May 2022
SNIPPETS is a mini-newsletter designed to bring COAFCC members streamlined, timely information and support.
2022 Spring Conference and Members' Meeting
Including Election Results

Katie Hays, JD & April Freier
The COAFCC spring conference and Members’ Meeting was held virtually on April 8, 2022.  Barbara Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych., presented a thorough analysis of Resist Refuse Dynamics, including the spectrum of contact problems and an overview of treatment options.  Here are a few especially salient take-aways from the presentation:

Polarization is present in our society as a whole, and in more of our individual cases, but there is also consensus, and we should focus on that professionally.
Dr. Fidler advocates for an “and” approach versus an “either/or” approach.  Family preservation should be the mandate. There are many factors contributing to and sustaining parent-child contact problems, so focusing on “either/or” is not helpful.  Dr. Fidler advocates for a paradigm shift from identifying causes and instead focusing on change, identifying the goal of it being in the children’s best interests to have a positive relationship with both parents.  
Living with uncertainty is extremely difficult.  There is increasing research on ambivalence, which can be very helpful in resolving problems.
The goal should be to decrease conflict, especially in the provision of mental health services for families experiencing resist-refuse dynamics.
Children with parent contact problems who seem well-adjusted on the surface can have underlying socialization problems, including having their social interactions limited to the world of the favored parent. 
Elections were also conducted at the Members' Meeting on April 8, 2022.

The following members were elected to the Board of Directors:

Marlene Bizub
Marian Camden
Angie Reynolds
Susannah Smith
Leonard Tanis
Steven Wolhandler

The Board's recommendation for the following Officer positions was approved:

President: Hon. Elizabeth Strobel (ret.)
Vice-President: Katie Hays
Secretary: Monica Colvig
Josh Christian

Members also voted to approve the proposed revised bylaws. 
A copy of the amended bylaws can be found here.

Editors’ NoteMaybe it was the pandemic, or maybe it was simply the change in leadership of the COAFCC Communications and Public Relations Committee, but we are in to trying new things.  COAFCC Snippets is the result of our experimentation, and we think it’s pretty successful in the sense of providing timely, succinct information to our members.  Another experiment we are embarking on is “5 Things About….” 
April Freier is a such a vital part of our organization, we thought she would be the perfect trial run.  If you have ideas for more “5 Things About…”, please contact Katie Hays or Tiah Terranova  The topic does not have to be a person--it could be a hobby, a legal or mental health issue, pretty much anything. 
5 Things About...

April Freier 

COAFCC Administrative Assistant
1.  I’ve worked with you all a LONG time. 
I have worked as an administrative assistant for the COAFCC since 2011 (I think??). I’m honestly not sure…but it’s been a hot minute. I started out as an assistant to the Treasurer (when the conferences started getting bigger and funds were getting more complex) and just kept taking on tasks from there. I’ve served several different boards, met hundreds of amazing humans, and learned a great deal along the way. It’s a pretty sweet gig.

2.  I wear another hat as well. 
Actually, a couple of hats. I own and maintain two businesses. Other People’s Business is my “day job” wherein I provide freelance administrative services to groups such as this one. I also do psychological transcription, scheduling and billing, and a myriad of assorted other tasks for busy professionals in a variety of disciplines. It’s a bit of a scheduling challenge, but it helps keep my OCD in check!
By night (mostly), I am a trauma-informed birth worker with more than 20 years’ experience. I own Mother Nurture Birth Services and practice as a certified birth doula, lactation educator, HypnoBirthing Instructor, HypnoMothering educator, and Faculty Trainer for HypnoBirthing International. Basically, I use hypnosis and mindfulness to teach and support families at every stage of parenting - from preconception/fertility challenges, to pregnancy and birth education, postpartum, and how to thrive through the preschool years. This too is a pretty sweet gig.


The New Pikes Peak Visitors Center

Beth Lieberman, LCSW
Pikes Peak has a new Visitors Center! Just this past summer, the Pikes Peak region welcomed its brand new addition to the community.

