Co-Parent to Co-Parent: From Conflict to Communication: What to Do When You Share Children & Just Can’t Stand Your Ex

Conflict: Having to share your children can be an uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing part of everyday life. In this 90-minute workshop, we learned what causes conflict, adds fuel to an unquenchable fire and how to douse it. We discovered how to best prepare for and conduct difficult discussions so that you can engage in effective communication, reducing stress for the benefit of your children.

Facilitators: Shari Bornstein Esq. and Jenny Psaki, LMSW

When: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side
Register: To sign up and and learn more, link here

• • •

Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Family Law: The Real and the Ideal
FamilyKind presented an exciting professional program in November, 2017 This event featured spirited dialogue on the topic of interdisciplinary collaboration in family law. The program also included interactive presentations on shared ethical dilemmas and “ignite” presentations to spark discussion on what the future holds.
For more information about our program and speakers, view a PDF email or link here.
When: Friday, November 10, 2017, 10:30 am to 5 pm
Where: Hofstra School of Law, Hempstead, NY
Register: To sign up link here

• • •

The Divorcierge, Karen Bigman, and FamilyKind welcomed co-parenting expert, Rosalind Sedacca. Rosalind discussed many of the important issues that co-parents face when they tell their children about the divorce. She also addressed how to help children cope at this difficult time by reviewing the critical ways to address children’s fears and anxieties around the divorce process.

When: Monday, October 23, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: FamilyKind, Primary Workspace, 26 Broadway
Register: To sign up and and learn more, link to and select “Upcoming Events”

• • •

FamilyKind and the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP) hosted an evening program of Connection, Collaboration & Awareness including a professional panel presentation, and a private screening of Ellen Bruno’s award winning documentary “Split.” View the trailer.
When: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: The Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street, NYC
Register: To sign up and and learn more, link here

• • •

Love, Loss and Divorce

In going through divorce we experience a loss of identity, security and our dreams of a “happily ever after.” This workshop focused on how to recognize the emotional turmoil surrounding a separation or end of a marriage, examined studies on grief, and discovered healthy coping skills.

Facilitator: Bess Steiger, LCSW

When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm, 1  Session
Where: 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side
Register: To sign up and learn more, link here

• • •

Park Slope Parent’s Workshop

Presented by Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney John Yacos

FamilyKind was pleased to join Attorney John Yacos in a presentation to give parents an overview of legal aspects of divorce, custody, and child support. John Yacos, Esq., is a well-respected matrimonial and family law attorney with over 24 years of legal experience. John discussed the relevant law, the process and procedure of divorce, custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), equitable distribution, and division of property. Attendees also learned about the law’s provisions and its application in court.
Who should attend this workshop?
  • Are you going through a divorce or already dealing with its proceedings in family court? This workshop is for you.
  • Are you thinking about a divorce, separation, maintenance (alimony), equitable distribution, child custody or child support? This workshop is for you.
  • Never married, but confused about child custody or child support? This workshop is for you.
  • Do you have any questions about these and other issues related to Family and Matrimonial Law? Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of any of these proceedings, then this workshop is for you.

When: Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6 pm
Where: 111 Broadway, Suite 1805, NYC
Cost: Free
Register: To register and for more information, please contact Stefany Schaefer at

For anyone who attended this presentation, John will offer a follow-up in person consultation without charge.

• • •

New York State Council of Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM) Annual Conference

FamilyKind was a proud sponsor and was in attendance to network with exceptional mediators and to hear from renowned speakers.

When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, May 4, 5, 6, 2017 — daylong programming
Where: Tarrytown, NY
Cost: Various

• • •

The Do-It-Yourself Divorce
Presented by Untied: The Thinking Woman’s Divorce Resource

Who says divorce has to break the bank? Whether you’re looking for financially savvy tricks to help you save during divorce or feel up to the task of representing yourself, come listen to experts — including FamilyKind’s Shari Bornstein, attorney and mediator — who can help guide you.

