8th Annual Conference: Building Professionalism

Microsoft Conference Briefing Center

New York, NY
September 23 - 25, 2010


ADFP University

Morning Courses

  1. Introduction to Basic Divorce Taxation (3.5 CFP CEU & 3.5 CPE Credits)
    Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™

    Divorce and Taxes: Avoiding the Pitfalls In this workshop, Ginita Wall will cover the basics of divorce taxation as well as temporary changes in the tax laws. Hear the tax rules regarding the home, and how to avoid the pitfalls of alimony and recapture rules. Ginita will discuss dividing retirement assets, tax issues re children in divorce, filing status and innocent spouse rules.
  2. Family Law Software - Advanced Applications (3.5 CPE Credits)
    Dan Caine, MBA, JD, President, Family Law Software

    How to fairly reflect the giving of separate property to another party. Dealing with "shared expenses" (typically, expenses for the children). Representing discretionary expenses. Two approaches to tax-effecting assets. Finding the inflection point when trading off alimony against child support. Finding the tax benefit (or tax cost) of alimony. Offsetting social security against defined benefit pensions. Child support in split and shared custody situations.
  3. No Cost Low Cost PR Tactics (3.5 CPE Credits)
    Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA™

    Stacy's information packed seminars reveal the insider's secrets that have led to hundreds of press appearances and triple digit revenue growth for her company. In her talk, "PR on a Budget: How You Can Wage an Effective PR Campaign Without Spending a Penny" Stacy will teach you how to pitch yourself and your company in a way that impresses and interests reporters, take advantage of valuable free online tools to increase your media presence, write your own press releases and get thousands of internet search hits, present yourself as an authority in your field, book yourself for paid speaking engagements - without relying on an agent or speakers bureau, and cultivate valuable relationships with the press.

Afternoon Courses

  1. Introduction to Advanced Divorce Taxation (3.5 CFP CEU & 3.5 CPE Credits)
    Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™

    Divorce and Taxes: Special Issues in the New Economy The new economy has brought many economic challenges, and changes in the economy and tax law have altered the way that we should advise clients in divorce. Ginita will discuss taxation regarding foreclosure, short sale and loan modifications, including bankruptcy and insolvency exceptions. She'll also talk about the family business, including corporate redemptions and the transfer of partnership interests, and stock options, RSUs and other forms of executive compensation. Learn about the use of trusts in divorce, as well as how to advise clients regarding a lump sum alimony buyout.
  2. Introduction to Family Law Software (3.5 CPE Credits)
    Dan Caine, MBA, JD, President, Family Law Software

    How can I help clients gain an understanding of their present and likely future financial situation? How can I help clients understand outcomes upon sale of the residence? How can I value the parties? defined benefit pension plans? How can I find the correct child support guideline amount? How can I help clients reach agreement on a fair spousal support amount? How can I help the parties divide their assets and debts? How can I help the parties reach an equitable distribution on a tax-effected basis? How can I leverage my clients' time in the preparation of the case? How can I most helpfully present the information to clients and attorneys?
  3. Introduction to FinPlan (3.5 CPE Credits)
    Amy Whitlatch, CFP®, CDFA™ & Susan Moussi, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™

    Cash flow is one of the most prevalent concerns for both parties in a divorce. This course will provide a walk-through of Thompson West's "FinPlan Divorce Planner," a very useful tool to assist you in educating the parties. One is able to produce reports that demonstrate how support, deductions, exemptions, and tax credits all work together to affect projected cash flow and allows you to compare various support options under consideration. This program is recognized nationally, and is a frequent, sometimes mandatory report presented in court systems. The modules of the companion program, FinPlan Divorce Math will also be reviewed. These modules permit calculating estimates regarding lump sum support, pension valuations, alimony recapture, and more.

Conference Day 1

Participation-Centered Learning and the Case Method (4.0 CFP CEU & 4.0 CPE Credits)
Lili A. Vasileff, CFP®, CDFA™, Chair, Susan Campbell, CFP®, CDFA™, Cathy Daigle, CFP®, CDFA™, Cinda L. Jones, CDFA™, CFP® ,Susan A. Moussi, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™, Amy L. Whitlatch, CFP®, CDFA™, Kevin Worthley, CFP®, CDFA™

When divorce financial planners are faced with a client's case, we place ourselves in the role of decision maker as we understand the situation and identify the problems we are faced with. The next step is to perform the necessary analysis - examining the causes and considering alternative courses of action to come to a set of recommendations. To get the most out of this case study, participants will be sent the case in advance of the conference.

On site, you will be asked to reflect on the case, to meet in learning teams to "warm up" and to discuss findings with peers. Under questioning and guidance from instructors, you will probe underlying issues, compare different alternatives, debate nuances, and finally, suggest courses of action in light of the case's objectives. The interaction with your peers allows you to learn from listening, observing, asking questions, and talking. As the case study unfolds, this interaction with your peers is enriched by your diverse backgrounds, states, experiences, and impressions. At the end of this session, we should all be amazed by the depth and breadth of the exchange of ideas.

