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Members Section

Upcoming Events


Mediation Resources For High Conflict Families

This is a 2 CLE training event for attorneys and mediators. We will cover resources for high conflict families including virtual supervised visitation, parenting coordination and technological resources like Our Family Wizard. The presenters will be Melissa Sams JD and Danielle Kestnbaum. Doors open at 9:45 AM and the presentation begins at 10:00 AM. There will be a complementary lunch at the country club. The event and lunch are free for North Carolina Association of Professional Family Mediators members. Non-members are welcome to join and attend for $40.

July 17th, 2024

9:45 AM: Check in and networking

10:00 AM Presentation

Noon: Lunch and networking

Location: Starmount Forest Country Club

1 Sam Snead Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410

Review & Discussion of Significant Recent Family Law Cases
March 5,2024 9:45 AM to Noon

This important and informative 2 CLE training event will cover current cases that impact family law. Additionally, participants will be able to bring their own questions and cases to the discussion.

Admission is FREE for members and $40 for non-members (which includes a 2024 membership).

Tickets are available now. Admission includes complementary lunch at the Starmount Forest Country Club. 

Some examples of cases and issues to be covered include:

1. Kline v. Kline (October 2023): Lump sum payments and child support

  • Is it present income?

  • Present income, one time lump sum payments, conversion of an asset into cash, lump sum as income, lump sum as income for child support purposes.

  • Is the trial court required to include the money withdrawn by wife from the retirement account when determining her income?

  • Other means of securing the obligation.


2. Welch v. Welch (NC App, May 2, 2023)(Welch II)

  • Statute of limitations relative to QDROs, DROs,

  • Entry of a DRO is “an action on a judgment” or “a request to effectuate or complete the equitable distribution judgment”.


3. When a trust must be joined as a party in equitable distribution.

  • A beneficiary’s interest in an express Trust

  • Legal basis for taking property from a Trust

  • Vesting ownership in a party or both parties to the equitable distribution proceeding.


4. Unusual issues in the new NC Child Support Guidelines that we should know about.

  • New NC child support guidelines.


5. Wadsworth v. Wadsworth, 868 S.E.2d 636 (N.C. App, Dec. 21,2021),

  • Appellate court decision that life insurance may never be an appropriate means of securing the future payment of spousal support.

  • Implications for whether life insurance can still be agreed upon in a mediated case as a method of securing spousal support.

6. Purvis v. Purvis Student Loans and Equitable Distribution

  • Classification of Student Loans as Marital Debt in the case of student loans taken by one spouse

  • Classification of Student Loans as Marital Debt in the case of student loans taken by one spouse for the benefit of a child.


7. Pending cases that might impact our work as mediators and attorneys in family law cases.


Biography on Presenter, Cheryl Howell

Cheryl Howell joined the School of Government (then the Institute of Government) in 1992. Prior to that, she practiced law in Winston-Salem and Fayetteville and worked as a research assistant to Chief Judge R.A. Hedrick of the NC Court of Appeals. Currently, Howell teaches, consults, and writes about family law and other issues, and she works with the NC Association of District Court Judges and the North Carolina Judicial College in planning and coordinating judicial branch education programs. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. She also has served as a member of the Family Court Advisory Committee, appointed by the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, since its creation in 1998, and also serves as a member of the NC Child Custody and Visitation Mediation Advisory Committee, appointed by the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Her publications include articles and bulletins relating to family law and family court, as well as chapters created for the Trial Judges' Bench Book, District Court edition. Howell earned a BA, magna cum laude, from Appalachian State University and a JD, with honors, Order of the Coif, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Leadership Team

Membership List By Geography

Membership Renewal

Our Annual

2023 Fall Training Schedule and Agenda

4.5 CLE's, 3 topics, 1 day

  • Negotiating and Mediating Executive Compensation Issues

  • Tax Implications of Settlement Structuring

  • Strategies For Dealing With Real Estate Issues


Contact Brooke Schmidly at


We’ll be happy to help. We look forward to seeing you there!

2024 Meetings and Training:

We are working on topics and speakers. If you have a suggestion, click on our “Leadership Team” page and send your suggestion to Mary Salisbury- Chair, Continuing Education

Information about our general meetings:

The agenda for most meetings (Except Fall) includes:

  • 9:00 – 9:45       Coffee, light breakfast snack, and networking

  • 9:45 – 10:00      Brief Membership Meeting

  • 10:00 – 12:00     Education program beginning promptly at 10:00

  • 12:00 – 12:45     Lunch – provided by the NCAPFM

Membership meeting agenda items should be submitted to the NCAPFM president or secretary at least two weeks prior to that meeting’s date.

Guests are welcome at any of our meetings, although there is a charge of $10.00 for any non-member who would like to receive a continuing education certificate.

If you a current member of the NCAPFM and would like to bring a guest, please register that guest through the EventBrite registration portal that is emailed to you during the month preceding the meeting.

If you are not a member of the NCAPFM and you wish to attend as our guest, we would be happy to have you.  Please contact our Meeting Registrar, Brooke Schmidly at

These are some examples of recent training for our Members.

  • Probate Issues in Divorce

  • Mediating Disputes in Military Divorces

  • The 2018 Tax Legislation and How it Affects Mediators

  • The Problem with Money – And How to Mediate Around It

  • Mediation Theory and Practice

  • Opening Statements – The Mediator’s and Counsels’

  • Divorce Financial Analysts in Mediation, Collaboration and Litigation

  • Protecting Children from the Burdens of Divorce

  • Writing Mediation Summaries – How to Avoid the Practice of Law

  • The Financial Aspects of Divorce – How Settlement Options Affect Your Client’s Financial

  • Back to the Basics:  What does John Haynes, one of family mediation’s founders, have to teach us about process?

  • Selected and Unusual Financial Issues Found in Mediation

  • The Gray Divorce – Redefining the Golden Years

  • The Social Science of Custody Schedules

  • An Introduction to Non-violent Communication

  • High Conflict Couples

  • Top Child Topics for Family Mediators

  • Calculations for High Income Falling Outside the NC Child Support Guidelines

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