When: Wednesday April 5, 2017  •  6:30 pm
Where: Brooklyn Heights
Cost: $45

• • •

Co-Parenting Through Divorce: From One Home to Two
With The Diviorcierge

FamilyKind’s Dr. Stephen Shainbart, Psychologist, and Karen Bigman, Founder & President of The Divorcierge, discussed the challenges families face when children are moving from one home to two during divorce. We presented helpful strategies to reduce the tumult and help you co-parent effectively.

When: Tuesday April 4, 2017  •  6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: FamilyKind  •  48 Wall Street
Cost: $10

• • •

Early Intervention: Support Services for Parents in Conflict. This panel discussion was co-sponsored by the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (WWBA) and featured speakers Judge Sondra Miller (ret.), Lawrence Jay Braunstein, Esq., and Lesley Ann Friedland, Esq., moderated by Abby Rosmarin, Esq.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017 • 12:00 to 1:30 pm
Where: McCarthy Fingar LLP • 11 Martine Avenue, White Plains
Cost: Free of charge for WWBA members and professionals in our practice area
RSVP: By February 13, via email to
CE credit for SWs provided, and CLE credit for lawyers expected

Download a PDF flyer.

• • •

Symposium Event ID Website 300pxFamilyKind’s Inaugural Symposium, Divorcing and Separating Families: Transforming Crisis Into Opportunities, was October 27, 2016 with an additional Kickoff Event the evening of October 26.

Our Symposium was a daylong conference is for mental health professionals, lawyers, mediators, and educators.

Our Kickoff Event was an additional opportunity to enjoy a festive evening, increase your knowledge, and connect with colleagues.

Link here for more information.

• • •

Family Relationship Coaching (Internal Training)

July 22, 2016
9:00 am to 12 noon
Phillips Nizer LLP
666 Fifth Avenue
New York City

Half-day training for FamilyKind professionals regarding our newest program Family Relationship Coaching. Family Relationship Coaching encompasses services provided to families seeking guidance in managing life transitions such as divorce, separation, and family conflicts.

Thank you to FamilyKind boardmember, Elliot Wiener, and Phillips Nizer LLP for making their beautiful conference space available to us.


  • Elana Katz, LCSW
  • Bruce Berman, PhD

• • •

Children’s Voice in Law. FamilyKind’s 3rd annual Carol Bellamy Lecture Series: Giving Voice to the Child.

Presented by FamilyKind • Hosted by Chadbourne & Parke

3rd Annual Bellamy Illustration 610px

How Can NYS Better Support Families in Dissolution and Transition:
Perspectives from the Judiciary, Academia, a Practitioner, and the Legislature

6:00 to 6:30 — Meet & Greet

6:30 to 6:40 — Opening Remarks
Honorable Carol Bellamy, Former NYC Council President and former Executive Director, UNICEF

6:40­ to 7:45 — Discussion Panel 
Moderator: Judge Stella Schindler (Ret. Family Court)


  • Elena Karabatos: Matrimonial Lawyer & President of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Linda Rosenthal: NYS Assembly Member, 67th Assembly District
  • Andrew Schepard: Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Max Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School

7:45 to 8:00 — Q & A 
Including panel and committee members, Justices Sondra Miller (Ret. Appellate Division, Second Department) and Saralee Evans (Ret. Supreme Court), Lesley Friedland, Esq., and Abby Rosmarin, Esq., LMHC

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Chadbourne & Parke
1301 Avenue of the Americas, NYC

Free of Charge • CLE pending

Download the PDF flyer.

• • •

Parenting Wisely and Children In Between

Training and development program for professionals working with families, adolescents and children.

• Parenting Wisely — presented by Family Works, Inc.
• Children In Between — presented by the Center for Divorce Education

a two-part training seminar with morning and afternoon sessions

Parenting Wisely (for parents with children three to 10, and those with adolescents) conducted by Program Developer, Don Gordon, PhD, and national trainer, Ellen Taner, MA.

Dr. Gordon specifically designed the program for parents of youth involved with the juvenile justice system as well as for court-mandated parents. The proven results of the extensive research is available at

The Children in Between Program, including program supplement, After the Storm, for court mediators, practitioners and others working with diverse families of recent or prior separation and divorce.

