Family Law: Through the Eyes of the Child

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By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator 

The Law Society was delighted to present the informative family law seminar Through the Eyes of the Child with The Honorable Justice Turcotte as host. We held the event at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Tuesday, November 20th and in Regina on Wednesday, November 21st at the Delta.

The morning sessions featured our main presenter and clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Childress who gave insight into his Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation (AB-PA) and its application to high conflict divorce, specifically focusing on the relationship between parent and child. The lecture continued with a discussion about Dr. Childress’ AB-PA pilot program work with family courts in Houston, Texas and the use of assessment focused treatment in divorce proceedings.

The first afternoon session was comprised of presentations from local professionals regarding various resources available for high-conflict divorce. Participants heard from Connie Lupichuk and Leanne Leedahl of Aspire Too who use an innovative approach to coach parent skills and ultimately reduce the impact of conflict for children in potentially high conflict divorce cases. Coralee Peterson of the Family Justice Services Branch with the Government of Saskatchewan took attendees through the services available from their office. Kim Miller, a consultant with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Dispute Resolution Office discussed high-conflict mediation and reviewed proposed changes to mandatory mediation for family law in Saskatchewan. Finally, participants were presented with a look at some new ways of delivering Family Law services from Charmaine Panko of Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation and some alternative professional services from former lawyer and separation specialist Lana Wickstrom.

The afternoon concluded with the panel discussion When Court is Necessary. In Saskatoon, Justice Turcotte, Jim Vogel Q.C, Dr. Childress, and Kim Miller provided some insight into this topic as well as some best practice strategies for court proceedings. They were joined for the Regina session by Coralee Peterson.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan would like to thank Dr. Childress for travelling all the way from California to share his expertise at this in-depth and informative seminar. We would also like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their knowledge and guidance on this topic. To our participants, thank you for your attendance and thoughtful participation throughout the day.

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