Advanced Issues for Family Law and Dispute Resolution Professionals

An 8-hour online training program for parenting coordinators, custody evaluators, mediators, judicial officers, and other professionals who work with high-conflict families.

December 6-7, 2021

This program addresses the challenges often associated with the most intractable family disputes, including intimate partner violence, parent-child contact problems (including parental alienation), the voice of the child, and providing virtual services. The program takes place in two segments per day, two hours each. Registration includes access to recordings of all training program sessions.

Presenters will examine how to address these difficult challenges, including: the dynamics of intimate partner violence in parenting time disputes; the continuum for parent-child contact problems (including affinity, alignment, realistic estrangement, and parental alienation); effectively integrating the child’s voice; and providing virtual services in a variety of contexts. Presenters will share the latest and most relevant research, while examining the many controversies related to these issues from multiple perspectives.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this training will learn to:

  • Describe the continuum of parent-child contact problems (e.g., affinity, alignment, realistic estrangement, alienation, hybrid).
  • Identify at least two short-term and two long-term consequences on children involved in resist-refuse coparenting and family dynamics.
  • Interface with individual and family therapist(s) concurrently involved to assist with resist-refuse family dynamics in parent-child contact problem cases.
  • Explain the current research on the risks and benefits of obtaining the voice of the child.
  • Identify when and how to involve children in mediation and the parenting coordination process.
  • Explain best practices for interviewing children and common concerns encountered within forensic contexts (e.g., memory, suggestibility, etc.).
  • Identify at least three effects of abuse, neglect, and exploitation on relationships, family dynamics, and the parenting coordination process.
  • Assess when mandatory reporting of child abuse/neglect to the appropriate legal authority is appropriate.
  • Recognize credibility issues in family law cases involving coercive control abuse dynamics.
  • Explore the four elements of the SAFeR approach to custody decision-making in cases involving intimate partner violence.
  • Identify how major mental illnesses and personality disorders affect parenting, coparenting, and the parenting coordination process.
  • Identify common patterns of substance misuse and list at least three evidence-based treatments for alcohol disorder with adults.
  • Identify risks and benefits of using virtual services in court-related services.
  • Identify specific challenges facing legal and mental health professionals utilizing virtual service modalities in their work with family court matters.


Virtual Services

10:00AM - 12:00PM

Parent-Child Contact Problems

1:00PM - 3:00PM

Family Violence

10:00AM - 12:00PM

Voice of the Child

1:00PM - 3:00PM

Note: If you are unable to attend live, stay tuned to the AFCC website for a special offer. Recordings of the training programs will be available at a reduced price following the completion of both programs. Continuing education credit is available only for programs attended live.