MINNESOTA CHAPTER

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts), Minnesota Chapter is pleased to announce a great opportunity to enrich and expand your practice and network with other professionals in the family law courts community.  We've had exceptional participation in our sponsorship program for the past FIVE YEARS, and we hope to continue this established tradition in 2017-2018.  We invite you to join us in furthering the mission of AFCC-MN, while also publicizing your practice, business, or organization. 

The mission of the AFCC MN chapter, which is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes, is:

  • To provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of procedures to assist families in conflict;

  • To encourage the development of courts and court procedures emphasizing collaborative methods of dispute resolution;

  • To develop and improve the provision of services that aid in the resolution of family dispute; and

  • To protect the interests of children in relation to all aspects of family law, child protection proceedings, and all other legal proceedings affecting children.

We encourage you to join us in our annual sponsorship campaign, designed to not only further the goals of AFCC-MN, but to provide you with the opportunities to:  expand and increase your practice or business, participate in continuing education/training with CLEs and CEUs, enhance your competency in family law systems and services, and network with leading legal, mental health, and dispute resolution practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.

THANK YOU for reading this letter!  And thanks to all of our past and present sponsors.  We hope you'll join us or renew your sponsorship in 2017. 

Attached you will find the sponsorship application.  Feel free to contact our Sponsorship Committee members through the central email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

Sincerely,
Jana Aune Deach, AFCC-MN President

 

CLICK HERE FOR SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION

 

Free Training Opportunity - April 14, 2017

 With support from the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Fourth Judicial District, the FCEP is hosting a multidisciplinary domestic violence training

 

Family Court: Domestic Violence Revisited

April 14, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Mitchell Hamline School of Law 

 

875 Summit Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55105. 

 

The Fourth Judicial District was one of four courts in the country to receive grant funding from the Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women for the Family Court Enhancement Project (FCEP).  The FCEP is a multi-year demonstration project tasked with better addressing and accounting for domestic violence in custody and parenting time family court cases.

 

The training will feature Dr. Peter Jaffe, an internationally-recognized expert on the intersection between domestic violence and family court, and the impact of domestic violence on children. The goal of this training is to engage district court judicial officers, appellate judges and other multidisciplinary stakeholders in a collaborative discussion about achieving the best results in family court for families experiencing domestic violence.

 

Participants will be better able to:

Assess and articulate the impact of domestic violence on children.

Screen for and identify the nature and context of domestic violence in family court cases.

Evaluate the impact of domestic violence on the victim parent and its potential impact on his/her parenting, including protective actions the parent has taken to ensure safety.

Evaluate the impact of domestic violence on the perpetrator's parenting, and the appropriateness of any interventions to address abusive behavior and increase accountability.

Determine the least restrictive parenting arrangement appropriate under the circumstances while prioritizing maximum safety for the victim parent and children.

Reconcile and apply Minnesota statutes, appellate decisions and social science research.

 

REGISTER HERE!

 

 

Registration is limited and will close on March 17, 2017.

 

Please contact Shannon Wachter at 612-596-1412 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..mn.us with any questions!

Thanks to the continued and generous support of members and sponsors, AFCC and AFCC-MN are offering a $600 scholarship to attend the:

54th National AFCC Annual Conference 

Turning the Kaleidoscope of Family Conflict into a Prism of Harmony

May 31-June 3, 2017
Sheraton Boston Hotel
Boston, MA

 
 
The scholarship covers registration fees for one person to attend the conference, including conference-provided meals and networking functions. Recipients are responsible for funding their own travel, lodging, additional meals and all other related expenses. Scholarships are non-transferable and must be used to attend the event for which they are awarded.
 
SCHOLARSHIP SELECTION CRITERIA:
 
AFCC-MN membership
Preference is given to AFCC-MN chapter members.
 
Prior scholarship recipient
Those who have received an AFCC scholarship in the past five years are not eligible.
 
Financial need & additional funding support 
An applicant’s personal financial need and whether additional funding support will be provided by an employer or source other than the applicant or AFCC.
 
Relevance
The relevance of an applicant’s organization and/or practice to AFCC's mission.
 
Diversity
An applicant's diversity circumstances including, but not limited to, age, ethnicity, geographic region, disability, and religion.
 
Community and/or organizational contributions
The impact of an applicant's attendance at the AFCC event on clients and/or institutions, organizations or people in his or her community and/or an applicant's contributions to AFCC.

Additional circumstances
Any other circumstances not addressed by other questions on the application.
 
Scholarship application process:
-  All applicants must complete the application form here.

-  Completed applications should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


-  The application deadline has been extended to Friday, MARCH 3, 2017 by 5 PM.

 

Beginning January 1st, 2017, a membership with AFCC-MN has more great benefits! 

AFCC-MN members can now:
 
Attend all Lunch & Learns for free. 
Save 50% on registration for Half-day Seminars. 

With these new benefits, your AFCC membership pays for itself.  

