). Pit your dates and soak them in water for a couple of minutes to soften, Process the dates in a food processor and add water as needed and then add toasted coconut to form a smooth paste. Roll the mixture in balls, flatten with spoon and poke whole in the center and place them in a lined parchment sheet in freezer while you melt chocolate chips and then dip each cookie in dark chocolate and then drizzle more on top with some crushed toasted coconut flakes. Place back in freezer for 30 minutes and then ENJOY!

With Gratitude, Melissa


Your NYACP Board meets every two 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. There was lots of excitement at this month’s meeting about all of the new educational and social programs being spearheaded by the committee chairs. Continue reading to learn about all of the most recent and upcoming events. A budget has been approved by the Board to fund many of the events being planned. We urge you to get involved! 


Debra Farea, CDFA, MBA

Debra Farea is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in both New York and Connecticut. She is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Debra has her own tax practice and works with estates/trusts, small businesses and individuals assisting not only with tax requirements but developing financial budgets and projections, analyzing retirement options and forecasting. Over the last few years, she has assisted many clients decipher their divorce decrees from a tax planning and budgeting perspective. Debra is eager to engage earlier in the divorce process as a financial neutral. Debra holds a B.A in Accounting and Marketing from Boston College and a MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Fun Fact - She lived in London for a few years and walked her daughters to school with Tim Burton.

Tom Hutson, CPA

Tom Hutson, a member of the Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce & Dispute Resolution Association, joined NYACP in February.

Tom has more than 35 years of experience as an accountant and business appraiser. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and he is also a Certified Financial PlannerTM and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®.  Tom is a Partner at BST & Co. CPAs, LLP where he has specialized in business valuation and other financial forensic services and consulting services since 1994. Presently, he is Chair of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Business Valuation and Litigation Services Committee and serves as a Director of the Estate Planning Council of Eastern New York.

Tom enjoys assisting other professionals on collaborative and mediated matters and helping clients to resolve their disputes.
He is looking forward to building relationships with fellow members and sharing his experience and expertise.

Daniel Schwartz

Daniel Schwartz is a marriage and family therapist, with over 25 years of experience working with some of the country’s most philanthropic families. Daniel provides couple and family based counseling services as well as working with complex multi-generational family dynamics, international families, and LGBTQ families. A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Daniel was awarded a Doctorate in Business Administration (hon. caus.) from the Glasgow Caledonian University. He also trained at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Business School.  Daniel has also learned that making a ginger bug starter in his kitchen can be quite explosive.  Daniel is a NYACP Mental Health Student.

Nanci A. Smith, Esq.

Nanci A. Smith, Esq., is an attorney licensed to practice in Vermont and New York. She is the co-chair of the Collaborative Divorce section of the Vermont Bar Association, a leader in her collaborative divorce practice group, and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. She frequently writes and talks about divorce, family law, ethics, and collaborative divorce practices. She believes that a good divorce is possible when you show up for it with humility, compassion, and the correct support. Smith is the author of Untangling Your Marriage: A Guide to Collaborative Divorce (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Oct 11, 2022). Learn more at nancismithlaw.com.



The Training and Education Committee has been hard at work planning educational programming that will enhance our member experience, and enable members to improve your knowledge, skills, and Collaborative practice. At the same time, these programs, whether in person or virtually, provide our members with the opportunity to network, get to know one another. Programs include 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.  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. Training 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.  

In addition to the wealth of programming that the PODs provide, the Training and Education Committee is had at work planning programs for throughout the year. Most programs will provide CLEs, CMEs and CEUs (Sponsored by Family Kind) 

2024 Financial Symposium

On Thursday, March 21st in NYC at the Lincoln Building, NYACP hosted the 2024 Financial Symposium.  The program began at 12:00 noon with a networking lunch followed by programming through 5:00 pm. Sessions included: Complexities of Executive Compensation by Stacy Preston Collins, CPA/ABV, CFF; Navigating Restrictive Stock Units by David Gralnick, CPA/ABV; Capital Gains & Losses in Equitable Distribution With a Case Study using Family Law Software by Nancy Kaye, CFP, CDFA; and Issues Surrounding Double Dipping by Michael R. McLaughlin, CFA, ASA, CVA.  The day was moderated by Ken Novenstern, Esq..  For descriptions of the sessions and speaker bios, please visit the Financial Symposium event page.

