Second Saturday is presented by qualified professionals dedicated to helping people properly navigate the confusing and stressful divorce process. Our team of presenters includes family law attorneys, a marriage and family therapist, a licensed mental health counselor, certified family law mediators and financial professionals. They will discuss how to successfully face many of the common legal, financial, family and personal issues involved in divorce so you can move on toward better things ahead.
Carolann Mazza is a family attorney and Florida Supreme Court certified family law mediator who helps divorcing couples and families in conflict handle their conflicts in a healthier way. She works solely with couples who choose out of court processes to find durable, lasting resolution as they transition into the new phases of their lives.
In Collaborative Law, Carolann has found her passion. As she built her family practice, she began to recognize that the destructive nature of divorce and the resulting unresolved conflicts lead to a vicious cycle of continued court involvement for the family. Consensual dispute resolution processes such as Collaborative Law help the family stay out of court and allow them the ability to resolve their differences with dignity, respect, promoting open and honest dialogue where emotions are recognized and addressed. These methods are the antidote to the toxicity of ending a marriage or relationship in an adversarial manner.
Carolann has been practicing law for a lot of years. She is licensed in both Florida and in Texas.
Carolann is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Collaborative Family Law Institute, the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group, the Florida Association of Conciliation Courts and the Broward County Bar Association.
A former marathon runner, Carolann participates in short distance running, triathlons and practicing yoga. She paddle boards, kayaks and enjoys anything having to do with water. She loves to travel, cook and eat and is learning Italian so she can understand what her husband is saying about her.
Enid Miller Ponn has been practicing family law for over 30 years and has been a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator for more than 20 years. She is a founding member and served on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Family Lawyers of South Florida for over a decade, and a director of the board of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
After litigating family law cases for the first 15 years of her career, she decided to focus her practice exclusively on the use of non-adversarial dispute resolution techniques and processes to facilitate peaceful, out-of-court settlements for families. Enid is the director of the Center for Collaborative Divorce and Mediation in Weston, Florida where she compassionately and professionally works with individuals and couples going through separation and divorce to create enduring outcomes that make sense for them and their families.
More and more couples are choosing to engage in the collaborative process OR attend mediation without attorneys present (pro-se mediation). However, there is a relatively new model I frequently utilize, sometimes called ?collaborative interdisciplinary mediation?, where although attorneys are not actually retained by the clients, resolution-oriented attorneys are instead utilized as consultants as much or as little as the clients prefer. In addition, I bring in family specialists who are collaboratively trained mental health professionals, and where applicable, financial professionals as well. In my capacity as a family mediator, I experience a very high level of success and satisfaction working with clients in this model.
For more information on how collaborative practice differs from mediation and for more background on Enid?s bio see theccdm.com.
Bernadene A. Rodriguez has been practicing law in Florida for over 21 years. She began her career in law by providing low income individuals and families with representation in various areas of family law while working at Legal Aid of Dade County. It was there that she developed her passion for helping families in crisis reach reasonable solutions.
Ms. Rodriguez later sharpened her litigation skills as a civil trial attorney with the Law Offices of Dan Cytryn, P.A. . For several years, she handled Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Employment Discrimination cases through all phases of litigation.
In 1999, Ms. Rodriguez founded The Law Offices of Bernadene A. Rodriguez, P.A., where she has focused her practice in the areas of Family Law, Collaborative Family Law, Immigration, and Probate and Estate Planning. She uses an effective and unique assertive yet non-adversarial style, coupled with her strong legal knowledge and skills to help families in transition in the areas of Family Law, Collaborative Family Law, Probate Administration, Estate Planning and Immigration.
For the past ten years, Bernadene has been a member of the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, and is presently a member of its Board of Directors and the organization?s Treasurer. She is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Over the past ten years, she has geared her practice to facilitating settlements specifically suited to each family?s need and strives to resolve cases with as little conflict as possible.
Ms. Rodriguez attended The College of New Rochelle in New York, where she graduated cum laude with her Bachelor?s degree in Communication Arts. After working with various Wall Street brokerage firms doing specialized research in a variety of industries, she attended Columbia University, and graduated with a Master?s Degree in Library and Information Science. She continued her career as an Information Specialist, conducting research primarily in the Healthcare and Medical Device and Diagnostics industries, writing and editing corporate and industry market research newsletters, and finally becoming Director of the Corporate Library and Information Center at Baxter Diagnostics in Miami, Florida.
After many years of perfecting her research and writing skills in the corporate world, Ms. Rodriguez received her JD degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami, School of Law in December 1993.
Deborah was born in Kingston, Jamaica and she moved to South Florida before first grade. After growing up in Coral Gables, Florida, Deborah ventured off to Hofstra University, in Long Island, New York, to obtain a Bachelor of the Arts degree, in Sociology, and two minor degrees, in English and Psychology.