Not a member yet?  

Click here to register today and take advantage of these great new offers.


Or if your existing membership has lapsed, you can renew your membership here.
 

And don't forget to register for the Minnesota Chapter here. 

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts), Minnesota Chapter is pleased to announce a great opportunity to enrich and expand your practice and network with other professionals in the family law courts community.  We've had exceptional participation in our sponsorship program for the past FOUR YEARS, and we hope to continue this established tradition in 2016-2017.  We invite you to join us in furthering the mission of AFCC MN, while also publicizing your practice, business, or organization. 

The mission of the AFCC MN chapter, which is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes, is:

  • To provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of procedures to assist families in conflict;
  • To encourage the development of courts and court procedures emphasizing collaborative methods of dispute resolution;
  • To develop and improve the provision of services that aid in the resolution of family dispute; and
  • To protect the interests of children in relation to all aspects of family law, child protection proceedings, and all other legal proceedings affecting children.

We encourage you to join us in our annual sponsorship campaign, designed to not only further the goals of AFCC MN, but to provide you with the opportunities to:  expand and increase your practice or business, participate in continuing education/training with CLEs and CEUs, enhance your competency in family law systems and services, and network with leading legal, mental health, and dispute resolution practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.

THANK YOU for reading this letter!  And thanks to all of our past and present sponsors.  We hope you'll join us or renew your sponsorship in 2016. 

Click here for a sponsorship Application.  Feel free to contact our Sponsorship Committee members through the central email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with questions or call 612-442-5966.

Sincerely,

Judy R. Sherwood, AFCC MN President

and the AFCC MN Sponsorship Committee:  Shannon Bixby-Pankratz, Esq., Victoria Brenner, Esq., Courtney Schneider, Esq., Kari Kanne, Esq, and Jai Kissoon. 

AFCC-MN is sad to announce the passing of Doneldon Dennis, an influential member of AFCC-MN. Doneldon devoted his career to families in conflict. Having worked in mental health care at the Crisis Intervention Center, Doneldon joined Hennepin County Domestic relations in 1980. Doneldon was an early supporter of AFCC-MN, presenting at conferences and making many donations to further AFCC’s mission.  He would be so happy to see that our chapter is one of the largest in AFCC and that we have so many varied and engaging programs for family law professionals. 

His obituary can be found here

 Thank you to the following sponsors for helping AFCC-MN continue to provide our members and the family law community innovative educational programming in 2017-2018.

For more information on sponsoring AFCC-MN, click here.


 

Gold Level Sponsors

AAML Logo 

AAML - MN Chapter

 

Collins, Buckley, Sauntry, & Haugh, PLLP

Our Family Software

Family Law Software

 

Gallagher Law Office, LLC

 

Minnesota Monitoring

 

Moss & Barnett, PA

 

The Our Family Wizard Website

 

Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O'Connell, PLLC


 

Silver Level Sponsors

APS

Anderson Psychological Services, LLC

 

Baker Tilly, PA 

 

Capistrant Law, PA

DeWalt, Chawla & Saksena LLC

 

 

Deborah N. Dewalt, Attorney at Law, Family Law Mediator 

  

Gapen, Larsen & Johnson, LLC

 

 

Honsa Rodd Landry  
Honsa Rodd Landry

 

 Linder, Dittberner, Bryant & Winter, Ltd. 

 

Mundahl Law, PLLC

 

 

Judy Sherwood, LLC

 

  

 Southern Metropolitan Mediation Services

 



Value Consulting Group 

Bronze Level Sponsors

Heimerl & Lammers

Tanja K. Manrique LLC

Traverse Counseling & Consulting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read a message from Nancy Ver Steegh, president of AFCC International and AFCC-Minnesota Member, on professional reflection.

 

As some you may have noticed, our new and improved website has been launched! Thank you to Judy Sherwood, our Public Relations committee chair and the ad hoc web committee, Kari Kanne, Jai Kissoon and Courtney Schneider for all of their work to make this happen.

Some features that I'd like to point out:

Member Spotlight. Our home page features a "Member Spotlight." We plan to spotlight a different member each month. Featured members will be selected via nomination by another member(s) or self-nomination, and a vote by the board or the executive committee. The executive committee meets next on December 13, 2013, and the board meets every other month. We would love your nominations for members with notable achievements, important news to share or unsung heroes that should be recognized. Please submit nominations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by December 9, 2013. Our first featured member will be Kendra Hagen at Gray Plant Mooty in St. Cloud. Look for her next month!

 

Photography. The site currently contains "stock" photography. We would like to personalize the site to reflect features about our wonderful State and our organization. One of our members coaches a college moot court team and a team member has taken a collection of scenic photographs of the Twin Cities. We plan to upload some of those photos to the website giving the photographer appropriate credit. We would also like to feature images of other parts of our State captured by members. If you have taken photographs that depict something interesting, beautiful or entertaining about Minnesota, please send the photograph and details about its location to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will be given artistic credit – and there is no deadline on this one!

