Keynote & Workshop Description

Opening Keynote – Using Informed Consent and Creative Protocols to Help Self-Represented Persons

Speakers: Forrest Woody Mosten and Judge Elizabeth Scully

Judge Elizabeth Potter Scully and Woody Mosten will combine their experience to offer fresh insights to serve families who are not represented by attorneys. Drawing on the concepts developed in their  books and  articles as well as their mediation course that they taught together at UCLA School of Law , you will gain invaluable and tools to help clients better develop workable and sustainable agreements, understand the value of trained consulting lawyers and interdisciplinary teams, and gain knowledge to better navigate the family court system.

Woody standing

Forrest Woody Mosten

Elizabeth Scully

Judge Elizabeth Scully

Closing Keynote - The Voice of the Client

Speaker: Kate Anthony

As professionals in our field, it’s easy to lose sight of the perspective of someone who is just starting out and doesn’t have the same level of knowledge and experience that we do. This is especially crucial to remember when working as a mediator with clients who are going through one of the most emotionally challenging times of their lives.

Join Kate Anthony, High Conflict Divorce Coach, author of The D Word: Making the Ultimate Decision About Your Marriage (Kensington Books), and host of The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast, for a discussion about seeing mediation from the clients’ point of view and learning how to effectively prepare your mediation clients for the outcomes they desire and deserve.

Kate will address:

  • Preparation for the mediation process: Equipping clients with the information and understanding necessary for effective mediation.
  • Kate’s Seven-Step Divorce Mindset Reset: helping clients master a mindset that supports their desired outcomes. 
  • Recognition and prevention of coercive control: Safeguarding vulnerable parties and ensuring a fair mediation environment.
  • Choosing mediation over litigation in cases of domestic violence:Highlighting the potential benefits of mediation for safety and empowerment.
  • Avoiding excessive legalese: Simplifying language to ensure accessibility and comprehension.
  • The pivotal role of a divorce coach: Recognizing the invaluable support they provide in navigating the complexities of mediation.
Kate Anthony

Kate Anthony

RSUs, Options, and Deferred Compensation: Income for Support Calculations or Community Property to Be Divided?

Speakers: Laurie Itkin and Jami Fosgate

RSUs, PSUs, ISOs, NQs, and the endless flavors of equity compensation can boggle the minds of even the most experienced mediators. Family budgets have been built around the assumption that each year the employee-spouse will receive new grants of equity compensation which in many cases dwarf the amount paid in base salary.

  • When your client provides a monthly statement showing the number of vested and unvested shares and/or options they hold of their employer’s stock, what do you do with that statement?
  • Is the number of vested shares or options divided 50/50?
  • What about the RSUs or options that show up on the statement but aren’t yet vested?
  • How do you determine what is community property to be divided and separate property to be used for child and/or spousal support calculations?
  • Can shares be transferred to the non-employee spouse or is a QDRO required?
  • How do you divide shares that won’t vest for many years?
  • How do you prevent double-dipping whereby property that is divided isn’t also counted as income available for support?
  • How much will the taxes be and who will pay them?
  • What crucial information doesn’t show up on pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns?
  • Does the employee-spouse have the expectation that he/she/they will keep anything that vests after the date of separation or divorce?
  • Does the non-employee spouse have a clue about any of this?

Perhaps the clients haven’t agreed upon a date of separation because they want to understand the financial implications of agreeing to one date over the other.

In this presentation, CDFA Laurie Itkin and Mediator Jami Fosgate, will share the process they use to help clients come to informed agreements on how to treat equity compensation for purposes of property division and income available for support.

Laurie Itkin

Jami Fosgate

Jami Fosgate

The Power of Mediation to Transform Conflict and Preserve Familial Relationships

Speakers: Terri Breer

This workshop will address how to create transformative outcomes in mediation where the subject dispute involves the special relationships between family members, including divorce, elder and probate disputes.  In divorce there will always be an ongoing relationship between the parties particularly if they will be co-parenting in the future or sharing social relationships.  Elder disputes often involve disputes between parents and their children and/or between siblings who disagree on the care plan for an elderly parent.  Probate disputes may involve disputes between 1st and 2nd wives, stepchildren and biological children, and between siblings and step-siblings. Ms. Breer will introduce several skills to empower decision making that will promote family harmony and transform conflicts into settlements that preserve the special relationships involved. 

