Mental Illness and Disability in Family Law Cases

Date: Aug 24, 2023 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location: Online

Member Price: $152

Non-Member Price: $190

Section Price: $143

Event Code: I117523

Areas of Law: Family

Earn up to 3.3 credits! (More Information)




Cheryl E. Connors, Esq.
Tonneman & Connors, LLC, Eatontown
is a Partner in Tonneman & Connors, LLC with offices in Eatontown and East Brunswick, New Jersey. She concentrates her practice in family law, with an emphasis in issues of divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, equitable distribution, palimony, adoption, paternity, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements and collaborative divorce. In 2016 she appeared before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in the matter of In re Adoption of a Child by J.E.V.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Ms. Connors is Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, a member of the NJSBA’s Solo and Small-Firm Section, has served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Family Practice Committee for the 2017-2019 and 2019-2021 terms, and is serving on the Committee for the 2021-2023 term. She is also a member of the Middlesex County and Monmouth Bar Associations, and the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of New Jersey. She serves as a Matrimonial Early Settlement panelist in Middlesex County and as an Intensive Settlement Panelist in Monmouth County.

An Associate Managing Editor of the New Jersey Family Lawyer, Ms. Connors has authored and co-authored numerous articles which have appeared in the New Jersey Family Lawyer and has been published in Divorce Magazine’s Frequently Asked Questions feature. She was the 2013 recipient of the Martin S. Goldin Family Law Award from the Middlesex County Bar Association and frequently lectures on family law topics.

Ms. Connors received her B.A., with distinction, from Cornell University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law, where she was a senior member of the Seton Hall Law Review and received the Raymond del Tufo, Jr. Award. She served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Barry T. Albin, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol (Ret.)
of the firm Ferro Labella & Weiss, L.L.C. in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses in mediation and arbitration, and was formerly the Assignment Judge of Bergen County and sat in Hackensack, New Jersey. She was also Presiding Judge, Family Part, Bergen County, from 2008-2015, and was in private practice for 24 years prior to her appointment to the Superior Court in 2006.

Prior to her appointment to the Superior Court bench, Judge Mizdol served as a municipal court judge for 15 years. She was President of the Bergen County Municipal Judges Association and the Bergen County Bar Foundation, Chair of the District IIA Ethics Committee and Co-Chair of the Bergen County Family Law Committee, and has been a member of the Bergen County Family Law Executive Committee. Judge Mizdol is Past Chair of the Supreme Court Family Practice Committee, the Conference of New Jersey Family Part Judges and the Ad Hoc Committee on Arbitration of Family Part Matters. She has been Chair of the Supreme Court Judiciary-Surrogates Liaison Committee and the Post-Pandemic Committee on Resuming Jury Trials, and a member of the Statewide Committee on Court Security. The New Jersey Designated Representative for the International Hague Network of Judges from 2017 through her retirement, she has served on the Judicial Council and the faculty of the Judicial College, and has taught for the Management Skills Training program for Presiding Judges and the New Judges’ Orientation Program (CJOP).

Judge Mizdol received her B.A. from Montclair State College and her J.D. from Seton Hall Law School.
Dr. Mitch Abrams
Abrams Psychological Services, Fords
is a licensed psychologist and founder of Abrams Psychological Services with offices in Tinton Falls and Fords, New Jersey. He has been serving the greater tri-state area with forensic psychology services since 2000. He is also the Chief Psychologist for Rutgers University Correctional HealthCare, where he oversees mental health services inside the state prisons in the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

A sports psychologist and the nation’s expert in anger and violence in sports, Dr. Abrams has also been a pioneer in sexual assault and dating violence prevention, with a specific focus on athlete populations, and has developed the Abrams Model of Sexual Assault Prevention. He is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and has held adjunct faculty positions at Brooklyn College, Long Island University/C.W. Post and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Dr. Abrams has presented on topics including the value of psychological testing in family law matters, trauma in the context of children, reunification therapy, violence risk assessment and implicit biases in family law. The author of Anger Management in Sport: Understanding and Controlling Violence in Athletes, he coordinates the forensic track of Rutgers-UBHC’s predoctoral internship program and trains forensic psychologists.

Dr. Abrams received his B.S. from Brooklyn College and his M.S. in Applied Psychology and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from C.W. Post/Long Island University.
Beth C. Manes, Esq.
Manes & Weinberg, LLC, Westfield
is a Partner in Manes & Weinberg, Special Needs Lawyers, LLC in Mountainside, New Jersey. She concentrates her practice in special education law, special needs planning, guardianships, trust advocacy and estate planning.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Ms. Manes is a member and Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Solo-Small Firm Section and a member of the NJSBA’s Elder and Disability Law Section and Education Law Committee, as well as the New Jersey Special Education Practitioners. She is a member of the Union County Bar Association, serves as Co-Chair of the Association’s Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Committee and is a member of the Union County Probate Early Settlement Panel. A member of the Board of Directors of Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It!, Ms. Manes is Past President of the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey, Inc., which provides lifetime advocacy for people with special needs. She is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national organization of attorneys who work with families with special needs.

