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In-Person Program

Mental Health Issues & Divorce

Dealing with the impact on clients, their children, the case, and the Court

Thursday, 6/30/2011, 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
MCLE Conference Center, Ten Winter Place, Boston
4 substantive credits, 1 ethics credits
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Product Description

Millions of people, adults and children alike, suffer from mental illnesses, disorders, and addictions. There is every chance that you, as a family law practitioner, will have to deal with cases involving such individuals, whether it be your client, the opposing party, or the parties children. The divorce process itself can precipitate or exacerbate depression, anxiety, and behaviors in a client that can have a direct impact upon representation and the outcome of the case. An increasing number of families with one or more individuals struggling with serious mental illness or disorders are coming into the Probate and Family Court system. How should counsel address the numerous challenges that can arise as to the manner and scope of advocacy, discovery matters, and ethical considerations? What are there sources and remedies that you can access in order to safely navigate the hazards associated with domestic relations cases involving a compromised client or adverse party? How do these issues affect custody and parenting issues and what safeguards are necessary to protect children whose parents are struggling with mental health issues? This course will teach you the skills you must have and show you how to manage these cases successfully.

Agenda and written materials

  • Identification of Mental and Emotional Disorders and Addictions
  • Ethical Rules, Guidelines and Advisories in Representing the Challenged Client
  • Handle with Extreme Caution: Cases Involving Children with Mental Health Disorders
  • Child Custody and Parenting Issues
  • Supervised Visitation and Other Safeguards for Children with Mentally Impaired Parents
  • Financial Considerations Including Establishing Orders of Alimony and Child Support
  • Problematic Client Behaviors and How to Address Them
  • Protecting your Clients Interests; Remedies in Representation; the use of Guardians and Evaluations; and
  • Protecting Yourself from Ethical Pitfalls, Including the use of Effective Communications, Documentation and Record-keeping
  • "Ask the Experts" Q&A Session

Table of Contents



Christine M. Bonardi, Esq., Law Office of Christine M. Bonardi, Roslindale
Dr. Robert T. Kinscherff, Esq., William James College, Newton Center



  • $225
  • $195 MCLE Sponsor Members
  • $145 New lawyers admitted to law practice after 2006, pending admittees and law students
In-Person Program
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