Photos from the 2024 Financial Symposium


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!

In January, the Racial Equity Committee hosted a “field trip” to see the Broadway show Purlie Victorious. Here is what one of our members Adam J. Halper (Mediator, Collaborative Attorney, Parenting Coordinator)  wrote as he reflected on his experience: 

"Last week, I saw two Broadway shows (normally my quota for a year). On Thursday, I attended 'Purlie Victorious,' (at the Music Box Theater Inc) with colleagues from the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. Special treat: Lin-Manuel Miranda made an appearance during a post-show conversation with the audience. On Saturday, I attended a 'Prayer for the French Republic,' (Manhattan Theatre Club) with a group of people from my synagogue.

They were very different productions with remarkably similar themes: racism, violence, diaspora, family. These plays were written some time ago and yet each felt incredibly relevant right now. For me, one of the takeaways was that art can refresh and shift perspective on some of the most challenging questions we face in a way that nothing else can. Looking at hard issues from different angles is critical and the stimulus to do so can be found in surprising places. Maybe the real takeaway is to remind ourselves to be open to that moment."


Photos from Broadway show Purlie Victorious in January

Racial Equity Resouce List

Read This:

  • Whistleblowing While Black: How Truth - Telling Changes the Careers of  Black Women in Tech by Ese Olumhense.  On line in The Mark Up (March, 2024) – Whistleblowing While Black - The Markup
  • Between the World and Me by Ta –Nehisi Coates (2015). Written as a letter from father to teenage son, chronicling his life as a black man in the United States.  Winner of the National Book Award for Non Fiction in 2015.

Watch This:

  • American Fiction (2023) - A frustrated novelist, fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black entertainment that relies on tired and offensive stereotypes, uses a pen name to write his own outlandish “Black” book. BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay: Cord Jefferson. Stream now on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, MGM+
  • Malcom X (1992)Directed by Spike Lee, with Denzel Washington starring as Malcom X. Stream on Prime and HBOMAX

Experience This:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art  - through July 28th  The Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Modernism - Met Museum - Harlem Renaissance -- The groundbreaking exhibition  explores the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life. Through some 160 works of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and ephemera, explore the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and nationwide in the early decades of the Great Migration.
  • The Brooklyn Museum – through July 7th Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys - Brooklyn Museum - Giants – Expansive in their collecting habits, the Deans, both born and raised in New York, champion a philosophy of “artists supporting artists.” The first major exhibition of the Dean Collection, Giants showcases a focused selection from the couple’s world-class holdings. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation spotlights work by Black diasporic artists, part of our ongoing efforts to expand the art-historical narrative. 


The Membership Committee is hard at work!  A group of 14 meet virtually on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at noon. The committee has been focused on events and member relations through Collaborative Connections, the Mentorship subcommittee, and the GCC subcommittee (Grow the Collaborative Circle) that hosted 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.  Keep your eyes and ears open for more details, all these committee events are great networking opportunities! 

The committes is now developing a longer-term effort to educate the public about the collaborative process and will keep our members posted as it proceeds. The Membership Committee includes Ellen Jancko-Baken – Chair, Catherine Canade, Jacqueline Caputo, Ariella Deutsch, Marcos Fernandez, Shara Goldfarb, Adam Halper, Randy Heller, Michelle Lewis, Stephen Linker, and Bob Raymond.

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 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 these was held on January 31, 2024 hosting the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) ADR group.  Our next mixer is being planned for the near future with the FDMC and NYSCDM. Look out for details to follow!


Photos from the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Meet & Greet

 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 are 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. 

Eastern Long Island - On Thursday, March 28th a group met at the Cowfish Inn in Hampton Bays.  It may have been a rainy dreary day for our east end Long Island connections luncheon, but it was a cheerful, bright time we had together as colleagues and friends. Contact: Jackie Caputo.