Deborah graduated Cum Laude from Hofstra University, where she became member of Phi Beta Kappa. Thereafter, Deborah obtained her Juris Doctorate, with Honors, at Florida State University, College of Law. There she was a member of the Moot Court Team – Mock Trial Division and the Journal of Transnational Law and Policy. While in Tallahassee, she volunteered for the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, and she also worked for the Florida Bar.
Deborah was admitted into the Florida Bar in 1996. Deborah is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator who has mediated over 500 cases.
Deborah is a Founding Member and a Board Member of the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, where she is currently serving as the Vice-President. Deborah is also a Board Member of Broward County Christian Lawyers Association. Deborah has previous experience in commercial litigation and insurance defense/worker’s compensation litigation, yet her practice area exclusively encompasses family and matrimonial law.
In 2002, Deborah founded the Law Offices of Deborah Ann Byles, P.A. At the Law and Mediation Center, she is both a legal counselor and a mediator practicing in the areas of Matrimonial Law, Family Law and Collaborative Family Law. Deborah strives for families to remain out of court to settle their disputes. However, in the unfortunate cases where the family selects court to break the impasse, the law firm will advocate for its clients, with integrity.
Deborah persistently makes every effort to keep families out of court due to how emotionally and financially draining it is to litigate with no guaranteed outcomes. She will continue to promote that all participants in a family law matter effectively collaborate and place the outcome of their case in their own hands rather than assign the decision-making to the judiciary. Deborah believes that effective peacemaking (devoid of a courtroom) cultivates a more sensitive, interest-based and holistic result for families, unique to their needs.
Tammy Berman, LMHC graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1999 and later completed a Master?s of Science Degree at Nova Southeastern University in Mental Health Counseling. She began working in a community mental health setting with clients having a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction, and Borderline Personality Disorder for the first three years of her career. After this experience Tammy began working exclusively with teens and their families who had problems with substance abuse and emotional difficulties.
In 2004 Tammy began working in private practice serving adults, teens and adolescents experiencing a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, couples/marital issues, self-esteem, self-injurious behaviors, loss, and adjustment issues related to various life changes including divorce.
More recently, Tammy developed an interest in Collaborative Practice, a process which helps couples divorce without litigation. She is collaboratively trained to function as a neutral facilitator in a collaborative divorce. Additionally, she is a National Board Certified Counselor, is certified in Motivational Interviewing, as a Qualified Supervisor of Registered Mental Health Interns, and has many specialized trainings including Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, Family Mediation, and Parenting Coordination.
Tammy is a member of the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida, the American Counseling Association, the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida, and the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida. Her practice is located in Plantation, Florida and you can read more about her approach to working with individuals, couples and families by going to her website www.mycounselingconnections.com.
Over the past twenty years, Elizabeth Stabinski, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Florida Family Court Mediator and Collaborative Law Professional has been helping individuals, couples, and families transition past their feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, sadness and fear to improve the quality of their lives.
Elizabeth founded and directs the Center for Marital and Family Transition to help those who are struggling in difficult marriages or transitioning from marriage to divorce. She helps her clients make positive changes and proactive choices in their lives. Her warm, cooperative approach helps clients utilize untapped personal strengths to facilitate growth and healing.
Since 2005, Elizabeth has focused her practice on developing services for couples at risk of separating and families in the process of divorce. She has participated in extensive and advanced trainings in Collaborative Family Law, Mediation, Co-Parenting, and research-based couple’s therapy.
When Luana was going through divorce in 1997-2000, it brought to her attention, with the precision of a laser beam, the myriad of issues people struggle with while transitioning from married life to single life. As a result, she founded Crossroads Consulting of South Florida, Inc. to help people with the financial issues of going through a divorce. As a CDFA?, she helps divorcing couples evaluate the financial impact and tax implications of settlement options for dividing pensions and marital property and awards of child and spousal support. Her goal in the divorce process is to provide caring support, financial education, and to help the divorcing couple develop a strategy that makes sense of the dollars in their divorce and restores hope for the future.
Luana?s first love is helping her clients develop a plan for living the rest of their life confidently and without regret. Her clients are an eclectic mix of business owners, retirees, families, and women on their own. She has figured out, though, that no matter who the client is – there is a natural gravitation to support the unique needs of women. Luana?s goal continues to be that a husband and wife will be equally equipped to deal with the financial issues that survive divorce or death or incapacity of either spouse. Historically, though, she thinks women have a steeper climb to achieve the same comfort level as men, but she is on a mission to see that trend reversed.
Luana is currently associated with Crossroads Consulting of South Florida, Inc. for pre-divorce planning, Associated Financial Consultants, Inc. for non-securities related insurance and annuity products, and Associated Investor Services, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisory firm, for financial planning. She is securities licensed through Investacorp, Inc. a registered Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory Services are offered through Investacorp Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm.
On a personal note, Luana loves to spend time with family and friends. She is a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. It gives her great joy to worship the Lord, giving thanks and praise for His many blessings. She enjoys traveling, golf (even though she plays poorly), going to the movies and taking Sunday afternoon naps.