AFCC custody evaluation training


Approved by ADR for 43 CE credits.


Virtual event via Zoom (details will be emailed)

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, October 27, 2022 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, October 28, 2022 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 3, 2022 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday, November 4, 2022 – 9:00 am – 4:00  pm
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm


$1600 per participant, to register


Some parents are unable to resolve custody and parenting time disputes, even with the wide availability of ADR processes.  A Custody/Parenting Time Evaluation, when done thoroughly and ethically, can help families, attorneys, and courts resolve these issues  This 43-hour training addresses the “how-to’s” as well as the complexities of the evaluation process.  It includes such topics as:

  • Creating an evaluative protocol
  • Use of psychological testing and questionnaires
  • Conducting parent and child interviews and observations
  • Using collateral information to inform the process
  • Identifying and addressing Domestic Violence dynamics
  • Drafting and presenting recommendations and reports
  • Addressing bias in an evaluative process

This training is based on APA and AFCC best practice guidelines, as well as Minnesota law and practice. It combines lecture, interactive discussion of topics, and application of concepts through simulation.

Minimum Qualifications:  Current licensed mental health provider, licensed attorney, or Guardian ad Litem, with minimum of five years’ experience working with families or individuals in the process of separation/divorce.


Karen Irvin, PhD, LMFT, received her bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, majoring in secondary education. After teaching at the secondary level for six years, she obtained her master’s and doctorate in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota. She worked with Hennepin County Court Services Domestic Relations Division in Minneapolis for six years, serving as a mediator, counselor and custody evaluator, and working in a supervisory capacity for four of the six years. Dr. Irvin has been in private practice as the owner and director of Minnesota Mediation & Counseling Center since 1981. She specializes in working with separating and divorcing individuals, couples and families, providing mediation, parenting consulting, and custody evaluations. She has also provided mediation and parenting consulting workshops and training throughout the United States and internationally. Dr. Irvin was on the marriage and family therapy faculty of Argosy University for six years, with a teaching emphasis in ethics, human sexuality and mediation. Dr. Irvin has authored and co-authored articles related to her areas of expertise. Dr. Irvin is approved as a supervisor by the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy in Minnesota and is also an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor.

Jennifer E. Joseph, JD, is an attorney in private practice; however, her practice focuses solely on providing Alternative Dispute Resolution and other neutral services in family law matters. Ms. Joseph specializes in helping parents resolve custody, parenting, and co-parenting disputes through her work as a mediator, parenting coordinator, parenting coach, custody evaluator, and SENE (social early neutral evaluation) provider.

Ms. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. In addition to her private ADR practice, she has served as an adjunct professor of family law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and provides training and continuing legal education to family law professionals. Ms. Joseph presents regularly on family law and ADR issues to professional associations and organizations across the country. Ms. Joseph is a long-time member of the international Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). She is a former President of the Minnesota AFCC Chapter. Ms. Joseph is also the current Vice President on the Board of Directors for Overcoming Barriers, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding more systemic solutions to families experiencing parent-child contact problems.