NYC - In January, a group met 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. It was a great way to end a work week. Stacy Collins and Adam Halpern came out on a very rainy day! It was small, intimate, and a great opportunity to share ideas and get to know one another better! Our next gathering will be at Pershing Square across from Grand Central Station on May 8th. Hope to see you there! Contact: Randy Heller.

Westchester - A Collaborative Connections lunch was held at at Aberdeen Restaurant (Dim Sum) on February 15th. Attendees: Michelle Lewis, Neil Kozek, Kathleen Donelli, Steve Kaplan, Barbara Bel,  Meg Sussman, new financial professional, Jay Mota. It was a good turnout, and a good lunch!  Contact: Michele Lewis.

Remaining 2024 Collaborative Lunch Schedule

NYACP Collaborative Connections - Westchester
Friday, May 3, 2024 from 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Lilly’s in White Plains, 169 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601

NYACP Collaborative Connections - NYC
Friday, May 8, 2024 from 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Pershing Square, 90 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 (Near Grand Central Station)

MAY -  Westchester & NYC
JUNE -  Western Long Island
JULY -  New York City

AUGUST -  Westchester|
SEPTEMBER -  Eastern Long Island
OCTOBER -  New York City

NOVEMBER - Westchester

Mentorship Program

The Spring Mentorship Program is Underway!

Each Mentorship session will run for 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.

At the end of the session, we held a full group gathering (virtually) on January 17, 2024 from 5 to 6 pm for feedback, discussion and networking. This session is part of the mentorship program.  Here's what some of the participants had to say:

"The NYACP mentorship program has been such a valuable experience that both myself and my mentor decided to do it for another round. I cannot speak highly enough of this opportunity as a new member. It not only offers the mentee a chance to learn more about the collaborative process but to get involved on a more meaningful level with the organization. I have had the great fortune to have Randy Heller as my mentor who has taken the time to help me learn and get to know me both personally and professionally. Already in the second round I have joined the membership committee and am working with Randy on other endeavors. I am looking forward to continued learning and growth in the program this spring.”  - Nora Marcus, MHP, Mentee

"It is an honor to work with Nora! Her vulnerability, transparency, curiosity, and enthusiasm  lend itself to tremendous growth. Nora already is a tremendous asset to our organization! To my mind, being a mentor is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow, together. When one is ”mentoring” another, it is a collaborative process involving the sharing of knowledge, ideas, skills, values, and goals. Without this, professional growth and successful outcomes are not possible. I believe we are never too experienced to learn and grow, together!Randy Heller, PhD, Mentor

"I greatly appreciate the work done by the Membership Committee and Catherine Canade, Esq. and Shara Goldfarb, Esq. in implementing the Mentorship Program for NYACP.  I have had the pleasure of spending time with Adam Halper, Esq. and getting to know Adam as a younger Attorney and as a person. Adam and I have operated on the concept that everything is better with food. We have shared many lunches, including lunch with one of my friends who also happens to be a referral source. Our most recent lunch was last week. We discuss how to generate cases and issues around cases. I credit Adam for getting more involved with NYACP committees, attendance at events, crating his own program on AI which is coming up quickly and being more active in promoting himself. I look forward to our continued growth together." - Ken Novenstern, Esq., Mentor

"I am excited to be at the beginning of my third round as a collaborative mentor. They say, once you reach a certain age you naturally gravitate to teaching. This certainly seems true for me. At the same time, I am also still a student. For the second time in three years, I am in a seminar led by Pauline Tesler, (in case anyone reading this doesn’t know) one of the founders of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and a well-known and respected thought-leader in this field. We read books and articles and watch videos all designed to enhance our understanding of our clients, ourselves, the science and neuroscience of the brain and give us the tools to better resolve the conflicts before us, and on a good day, the underlying conflict that plagues our couples. I am very happy to be able to pass some of what I learn to my mentees. At the same time, I have been blessed with the best mentees! First was Ariella Deutsch, an associate at Berkman Bottger Newman and Schein. Barry Berkman was instrumental in bringing collaborative to New York. What could anyone who works with him and his team of experienced collaborators get from me? Yet, Ariella and I had a great time talking about lots of specific challenges we encounter in this work. It’s much easier to fashion creative and thoughtful solutions when you’re not face to face with desperate, distraught clients, busy schedules and deadlines.  