Both seminars will review effective utilization of in-person and online versions of the programs.

When: Wed., Nov. 4, 9 am to 12 noon, 1 to 4 pm
Where: Community Medical Center, Barnabus Health Auditorium, 99 NJ Route 37, Toms River, NJ, 08755
Cost: $50 for one seminar, $90 for both (lunch voucher included)

View the PDF flyer for more information.

• • •

We are also excited to announce that we will be adding Child Inclusive Mediation to our services provided to families experiencing separation and divorce. This makes Familykind a pioneer in this field, as it is the first and only agency in New York to be providing this service. Join us for a presentation on this ground-breaking approach.

• Children’s Input: A New Dynamic in Divorce Mediation — presented to the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

Two FamilyKind professionals, Bruce Berman, PhD (psychologist and parenting coordinator) and Catherine Grace Hannibal, Esq. (attorney-mediator), will introduce Child Inclusive Mediation to the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMC) as part of FDMC’s continuing education series.

When: Thurs., Nov. 5, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523*
Cost: Free to FDMC members, with first CE free to non-members ($40 thereafter)

• • •

GoodTalk4Parents (Internal Training)

June 3, 2015
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
1633 Broadway at 50th Street, 30th Floor
New York City

One-day training for the FamilyKind team of professionals regarding our newest program: GoodTalk4Parents. With a focus on communication, the GoodTalk4Parents program provides education to parents to assist them in developing practical and effective co-parenting skills so that they can share information about their children and make the best decisions for them. This workshop provided a road map for conducting sessions with parents. Participants received written materials and participated in role play demonstrations.

The training was conducted by two Connecticut-based psychologists who have years of experience offering these services to parents through the PEACE Program.


  • Elizabeth S. Thayer, PhD, Partner and Clinical Director, Licensed Psychologist
  • Wendy F. Habelow, PhD, Partner and Licensed Psychologist

Download a PDF Flyer.

• • •

The Hot Zone: Disagreement, Dissolution, Divorce, Dissatisfaction —
How to Give Voice to the Child when Parents are at War

girl-covering-ears-crop-022nd Annual Carol Bellamy Lecture Series

Thursday, April 23, 2015
8:00 to 10:00 am
Chadbourne & Parke
1301 Avenue of the Americas
New York City

A View from the Bench — A panel of Judges will confront how to help children survive parental conflict, followed by Q&A.

Download a PDF Flyer.



  • Honorable Carol Bellamy


  • Justice Evelyn Frazee, Supreme Court, 7th Judicial District
  • Justice Sondra Miller (Ret.), Appellate Division, Second Department
  • Justice Saralee Evans (Ret.), New York County Supreme Court
  • Judge Sheldon Rand (Ret.), NYC Family Court


  • Judge Stella Schindler (Ret.), NYC Family Court

CLE credits are available.

• • •

Interviewing Children in Family Law Disputes

three-brothers-cropA Workshop Co-Sponsored by FamilyKind and
The New York Chapter of The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC-NY)

Friday, March 20, 2015
9:15 am to 5:00 pm
Albert Ellis Institute
145 East 32nd Street, NYC

6 CLE and CEU Credits

Register at
Download a PDF flyer

This workshop examined how the child’s voice is considered in different family law dispute resolution processes, the risks and benefits of involving children, factors affecting the reliability of children’s input, and offers a developmentally based protocol for interviewing children. A demonstration of a child inclusive mediation, case studies, handouts, and articles will be provided to further develop participants’ knowledge and skill in this area.


Hon. Jane Pearl, JD, PhD
Judge for the New York County Family Court; Co-President of AFCC-NY; Prior to becoming an attorney Judge Pearl was a psychologist and received her PhD from Northwestern University.

Barbara Jo Fidler, PhD, C.Psych, Acc.FM
With 28 years of experience working with high-conflict separating and divorcing families in
various capacities, Dr. Fidler has authored four books and numerous articles, given expert
testimony, and provided training to judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals.

