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MCFM 2023 Family Mediation Institute (Online)

 Registration is closed for this event


proudly presents the 22st Annual (and 4th Virtual)


Thursday, November 30, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Friday, December 1, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
by Zoom Videoconference

November 30, 2023

Alcohol, Drugs, and Family Court:
Crafting Science-Based Solutions and Setting Realistic Expectations for Families

Speaker:  Stephanie Tabashneck, Psy.D., J.D.

This session will focus on how to proceed when substance use issues are present in a child custody case. Due to lack of understanding about addiction, courts often impose conditions and interventions that are contrary to best practices and addiction research. Uninformed court responses can destabilize parent-child relationships, negatively impact coparenting, and unwittingly harm family systems.

Drawing on the latest research and neuroscience, this workshop will help mediators, attorneys, judges, mental health practitioners, social workers, and collaborative law professionals to set realistic expectations, effectively manage relapse, and implement safeguards to protect children and parents. Practical, science-informed tips will also be provided for mediators, attorneys, and other family law professionals to use when navigating these challenging cases.

About the Keynote Speaker:

Stephanie Tabashneck is a forensic psychologist and attorney in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience at the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Harvard Medical School. She presents regionally and nationally on psychology and law topics, including at events organized by the American Bar Association, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the American Psychiatric Association, the New York Office of Attorneys for Children, the Massachusetts Trial Courts, and the Federal Judicial Center.

Dr. Tabashneck serves on the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee and is on the executive board of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Recent publications include a white paper, The Science of Late Adolescence: A Guide for Judges, Attorneys, and Policy Makers; the book, Substance Use and Parenting: Best Practices for Family Court Practitioners; and an article on the opioid crisis and family drug courts. 

Visit Dr. Tabashneck’s website to learn more.

►►  SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS -- November 30:

Redirecting the Conversation From Support Calculations to Meeting Financial Needs (Panel Presentation)
Moderator:  Ellen Waldorf, J.D.
Panelists:  Victoria A. Johnson, CFP®, CDFA®, CRPC, APMA; Nancy Chausow Shafer, J.D.; and Kim U. Whelan, MBA, CDFA®

Active Silence:  The Art of Intervention in Dispute Resolution
Justin L. Kelsey, J.D., and Betsy Ross, LICSW, CGP

Presentation of the 2023 John Adams Fiske Award for Excellence in Mediation


Family Law:  The Year in Review
Jonathan E. Fields, J.D., and Jennifer Bingham, J.D.

Ten Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Mediating
David A. Hoffman, J.D.

Conference Closeout:  Open Q&A on Institute Workshops and Other Hot Family Mediation Topics
Discussion Moderators:  Susan Klebanoff, J.D., and Mary Sheridan, J.D., Co-Chairs, Institute Planning Committee
Conference Closing Message:  Kim U. Whelan, MBA, CDFA®, MCFM President


For complete conference information:
Download the 2023 Institute brochure


Early Registration discount rate through December 1, 2023:

     MCFM Members $170
     Nonmembers $210

NEW!  The early discount fees above will be honored through the conference. There are no early registration discount deadlines to worry about, and MCFM has held the line on price increases. These are the same early registration discount fees we've charged for our virtual Institutes since 2020.
What's Included:  Live sessions, conference materials (PDF), and session recordings

RECORDING:  The conference will be recorded. All registrants must sign a recording release. See the registration form for details.

PAYMENT:  MCFM accepts major credit cards only (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX). Sorry, no checks.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Limited scholarship assistance for the Institute will be considered upon email request to Mary Sheridan, Co-Chair of the Institute Planning Committee.

MCFM CANCELLATION POLICY:  A full refund (less the $25 cancellation fee) will be issued for any registration cancelled by November 24, 2023. No refunds will be granted after November 24, 2023. Substitutions are permitted at any time. Cancellations will be acknowledged but refunds will not be issued until after the Institute.

Please email cancellation requests to no later than November 24.


We've added an in-person social event!

NOTE:  This event requires a SEPARATE RSVP and is not
automatically included in your Institute registration.
See instructions below.

MCFM Board member Sonja Starins cordially invites all Institute speakers and registrants to a complimentary Après Institute Soiree on Thursday, November 30, 2023, following the first day of the Institute. Come and enjoy a catered wine and appetizer social event with your MCFM and ADR colleagues at the SSJM Attorneys office in Woburn.

Date:  Thursday, November 30, 2023
Time:  4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Host:  SSJM Attorneys
Location:  629 Main Street, Woburn MA 01801

►► If you plan to attend, please RSVP separately by November 27:
        Sonja Starins -

Your thoughtfulness in helping SSJM Attorneys plan for refreshments will be appreciated!

►► If you haven't yet registered for the Institute, now's the time:  use the 
"Register Now" link on this page. Then don't forget to RSVP for the soiree directly with Sonja.

INSTITUTE QUESTIONS?  Email MCFM Administrator Ramona Goutiere


November 30, 2023 8:30 AM to December 1, 2023 12:15 PM
Zoom Videoconference
Event Fee(s)
Early Registration $210.00