Then there was Corey Shapiro. I googled him. He describes, on his website, why he does this work, and his philosophy of how he does it in a way that I wish I had. Which, again, made me wonder what he could possibly get from me. I had just finished reading A General Theory of Love, which I recommended to Corey and which he actually read. This allowed us to be able to share our enhanced understanding of what happens in relationships and the state of mind of our clients. We also talked quite a bit about the day today practice challenges and obstacles. Our conversations were effortless and always exceeded the time allotted.

Next was (is) Alexandra Halsey-Storch. She works for Katherine Miller. Here we go again! What could she learn from me. Due to vacations, and work emergencies we have only met once, but we have identified a special topic we will be tackling and ultimately sharing with all of you in some way.
The value of taking time out, with no pressure, to think about, talk about, brainstorm and dive deeper into the challenges of the work we do is priceless. The questions and insights that the mentees bring definitely make my work better. I am grateful for this opportunity." - Teresa Ombres, Esq., Mentor

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.


All NYACP Members are encouraged to take the opportunity to join a Support Group. Participation will provide you with the experience of joining with other members in our community to connect in a more in-depth way regarding our work and best practices. This is separate from our POD Groups. These are closed groups and they require a commitment. This commitment includes being responsible for presenting, and addressing some of the complexities that can arise. On your Collaborative matters. This can be a vulnerable undertaking and building trust and understanding with our colleagues is an essential part of why these groups are valuable. We all know how challenging our work can be. 

Lower Westchester Support Group

Steve Kaplan [email protected] and Ellen Jancko-Baken [email protected] are leaders.  Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30

Northern Westchester Support Group

Meg Sussman [email protected] and Melissa Goodstein

Metro NY Support Group

A new Metro NY Support Group has started with Katherine Miller as the facilitator.  This SGCP Series is bringing together a relatively small group of people who are members of NYACP and who are looking to advance and deepen their ongoing professional roles in Collaborative Practice. The small group size will allow for highly interactive learning. This group will run the third Tuesday of each April, May and June from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.  There will be case presentation, discussion and role-play as appropriate.

The focus will be on how we can work effectively with the subjective inner dynamic that underlies, and often fuels, conflict at an objective level. This subjective dimension includes emotions and attitudes as well as motivations and aspirations that the parties have about – themselves and each other, their particular conflict, and conflict itself and its resolution. This inner dimension is also at work in the Collaborative professionals, and between the team and the parties. 

Participants will learn to recognize how the subjective dimension beneath a conflict can keep the parties trapped (a “conflict trap”) and how understanding and working with that dimension can help free the parties, and the team, from the confines of these traps. Learning will take place through case presentation, discussion, lecture and role play. Participants should be willing to present one of their cases so that the group can examine not only what is of significance for that participant and for that case, but also what issues are raised for the others in the group as well. Understanding how to work with the underlying dimension of conflict will have resonance and value for the entire group.

Mental Health Support Group

This group is facilitated by Jeffrey Steiger and Bob Raymond. Quarterly Tuesday mornings from 7:45am-9:00am on the following dates:  5/28/2024, 9/24/2024, 11/26/2024. Only NYACP members qualify to participate in this group. 

After years of participating in interdisciplinary pods and support groups, a process group for Family and Child Specialists has been established to talk among ourselves about the work we are doing.

We see this group as an opportunity to share clinical experiences, obtain help from one another on challenging cases, talk about team dynamics and the diverse functions we undertake on teams, and have an opportunity to get to know each other and learn about the professional work we are each doing.

The last meeting was held on February 27th at 7:45 a.m. A robust discussion was held about dilemmas related to confidentiality. The consensus was that all mental health professionals need to be guided by the ethics of their profession, while at the same time not losing sight of the task of getting the clients to the finish line. 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.), please let Jeffrey or Bob know beforehand to assure we make time for this. The next meeting will be held on 5/28/24 at 7:45 a.m. Hope to see you there!