Ms. Manes served as a hearing panel chair for the State of Delaware Department of Education, overseeing special education hearings. She has lectured on special needs children in divorce topics for CLE courses and for community groups, and has raised puppies for The Seeing Eye since 2012. She is the recipient of several honors.

Ms. Manes received her B.A., cum laude, from Brandeis University, where she was the recipient of several awards and inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a member of the Environmental Moot Court Team, won the Best Oralist award and was the Coordinating Editor of Production of the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law.
Lauren A. Miceli, Esq.
Arndt, Sutak & Miceli, LLC, East Brunswick
is a Partner in Arndt, Sutak & Miceli, LLC in East Brunswick, New Jersey, where she concentrates her practice in divorce and family law matters, including divorce litigation, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, child custody and post-judgment modification and enforcement issues.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, Ms. Miceli is a member of the New Jersey State, Middlesex County and New Brunswick Bar Associations. She is a Trustee of the Middlesex County Bar Association and a member of the Middlesex County Early Settlement Panel and the NJSBA Family Law Section and Young Lawyers Division. She formerly worked with a Middlesex County-based family law firm and as a Special Education attorney, where she represented families in disputes involving New Jersey public school districts.

Ms. Miceli is co-founder, Secretary and an Associate Member of the Aldona E. Appleton Family Law Inns of Court, dedicated to advancing the knowledge, collegiality and professionalism of family law attorneys in Middlesex County. She was awarded the Martin S. Goldin Award by the Middlesex County Bar Association for her dedication to the practice of divorce and family law.

Ms. Miceli received her B.A., cum laude, from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Camden. For the 2013-2014 term, Ms. Miceli served as judicial clerk for the Honorable Lisa M. Vignuolo, J.S.C., Middlesex County Courthouse.
Albertina Webb, Esq.
Hill Wallack LLP, Red Bank
is an attorney at Hill Wallack, LLP in Red Bank, New Jersey. She concentrates her practice in family law issues including divorce, custody, support, domestic violence, dissolution of domestic partnerships, enforcement or modification of marital agreements, enforcement and/or modification of alimony and child support, emancipation applications, equitable distribution and post-judgment enforcement and modification.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, and before the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Ms. Webb has been a member of the Family Law Sections/Committees of the New Jersey State, New York State, Middlesex County and Ocean County Bar Associations. President of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, she has served on the Family Law Executive Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and several subcommittees, as well as the Monmouth Bar Association’s Family Law and Judicial Selection Committees. Ms. Webb has served as a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panelist in Middlesex and Ocean Counties and as an Intensive Settlement Panelist in Monmouth County. She has been a member of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) Matrimonial Committee and has served on the Statewide Domestic Violence Working Group Committee.

The creator of and contributor to the Monmouth and Ocean Family Lawyers blog, Ms. Webb has a regular column in the HBA’s quarterly newsletter entitled "Querida Abby – Dear Abby." She has been published in Divorce Magazine's Frequently Asked Questions feature and has lectured for ICLE and NJAJ.

Ms. Webb received her J.D. from New York Law School, where she was the Section Editor of the Journal of Human Rights.

Join us for this informative program which you do not want to miss. The first part of the program will explore the mental health issues you frequently encounter in Family Law cases. The second half will examine disability issues as they relate to divorce, alimony, and child support and review how to qualify your client or a child for disability benefits.

Program Agenda:

  • 9:00 - Intro and Overview - Cheryl E. Connors, Esq.
  • 9:05 - Mental Illness - Dr. Mitch Abrams; Cheryl E. Connors, Esq.; Albertina Webb, Esq.
    • How Much Does Mental Illness Impact Family Law Matters/Litigants/Professionals? - Albertina Webb, Esq.
    • Diagnosis Bias - Dr. Mitch Abrams
    • Symptoms and Functioning That Matters - Dr. Mitch Abrams
    • How to Manage Clients with Mental Illness? Setting Boundaries and Managing Expectations - Albertina Webb, Esq.
    • Realizing and Dealing with High Conflict Adversaries - Dr. Mitch Abrams; Albertina Webb, Esq.
    • Attorneys are Human and Need to Take Care of Themselves Too - Dr. Mitch Abrams
  • 10:20 - Q&A Session 
  • 10:30 - Break
  • 10:40 - Litigants Lacking Capacity - Hon. Bonnie Mizdol, AJSC (Ret.); Beth Manes, Esq.
  • 11:05 - Children Lacking Capacity - Hon. Bonnie Mizdol, AJSC (Ret.); Beth Manes, Esq.; Lauren A. Miceli, Esq.
  • 11:35 - Benefits - Beth Manes, Esq.; Lauren A. Miceli, Esq.
  • 12:00 - Adjourn

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 3.3 hours of total CLE credit (Full Credits Available: NJ General: 3.3).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Professional Practice Transitional: 3.0
PA CLE:PA Substantive Credit: 2.5
$12.00 fee – separate check payable to NJICLE must be submitted at the end of the program


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