At 14,110 feet, we not only have spectacular views to enjoy, but also a new state-of-the-art structure full of indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits to educate visitors about the mountain’s history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities, conservation initiatives, and more.
There are several exciting ways to access the Visitors Center.  The Pikes Peak Highway is a thrilling (if not intimidating) way to get there.  For the more faint-of-heart, try the relaxing Cog Railway (catch it at the foot of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, or…wait for it!...hike up via Barr Trail!)
But no matter how you get there, don’t pass up the iconic donuts.  While much has changed, reminds us that “these delicious sweet treats are waiting to delight your taste buds. Made with a top-secret, high altitude recipe passed down since 1916, this signature summit treat can only be enjoyed at 14,115-feet, where the air is thinner and the water has a lower boiling point.” 
Family Law Role Spotlight:

Child Legal Representatives in Colorado

Katie Hays, JD
We at COAFCC Snippets thought our members might want some basic information on the various roles in family law cases.  We are starting with some of the more unique roles.  If you have an idea for a role we should spotlight, please contact April Freier,
An attorney appointed to represent a child’s best interests in a domestic relations case (meaning a case with “DR” in the case number) is called a Child Legal Representative, also knowns as a “CLR”.  A CLR can be appointed in any case involving the allocation of parental responsibilities.  Typically, an attorney appointed to represent a child in a juvenile case (a case with a “JV” in the case number) is a Guardian Ad Litem, or “GAL”. 

A CLR is appointed pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-116, and could be appointed on the motion of any party to the case or by the Court’s own initiative.  The CLR is to represent the child’s best interests as to pretty much all issues in the case—parenting time, decision-making, child support, etc.  Like a Child and Family Investigator, the CLR must, within 7 days of appointment, disclose any relationships with the child, parties, attorneys, or judicial officers in the case. 

(See jdf 1338, )

The CLR must determine the child’s wishes, but is not required to adopt those wishes in the CLR’s recommendations.  The CLR may not be called as a witness in the case.  CLR’s are bound by “Julie’s Law”, the requirement recently adopted by the Colorado legislature that CLR’s, CFI’s, and similar professionals be trained in domestic violence. 

Parties may be ordered to share the costs of the CLR, and if parties are indigent, the costs may be paid by the State.  However, in a pre-decree DR case, the court may not Order the State to pay the CLR unless both parties are indigent. 

The Colorado Office of Child’s Representative (OCR) maintains a list of approved CLR’s and coordinates State-pay cases. .  However, note that the Court may appoint CLRs who are not on the OCR list.  Chief Justice Directive 04-06 governs appointments through OCR. 

Witness Support and Consulting

Kimberly Gent, JD

I recently had a client who was quick to react and often let her anger and other emotions obstruct her responses. As a result, she did not come across as very “likable.” I was concerned about her testimony at an upcoming hearing at which the court would be assessing whether she was intentionally alienating her daughter from the father. I hired a consultant who works with clients to change how they come across by working on the internal emotional states that cause them to present poorly. This was beyond the generic witness preparation that I am accustomed to doing.  The consultant has transformed clients of my firm into much more calm, likable, honest witnesses. In my case, within a relatively short period of working with my client, the consultant uncovered an undisclosed trauma my client had experienced when she was young. This new revelation helped me to fashion my questions and, more importantly, gave my client a better understanding of why she felt so strongly about protecting her child, which ultimately made her a better witness.
To learn more about the consultant I hired, Trial Dynamics and Jessica Brylo, check out her website at or contact her at or (303) 653-2233.
Here is a helpful article published by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers with Do’s and Don’ts for clients testifying in family law matters

Upcoming COAFCC Events
Fall Conference

October 28 & 29, 2022

Join us IN PERSON at the University of Denver
Live via Zoom

Cultural Sensitivity, Humility, and Competence
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."


April Harris-Britt
Philip Stahl
Ann Gushurst
Wendy Clay Alfredsen
Maha Kamal
Justice Melissa Hart

Watch your email. 

Registration will open soon!

Upcoming AFCC Events

AFCC 59th Annual Conference
May 11-14, 2022
Chicago, IL

The Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Technology in Family Law


15th Symposium on Child Custody
November 10-12, 2022
Las Vegas, NV


AFCC Webinars
The AFCC website has a treasure trove of webinars that are FREE for members.  

Here is one of the available webinars: 

Robert Simon PhD
March 25, 2021

A Primer in Child Development for the Family Law Professional
Understanding child development is essential for those involved in deciding and influencing decisions about the best interests of children whose parents cannot agree on what is best.  For parenting plans to be supportive of the child and to foster their well-being, considerations of the child’s development is crucial.  This webinar will look at child development along cognitive, emotional and social lines specifically focusing on applying this knowledge to developing parenting plans for children. 

Scholarships Available

COAFCC has a scholarship fund to help those in need.  Both full and partial scholarships are available to all online programming.  Check out the simple online application process. 

And keep in mind, AFCC also has a number of scholarships available for their educational programs. 


Remember - you can't win if you don't play!  

We welcome your feedback and ideas.  Please feel free to reach out to either of the SNIPPETS editors, or the Administrative Assistant, at any time!


Katie Hays
Tiah Terranova
COAFCC Administrative Assistant:
April Freier

Contact Us...Really!!
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