Pod Meetings are monthly. Please check the “full calendar on our website for topics, dates and times. PODS are a wonderful way to learn, grow, and develop relationships with your fellow Collaborative Colleagues. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

New York City Pod

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024 and February 13, 2024 the NYC POD hosted Steven Paymer, MSW of Paymer Associates, LLC for a two part series speaking about Drug and Alcohol Testing and Monitoring: Keeping Children and Families Safe. Steve provided our professionals with a thorough overview of the testing and monitoring methods currently available, important language to be used in agreements and orders, as well as a basic understanding of substance abuse. Participants will experience some of the technology first hand, including urine, sweat, saliva and hair testing, SL3 remote breath testing (aka Soberlink), and SCRAM CAM transdermal alcohol testing. Part II focused on alcohol testing and monitoring, including a monitoring protocol. There was an interesting Q & A, particularly regarding challenging cases.

On Tuesday, March 12, 2024 Kathleen (Kate) Bar-Tur, LCSW, FIPA and Elana Katz, LCSW, LMFT were hosted by the NYC POD and presented a program entitled When All the King's Horses and all the King’s Men Can't Put Things Together: The Client Who Can't Recover . This presentation and follow-up conversation focused on the client who cannot seem to find any pockets of resilience or light in their darkness. In this program, two experienced family specialists discussed the challenges of the seemingly intractable client and the possibilities for helping them to find their way out of their darkness.


Northern Westchester Pod

On Wednesday, January 17, 2024 the Northern Westchester Pod hosted Georgia Kramer, Esq, Partner Abrams Fensterman, LLP who presented: How to Negotiate and Draft Terms for the Sale of a House in the Collaborative Process. Topics for discussion included and were not limited to: Choice of broker; Establishing the sales price; The time of sale; Closing in the future; Occupancy; Maintenance pending sale; Costs of closing and transfer taxes; and Reporting gains. Georgia not only presented these issues to be dealt with, she also offered suggestions for resolution.


On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, the Northern Westchester POD hosted our long standing Financial Professional Members, Sallie Mullins Thompson, CPA, CFP, CDFA and Stephen Linker, CPA speaking about Marital Home, Taxes, and Deductions in Today’s Divorce Environment

Given today’s high mortgage interest rates, more divorcing couples are choosing to co-own their marital home for several years after separation and divorce. This presentation covered topics related to minimizing tax impacts and preventing your divorcing clients from experiencing negative tax consequences in the areas of: Capital gains and other taxes; available deductions for filing annual tax returns; maximizing the home sale exclusion; and language components to include in the separation agreement.  

Steve Linker continued the conversation with the Northern Westchester POD in March when he presented: Home Office Income Tax Consideration on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.  In this very important presentation, given that so many of us are working remotely from our homes, Steve discussed important aspects of office in home income tax considerations: 1. Business Use of Home - What qualifies as an office in home for income tax purposes? 2. How to prove that one is using an office at home. 3. What's deductible and what are the deduction limitations? 4. The optional safe harbor method - Substantiation not needed. 5. What is the tax effect when the residence is sold? 

Participants asked great questions and Steve responded in ways that illuminated how to best go about receiving the tax benefits of working from home in the most effective way possible. Thank you, Steve, for always being willing to contribute your time and expertise to our membership!

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].

UPCOMING EVENTS ~ Mark Your Calendar for these Spring Events!

Resources Relating to Children and Special Needs on April 17th

The Northern Westchester Pod will be presenting Chrissy Liptrot on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 9:00am to 10:00am.

Chrissy Liptrot is an educational consultant and advocate with over ten years of Special Education classroom experience. She is a Westchester County native who started her career teaching tenth and eleventh-grade English at the Churchill School, a K-12 private school for students with learning disabilities in New York City. Chrissy then transitioned to a Westchester County public school, where she taught sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade Special Education across multiple subjects and disciplines. She has worked closely with students and their families to navigate the complex and often intimidating IEP and 504 process. Chrissy has been advocating for student accommodations and modifications throughout her tenure as an educator and continues to do so as an educational consultant.