Catherine Grace Hannibal, JD, MA
New York City-based collaborative attorney and mediator specializing in separation and
divorce; Mediation mentor for law students and professionals. Catherine practices and
presents on using children’s input in divorce mediation.

Workshop to Benefit
Family Law Attorneys, Family and Divorce Mediators, Child and Family Therapists, Child Specialists in Collaborative Divorce and Child Inclusive Mediation, Custody Evaluators, Co-Parent Counselors, Parenting Coordinators, Family Court Judges

Single Attendee: $200
Financial aid is available for eligible participants. Please email to apply.

• • •

Group Leader Training of the “Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)” Program. FamilyKind was delighted to offer a two-part full-day STEP training Tuesday, January 20 and Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Albert Ellis Insitute. The STEP Group Leader Training is specifically for professionals who work with families with children. STEP programs are research-proven, cost-effective, and make a difference. STEP is recognized on the National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices.

STEP addresses:

  • Understanding children’s behavior primarily but not limited to ages 6 to 12
  • Prevention of parental abuse by teaching methods of discipline that make sense
  • Improvement of family functioning with techniques like problem solving and family meetings
  • Enhancement of communication skills during child and parent interactions

At the completion of the two-day training, participants will be:

  • Certified to plan and conduct the seven-week STEP program
  • Skilled in referring parents and caregivers to programs
  • Capable of infusing STEP into existing health education resources and services

The two-day training was conducted by Ellen Taner, who is among the first facilitators trained in STEP over 35 years ago. She is also a recognized national advocate for policies and sustainable funding for parenting and family life education services.

PDF flyer

• • •

Children’s Input: A New Dynamic in Divorce Mediation. Co-sponsored by the New York Council on Divorce Mediation (NYCDM) and John Jay College, two divorce practitioners from the legal and therapeutic fields explored a growing professional interest in child inclusive divorce mediation.

Monday, May 19 • 8:30 to 10:30 AM
8:00 doors open and early networking, 8:30 to 10:00 program, 10 to 10:30 Q&A
John Jay College • 524 West 59th Street • NYC


  • Different models of child inclusive mediation with a concentration on the particular approach developed by Jennifer McIntosh
  • Reasons practitioners are drawn to child inclusive mediation
  • Outcomes of child inclusive mediation as cited by several research studies
  • The practitioners’ own experience in applying this model.

Questions will be raised about the future of child inclusive mediation with some ideas about how to successfully promote its study and development.


Catherine Grace Hannibal. As an experienced family law attorney and mediator, Catherine Grace Hannibal has developed a specialty in separation/divorce with a particular interest in integrating a child inclusive approach in appropriate cases. Currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York and a member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and the national and local chapters of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Ms. Hannibal is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey

Bruce Berman. A practicing psychologist for over 30 years, Bruce specializes in working with couples and families, sex therapy, providing individual therapy to children, adolescents, and adults, and in offering an array of services for separating and divorcing families. These include serving as divorce coach and child specialist in collaborative divorce cases, as a child consultant in child inclusive mediation, and as a parenting coordinator. Bruce has a doctorate in clinical psychology, is a trained psychoanalyst and sex therapist, and is certified in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

PDF flyer

• • •

The Children’s Voice in Law: A Conversation with Carol Bellamy and Colleagues

Carol BellamyPlease join us for a powerful speaking engagement presented by FamilyKind and hosted by LexisNexis®.

Wednesday, January 15, 8:30 am to 10:00 am
LexisNexis, 125 Park Avenue, 24th Floor

When it comes to children’s rights, the world has come a long way in recent years. The number of primary school-aged children out of school has fallen from over 100 million to around 57 million since 2000. The number of children under the age of five who die each year has been cut by about 50% since 1990. However, despite this encouraging progress, immense obstacles continue to stand in the way of ensuring that every child has a voice.

In this inspiring talk, Carol Bellamy, former NYC Council president and executive director of UNICEF, will present on issues ranging from foster care to education for children and teens so that we can better hear their voices. Discover powerful strategies for advancing the legal rights of families and children across NYC and around the globe from the person Forbes® magazine named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in the World.” View Ms. Bellamy’s bio or download a PDF.

