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Indiana AFCC chapter has first meeting this month

Dave Stafford
August 15, 2012
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The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, a national organization that brings a holistic approach to family law, has authorized the creation of an Indiana chapter.

“This group is the only group I’ve come across that truly attracts and embraces multiple disciplines,” said Rebecca Billick, a family law practitioner and mediator at Andrews Harrell Mann Carmin & Parker P.C. in Bloomington.

Billick, who heads up organizing the chapter, said AFCC welcomes judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, mediators, guardians ad litem and others in the family law arena to discuss how to make the system work best for children and their families.

gatheringsThere are about 140 members of the national organization in Indiana. “We get the support of the national branch in attracting folks for conferences and research and different kinds of networking opportunities,” Billick said. “We hope to have at least one annual conference where we’ll have speakers from all disciplines.”

Along with Billick, the coordinating committee for the Indiana chapter consists of vice chair Christopher Barrows, attorney and

registered domestic relations mediator at Avery & Cheerva LLP; Allen Superior Magistrate Judge Craig Bobay of Fort Wayne; psychologist Frank Choate of Rochester; Steuben Superior Judge William Fee of Angola; psychologist Susan Dwyer of Fort Wayne; Fishers attorney and registered domestic relations mediator Mary Wisehart Phillips of Phillips Attorneys Inc.; and attorney and registered domestic relations mediator John Shanks of Shanks Law Offices & Conflict Resolution Center in Anderson.

The first business meeting for the chapter will take place Aug. 24 at Riley Children’s Hospital at Indiana University Health in conjunction with a day conference presented by the Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health.

Dr. Angela Tomlin, a clinical psychologist at Riley, is organizing the preceding conference, “Young Children and the Courts: Process, Proceedings and Players,” with support from Head Start.

She said the conferences were scheduled together with the hope the professionals from various disciplines who work on matters of family law might have an opportunity to learn about the work of others in the field.

“I think great people are trying to consider this and we have a lot of challenges,” Tomlin said. “The legal side and the mental health side are trying to understand each other: Here are the gaps, and here is where we’re trying to improve things.”•

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  1. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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