Using AI In Our Collaborative Practice Webinar on April 19th

Presented by Adam Halper, Esq., Law and ADR Office of Adam J. Halper, PLLC and Courtney Anne Chicvak, M.S., J.D., CEO & Conflict Resolution Specialist, Courtney Anne Chicvak Mediation LLC on Friday, April 19th 12 noon - 1:30 pm.  Topics will include using AI in general and best practices; using AI to develop parenting plans, mediation and law firm marketing with materials and content and will provide a live demonstration with input from attendees.  This event is free for NYACP Members, $75 for Non-Members.
Adam J. Halper is a mediator and an attorney. He works with individuals, attorneys, and businesses to help them resolve disputes. He has represented clients in a variety of litigation and transactional areas and brings strong business, legal and interpersonal acumen to client issues and conflicts. He practices collaborative law and he is a parenting coordinator. Currently, in addition to his private law and mediation practice, he is on the roster of neutrals for the American Arbitration Association, several New York State Courts and and the District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Courtney Chicvak is the CEO and Conflict Resolution Specialist at Courtney Anne Chicvak Mediation LLC, a Long Island-based alternative dispute resolution (ADR) firm dedicated to promoting peace within families and the Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution at Long Island Dispute Resolution Centers (EAC Network).  As an International Mediation Institute (IMI) Certified Mediator, Courtney has used the facilitative and transformative mediation models during hundreds of disputes to support difficult conversations, to inspire understanding, and to empower participants to discover pathways to their own resolutions.


NYACP Spring Social Wine Tasting Event


Spring is in the air… how about some wine in your glass?

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024 from 6pm-8pm at 445 Hamilton Avenue in 
White Plains, NYACP will host our Spring Social event featuring a curated selection of nibbles and wines. The theme — “Nature v. Nurture” — will allow for a range of styles and types.

Among the Nature wines, whose character derives mostly from the grape and place of origin: Chablis; Sauvignon Blanc; Albarino; Pinot Noir; and Moscato d'Asti. For the Nurture wines, which are more method-driven: think bubbly, rosé, California Chardonnay, and red blends from both Old World and New.  The wines will provide an ideal backdrop as we sip and shmooze. Lite food pairings will also be served.

$25 for NYACP Members; Free for NYACP Members who have joined since November 1, 2023!  A special THANK YOU to our sponsors Our Family Wizard and Financial Research Associates!


Getting to Yes: Applying Mediation Techniques in Litigated Matters - An Evening with Judge Waterman Marshall on May 16th

This program will be a panel discussion featuring New York County Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Waterman-Marshall on Thursday, May 16th 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Lincoln Building at One Grand Central Place, 60 E. 42nd Street, NY.  A light dinner will be provided at this evening in person event.

Hon. Waterman-Marshall is a New York State trial court judge who joined the bench as an experienced civil litigator. She practiced in the New York State and Federal trial and appellate courts for close to sixteen years (from 1999-2014), before taking a position as the Principal Law Clerk to Justice Arthur Engoron, with whom she worked until her election to the New York City Civil Court bench in November 2018. Although Hon. Waterman-Marshall's practice concentrated largely on general civil and commercial matters, with a brief stint in the public sector as an Attorney for the Child, her judicial career thus far has been focused in family and matrimonial law.

Hon. Waterman-Marshall's experiences as a litigator, coupled with the humane approach she employed and developed in Family Court, inform how she manages her inventory of contested and uncontested divorce actions, general civil actions, and Article 75 and 78 proceedings.

Since 2016, Hon Waterman-Marshall has been an Adjunct Law Professor at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, where she teaches first-year legal writing and lawyering. In addition, she remains active in several bar associations, including the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, and the New York Women’s Bar Association.


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.

In February, Marcos Fernandez and Randy Heller presented about Collaborative Practice to an ADR class at Seton Hall University School of Law - Conflict Management Program. The students were quite interested in this form of Alternative Dispute resolution that they were not aware of.

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].