Lunch/Presentation of Annual Pioneering Award to Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™

Keynote Address Ginita Wall, "Helping People through Life's Transitions" (1.5 CPE Credits)

In her Keynote address, Ginita Wall will share with us the story of her career and discuss her marketing techniques, including how she helped create the Second Saturday program and the Women's Institute for Financial Education and Money Clubs. She'll discuss the impact of what she calls the Power of the Three Es as she worked to make a difference in people's lives and how you can incorporate the Power of the Three Es into your life and career.

I Breakout Sessions

  1. Finding the Hidden Assets and What to Do After You Have (2.0 CFP CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
    Leonard G. Florescue, Esq., Partner, Blank Rome

    What areas do you need to explore to find the assets? Do you want to know where the skeletons (oops, assets) are hidden? Or at least where to look for them? What are some of the devices that unforthcoming people try to use to hide their assets from scrutiny? How, at least generically, do you outsmart them?
  2. The Elephants in the Room (2.0 CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
    Elizabeth S. Thayer, Ph.D. & Wendy F. Habelow, Ph.D., Beacon Behavioral Services

    Conflict often arises unexpectedly in mediation and collaborative sessions because of significant underlying issues emanating from the individual, marital and/or family history. Sometimes these issues are known and must be dealt with sensitively in order to deal with the conflict in the couple. At other times, these issues are not immediately discernable and not easily linked to the presenting conflict. This workshop will examine some of "the elephants in the room," the most common and difficult historical issues for divorcing couples. How and when do they show up? How are they related to the presenting conflict? How do you manage them in and out of sessions? What kinds of interventions are effective? What are the potential consequences of ignoring them versus addressing them?

II Breakout Sessions

  1. Finding Hidden Treasures in Tax Returns (2.0 CFP CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
    Mark S. Gottlieb, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, CBA, DABFA, MST

    The ability to read and understand business and personal income tax returns may be one of the most important tasks in evaluating the finances in a divorce proceeding. This workshop will teach participants what tax returns say and what they don't readily reveal. Learn what to look for to determine what a business owner really earns and how to identify personal and discretionary expenses that may be paid from a business.
  2. Working with Difficult Clients (2.0 CFP CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
    Ken Neumann, Ph.D., Director, Center for Mediation and Training

    Divorcing clients are by definition going through a difficult time. However there are some clients who we experience as being difficult beyond that. This workshop will teach you how to identify which clients you experience as difficult and to develop techniques to work more effectively with these clients.

Conference Day 2

Gray Divorces (2.0 CFP CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
Janice L. Green, Esq.

Divorcing after 50 presents legal, financial, and emotional issues not encountered by younger spouses: less time to recover financially post-divorce, greater emphasis on age-related attributes of assets and income generation, higher anxiety produced by higher stakes, use of estate planning tools in settlement agreements, roles of adult children, impact of health care coverage and costs, and more. Financial planning and family law are joined at the hip to meet the challenges and needs of this increasing client population.

I Breakout Sessions

  1. Tax Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls Associated with Stock Options, Restricted Stock, Retirement Benefits and Other Executive Perquisites (2.0 CFP CEU & 2.0 CPE Credits)
    Maria McKeon, Esq.

    Attorney McKeon will guide you through these complex benefits, key you in to the opportunities offered by the IRS to save taxes for both parties and outline strategies that will avoid costly tax results. Executive stock benefits and qualified and non-qualified retirement benefits are some of the most valuable assets in divorce. Understand the language needed to correctly identify and divide these valuable assets.
  2. The Psychology of Divorce (2.0 CPE Credits)
    Ken Neumann, Ph.D., Director, Center for Mediation and Training

    This workshop will explore the stages of the Divorce Process and the emotional issues that accompany divorce. And most importantly how to manage them when we are working with clients.

Case Study - Exploring Compliance, Legal and Regulatory Issues in Interdisciplinary Divorce Processes (1.5 CPE Credits)
Paul A. Lieberman, Esq. & Joseph D. Visco, Esq., Stark & Stark

Specific topics in an interactive dialogue presentation will include: 1) Metes and Bounds of Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Impacts, 2) How divorce financial planners 'collaborate' with Divorce Counsel and Clients, 3) How to Avoid Compliance, Legal and Regulatory exposures in actual practice and 4) Best Practices- Real, Imagined, Ignored and the Consequences

Compliance - An Underwriter's Perspective (1.5 CFP CEU & 1.5 CPE Credits)
Lisa Benneig, RPLU, ASLI, Markel Cambridge Alliance

Brief overview of Markel Cambridge Alliance's E&O coverage for divorce financial planners (what is covered and what is not) and discussion of some claims they have had.

Razzle Dazzle Lili A. Vasileff, CFP®, CDFA™, Chair, Susan Campbell, CFP®, CDFA™, Cathy Daigle, CFP®, CDFA™, Cinda L. Jones, CDFA™, CFP® ,Susan A. Moussi, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™, Carl M. Palatnik, CFP®, CDFA™, Amy L. Whitlatch, CFP®, CDFA™, Kevin Worthley, CFP®, CDFA™

A stimulating wrap-up highlighting the takeaways as we summarize insights, ideas and next steps for our profession. A time to band together, to talk about our future and plant seeds as we continue to strive toward best practices.