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Articles

cover-divorcing-when-parents-have-children-with-special-need-scmaDIVORCING WHEN PARENTS HAVE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Published in Southern California Mediation Association (July, 2015)
By Mara Berke and Carol Hirshfield, PhD

Divorcing parents who have children with special needs often have many pressing and complex parenting issues to consider that may not be best addressed by the expensive and slow adversarial court system. This article will give the reader a brief overview of the issues that may arise for families with special needs children, and some options that parents of special needs children should strongly consider for divorce … [Read more]

cover-planned-parenthoodPLANNED PARENTHOOD
Published in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine (March, 2009)
By Mara Berke

A significant percentage of divorcing parents continue their conflicts over custody well after obtaining a judgment on custody and visitation. While this percentage declines over time, many so called high-conflict parents remain mired in adversarial litigation for years after divorce. These parents utilize much of the court’s resources and entangle their children in a process that makes them more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems. In addition to the grave emotional costs, the financial … [Read more]

cover-executive-functionsEXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
Helping your child organize, plan and follow through for a better school year
Published in L.A. Parent (September 2014)
By Mara Berke, J.D., M.S.W. and Holly C. Knight, Psy.D.

Do your children lose notebooks, books, sweatshirts, cell phones or school handouts? Do they forget books at school that they need for homework, or forget to turn in homework assignments even though they have completed them? Are there piles of paper stuffed in the pockets of their notebooks? Are you shocked when you see their school lockers with crumpled papers in disarray? Do your children wait until the last minute to start on projects? Have they told you the night before that they are supposed …. [Read more]

cover-nonlitigationNON-LITIGATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION OPTIONS FOR PARENTS
Published in Los Angeles Daily Journal (January, 2011)
By Mara Berke

Why delay resolution and enter into the frustration and expense of litigation in the ever-changing family law court? Why subject yourself and your children (at a certain age) from offering live testimony? Why not take some modicum of control over your family matter and put it in your own hands or that of a trained professional? Why role the dice? In hindsight, family law litigants may likely look back on their years of litigation and wonder why they did not just agree to something, instead of enduring several years … [Read more]

cover-childrenrightsEDUCATIONAL DECISION MAKERS: WHAT TO DO WHEN THEIR IDENTITY IS NOT CLEAR?*
Published in Children’s Rights litigation Committee, American Bar Association (Spring, 2008)
By Mara Berke and Lauren Giardina

State foster care agencies taking Social Security Benefits (SSB) from foster children epitomizes the institutional immorality faced by children through-out our nation. There is a common practice around the nation of state or local foster care agencies, often called Child Protective Services (CPS) serving as payee for foster children and pocketing some or all of the child’s Social Security Benefits (SSB) as reimbursement for costs of care.  In 2003 the Supreme Court ruled that CPS … [Read more]

cover-birnbaumIN RE MARRIAGE OF BIRNBAUM: MODIFYING CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS BY IGNORING THE RULES OF THE GAME
Published in Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (January, 1991)
By Mara Berke

Courts must often make difficult child custody decisions following the dissolution of marriages.’ In these instances, courts act not only as mediators between the parents and themselves, but also as mediators between the parents and the child. The courts’ goal in child custody suits is to determine the living arrangements that will most benefit the child. The issues involved are complex-mainly because courts must examine a variety of factors … [Read more]


*This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any names or downloaded or stored in any electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.