We also have the honor of presenting three more distinguished speakers at this event:

The Honorable Stella Schindler, family court judge, will moderate. View Judge Schindler’s bio PDF.

Wendy Wylegala, Esq., supervising attorney for pro bono programs at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), will present on pro bono legal representation for unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. KIND works with unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. View Ms. Wylegala’s bio PDF.

Brian Zimmerman, Esq., an attorney on the Assigned Counsel/Attorney for the Child Panel, Kings County, will discuss the rules for the Attorney for the Child role and related issues around adoption, custody and visitation. View Mr. Zimmerman’s bio PDF.

Cost of attending the event is $150; to receive CLE* credit, there is an additional cost of $100.

Breakfast for both presenters and attendees will be served 8:00 – 8:30 AM

Financial aid may be available for qualifying attendees. Please contact to apply.

*CLE is approved or in the process of approval for the states of New York and New Jersey for 1.5 credits of CLE. The type of credit allowed will be determined by the state governing MCLE Board.

This program is acceptable for newly admitted or experienced New York attorneys. New York regulation requires that all CLE sessions must be conducted by an attorney in good standing or a JD. The presenter for this event meets this New York regulation.

• • •

Mindfulness Workshop for Separation & Divorce Professionals:
How Meditation Can Help You Help Families in Conflict

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
8:30 – 9:00 am: Breakfast • 9:00 – Noon: Program
570 Lexington Avenue, NYC
Litwin Conference Room (lower level)

Join us for educational presentations and demonstrative exercises lead by law professor
and author, Deborah Calloway, and mediation expert, Sequoia Stalder:
• Benefits of Meditation for Professionals Working with Families in Conflict
• How Meditation Helps Professionals Work More Skillfully
• Mindful Listening & Mindful Speaking
• Applying Meditation to Working with Families in Conflict
• Using Meditation to Work with Emotions and Conflict

Learn more about the event speakers, recommended readings, schedule, continuing education credit, and financial aid here.

This program is acceptable for newly admitted or experienced New York attorneys. New York regulation requires that all CLE sessions must be conducted by an attorney in good standing or a JD. The presenter for this event meets this New York regulation.

PDF flyer.

• • •

Child-Centered Approach to Divorce and Separation. A panel discussion with FamilyKind and guidance counselors from NYC Public School MS 245. The program highlighted the importance of maintaining a child-centered view when experiencing divorce and separation.

Monday, April 22, 2013
8:30 am
The William O’Shea Campus Auditorium
100 West 77th Street, New York, NY 10024

Download a PDF flyer.

• • •

Panel Discussion on Divorce Mediation & Families. FamilyKind hosted a presentation on divorce mediation and families led by Lesley Ann Friedland, Executive Director of FamilyKind. Download a PDF flyer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Light Refreshments at 6 pm, Program at 6:30 pm
John Jay College, Room L61, 524 West 59th St., New York, NY 10019

Resolve family matters by using mediation strategies and techniques. Mediation can promote better communications and understanding among family members as well as reduce conflicts and stress within many relationships. Mediation can be used in a number of situations and can be an especially effective option for couples who might be considering separation or divorce.

Learn how mediation can be a reasonable option to a litigated divorce because it:

  • Is less adversarial, less emotionally damaging to families
  • Gives couples more control over the process and decision-making
  • Helps couples communicate better, so resolutions take less time
  • Is often less expensive and faster

See a role-playing demonstration showing a divorce mediation scenario.

Ask mediation experts your questions about how mediation can work for you.

Lesley Ann Friedland, Executive Director of FamilyKind

Maurice Q. Robinson, Attorney/Mediator/Professor, Consensio Dispute Resolution,
Seton Hall School of Law
Susan Ingram, Attorney and Mediator, Susan Ingram Mediation and Coaching
Helene Bernstein, Attorney and Mediator, Law and Mediation Offices of Helene Bernstein, PLLC

This event is free and sponsored by:

  • NY State Council on Divorce Mediation
  • CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • FamilyKind