Program will include skills that empower parties’ decision making to promote family harmony and Transformative skills that will change the way the parties manage conflict and improve the familial relationship.

Terri Breer

When Lips Pass in the Night: What He Heard is not What She Meant

Speakers: Shawn Weber and Robin Seigle

Often clients simply don’t hear each other.  Perhaps it’s the marriage-long argument that was never resolved.  Mediators can help reveal the real meaning of the message both as delivered and as received.  When the real “rub” is identified, the complaints are clarified and result in a better understanding. This workshop goes beyond active listening and neutral language to translate the disconnect and overcome defensiveness.  It explores hands-on, practical techniques to identify blocking issues and move clients from complaints to reasonable proposals.

Shawn Weber

Robin Seigle

Mediating a Probate Dispute

Speakers: Lucia Galante Johnson

Analyzing the Probate process and how mediation can assist parties in disputes such as wills, trusts, guardianships (a form of custody), eldercare, conservatorships, and supporting relationships between families such as sibling concerns, grandparent care, and special needs. We will take various real-life scenarios and have some role-play to better understand some of the issues that arise in disputes between family members.

Professor Lucia Galante Johnson

Separating Real Estate, Financing Options, and Tips

Speakers: Zach Taylor and Leslie Heid

We will Explore financing options (Updated to Reflect current 2024 Market) your clients can use to:

  1. Buy out their spouse
  2. Buy a new home if they are being bought out or sell
  3. Remove Spouse from loan without a refinance (How do They Keep that Below 3% rate!)
  4. We will review:
    • Importance of credit and how your client can obtain, share, and understand their credit reports.
    • Tips for taking title vesting in a delayed sale or co-ownership situation
    • Reverse Mortgages and How this can be a good option for a buyout or new home purchase
  5. Other topics to be discussed:
    • Considerations when balancing/trading  other  assets for property
    • 401k loans /Pledged Asset Loan
    • Prop 19 – Property Taxes/Basis and Cap Gains Exclusions 250k/500k – who gets it? What is it worth?
    • Put a deadline into the MSA to remove from title and loan or sell.
    • How does separate property used to improve or buy the home change things?

Zach Taylor

Leslie Heid

Expanding the Protocols, Practices, and Impacts of Family Mediation

Speakers: Dr. Brian Jarrett, Pastor Guy Witherspoon, M.B.A., M.A., Professor Renata Valree, and Lucia Galante Johnson

Objective: To introduce the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilder (NCRP) Master of Art (MA) Program curriculum and Professional Pathway in Family Mediation. The Panel of Practitioners will address not only how Family Mediation impacts the divorcing couple and their children but also the impact at the community and global level. The panel will discuss the concepts of peacebuilding, transformative dialogue, and integral mediation practices that can expand the toolkit for family mediators.

Format: The panel will consist of faculty from the NCRP program that are part of the Family Mediation program. Professor Lucia Galante Johnson will facilitate this discussion. She is lead faculty on the Family Mediation Pathway for the master’s degree program of NCRP. The Director, Dr. Brian Jarrett along with Associate Professors Renata Valree, and Pastor Guy Witherspoon will be our panelist. A Questions and Answers portion will be provided.

Issues for discussion: How can we expand the protocol and practices associated with family mediation to improve it. We will focus on ways to maintain healthy family dynamics, improve relations after separation, contribute to the health of the community and to build an effective society that supports the family system.

Conclusion: This panel promotes the Family Mediation Pathway in the NCRP Program that supports the goals at the Family Mediation Institute (FMI) annual conference.

Dr. Brian Jarrett, NCRP Director

Professor Pastor Guy Witherspoon

Professor Renata Valree

Professor Lucia Galante Johnson

The Israeli Revolutionary Legal Reform – Early Dispute Resolution Process for Families

Speaker: Galit Sneh Lurie

Beginning in 2016 Israel enacted a revolutionary legal reform designed to channel family conflicts out of the courts. The reform resulted in a 50% decline of families using litigation and a social preference for using mediation. Details of this reform will be presented, including  the voyage to enact it and the social change it caused.

Galit Sneh Lurie

Register for the Family Mediation Institute 2024