 

Member Only. The "Members Only" section is still under construction. However, we intend this section to be minimally a repository for organizational policies and procedures, information about committee meeting participation and locations, etc.

 

The website is a work in progress and we will continue to do our best to expand its capabilities over time. We welcome your suggestions as we do so. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook – just look to the right side of the page and click!

Click here to view and bookmark the new website: http://www.afccmn.org/

 

Mary

 

Now that AFCC-MN has celebrated its 5th Annual Conference and AFCC National has celebrated its 50th Annual Conference, I thought it a good time to provide a brief update.

 

Best Meetings, our Executive Administrator, has compiled our 2013 Annual Conference feedback.  Our four panels received an average of 84% in the "very good" and "excellent" response categories; our keynote speaker, Dr. David Holmes, received 86% in those categories, and the overall quality of the conference program received "very good" and "excellent" responses of 94%.  The conference met the expectations of 97% of attendees.  Thank you again to the Annual Conference planning committee AND to our sponsors!

 

33 AFCC-MN members attended the 50th Annual Conference in Los Angeles last month.  I attended the Chapter Council meeting held there, and learned that there are now 18 state (U.S.) and province (Canada) local chapters.  Australia was recently approved as the newest regional AFCC chapter member.  In terms of age, AFCC-MN is right in the middle – half being older than our chapter and half being newer.  However, in terms of membership, we are 4th with 218 members, exceeded only by the following:

 

-          California  (the oldest chapter at 32 years & 605 members)

-          Ontario  (5 years old & 409 members)

-          Florida  (12 years old & at 220 only 2 more members than Minnesota!)

 

While AFCC National Conferences are always a wealth of information, there were two items that I would like to pass on.  First, AFCC National partnered with Sesame Street to produce Little Children Big Challenges: Divorce.  The videos are viewable online on the AFCC National website and kits (which include the DVD, a guidebook for parents, and a children's book) are available to AFCC members FREE!  The link is below:

 

http://www.afccnet.org/ResourceCenter/ResourcesforFamilies/SesameStreet

 

Second, James Steyer, the CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media was the keynote speaker at AFCC's 50th Annual Conference.  Part of his presentation included a video segment that included in rapid succession images of violence and sex that children are easily exposed to on the internet, and the impact that repeated exposure can have on brain development.  I cannot begin to describe the power of that video except that it was enough to want to pass it on to you.  I contacted Common Sense Media understanding that all of their materials are available to the public at no cost.  Unfortunately, this video is not yet available.  I will certainly pass it on if it does become available.  In the event anyone is interested in their other materials the website is: www.commonsense.org.

 

Lastly, I received an email from Leslye Hunter at AFCC National today with an opportunity that I also wanted to pass on.  Shelly Mahon, an AFCC member from Colorado is doing her doctoral work at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  As part of her research she has developed an online program for separating/divorcing fathers, and has asked for AFCC's help to obtaining participation in the program.  Shelly's website is http://divorceddadinstitute.com/newsletter/share-this-program/.  Here is what she says:

 

Brief Description of my program: 

 

Apart, Not Broken is a new online program designed to help dads adjust and parent after divorce or separation.  In collaboration with the University of Wisconsin – Madison, this program is part of my doctoral work.   I am currently recruiting fathers to participate in this program. Please distribute these promotional materials widely within your networks and connections.  Fathers who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate of completion, a $25 Amazon gift card, and be entered to win an iPad!

 

Program Details:

 

Apart, Not Broken: Learn, Connect, & Create gives fathers a place to:

LearnHear fathers’ real experiences and insights. Have access to information and recommendations that can make a measurable difference in adjusting and parenting after separation or divorce.

Connect: Join on online community of fathers. Learn to use creative strategies to connect with your child and manage your relationship with your ex-partner.

Create:  Feel powerful in your ability to be the dad YOU want to be. Create the relationship YOU want with your child by building on your existing strengths, starting new traditions, and creating lasting memories.

 

This program is equipped with:

 

§  Videos reflecting the real life experiences of other divorced fathers;

§  A discussion forum for you to connect and share with other fathers;

§  Online tools for sharing photos, calendars, communicating & more;

§  Current and concise information about divorce & parenting after divorce;

§  Engaging activities for you to enjoy with your child; and

§  Additional resources for you to build your own parenting toolkit.

 

This innovative, multi-media program is:

 

§  Free: No Charge!

§  Confidential:  Private, online support education program

§  Efficient:  Brief, 12-week series of ~30 minute sessions

§  Flexible:  Spend as much time as you want on the aspects that fit your needs

§  Convenient:  Available 24/7, worldwide, anywhere with an Internet connection

§  Ongoing:  Starts when you register!

 

The registration site is www.DivorcedDadInstitute.com.

 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

 

Mary MaddenPresident

AFCC MN