Herring Law Group’s Executive Director, Erin Schaden, again attended the annual joint conference of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. HLG is a member of the AFCC, which is the “interdisciplinary, international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.” It focuses on “serving the needs of children among those who work in and with family law systems, encouraging education, research and innovation and identifying best practices.” While the AAML and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, in which HLG is deeply involved, focus on all manner of family law concerns, the AFCC is narrowly concerned with children, custody and parenting.
At the conference, we dove deeper into a variety of developing concepts and issues centering on child custody cases involving parental alienation. Insights gained include ways to better identify cases that involve it, and strategies for dealing with clients, children and courts when a case is impacted by family system pathologies. HLG continues to develop strategies for identifying and handling our high-conflict custody cases.
Other topics we explored included:
• Parent-child contact problems
• Psychological testing in custody evaluations
• Cognitive bias, implicit bias and de-biasing strategies
• Personality disorders: identifying, evaluating, managing, mediating and litigating them
• Effects of affluence on child development
• Challenging unfavorable custody evaluations
• Negotiations skills
• Role of the mental health professional in family law
• Developing parenting plans in resist/refuse cases
• Obtaining and presenting reliable information from children
It was an informative few days, providing us updates regarding how the psychological issues of parents and children, especially if ignored, tend to direct family law cases. On the positive side, it also emphasized revised strategies for handling the challenges. HLG remains a strong supporter of the AAML and the AFCC. We thank Erin for her enthusiastic participation!