The Honoring Families Initiative partnered with the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce (COCD) to host a one-day convening in Denver, Colorado, on September 11, 2017. This gathering brought together people interested in discussing and learning more about the history, launch, and lessons learned of COCD’s innovative service model for families transitioning during divorce or separation. This convening also helped foster an engaging exchange of ideas about similar efforts around the country and the sharing of information and experiences regarding out-of-court models for divorce and separation. 

The convening covered several topics, including an overview of both the academic- and community-based models, the structure and governance of the COCD, the evaluative research we have gathered, and some strategic marketing and business development issues.  

The conference ran from 8:30am–2:30pm and was held at the University of Denver, Anderson Academic Commons, 2150 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80210.


Monday, September 11

8:30 a.m.  Welcome & Introductions

8:45 a.m.  Convening Overview—Exploring the Current Landscape

Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director, IAALS 

9:00 a.m.  Overview of Academic and Community Based Model—A Brief History

  • How the model was initially created
  • Launch on campus at the University of Denver
  • Transition from academic based model (RCSDF) to independent non-profit (COCD), including Board selection and governance – why, when, how

Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director, IAALS 

9:10 a.m.  Questions and Discussion Relating to Overview

9:20 a.m.  Changing the Culture: In Families and the Courts

“The View from the Trenches” 

Ellen Squires, JD, COCD Attorney and Mediator

Denise Breinig-Glunz, COCD Clinic Director, LCSW

Relationship with the Court - “A View from the Courts”

Penny Wagner, Program Coordinator, Colorado State Court Administrators Office

Moderator: Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, ABPP, AFCC-Immediate Past President

10:05 a.m.  Questions and Discussion Relating Changing the Culture

10:15 a.m.  Networking Break

10:30 a.m.  Evaluation Design and Research—Insights and Frustrations

  • Data collection methods and tools
  • Consumer demographics 

Logan Cornett, Senior Research Analyst, IAALS

Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, ABPP, AFCC-Immediate Past President

10:50 a.m.  Questions and Discussion Relating to the Evaluation Design and Research

11:00 a.m.  Business, Communications, and Marketing Model

Pricing strategy and expense structure

Susan E. Carparelli, Executive Director, COCD

Communications and Marketing Strategy

Laura Love and Jon Woods, Ground Floor Media

11:40 a.m  Questions and Discussion Relating to the Business, Communications, and Marketing Model

12:00 p.m.  “Thinking Outside the Box”—How to Spread the Word in Today’s Market

Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, ABPP, AFCC-Immediate Past President

1:00 p.m.  Overcoming Barriers-Brainstorming Session

  • Culture change
  • Consumer outreach

Moderator: Andrew Schepard, Siben & Siben Distinguished Professor of Family Law and Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University 

2:00 p.m.  Summary of Day’s Discussion and Next Steps

Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director, IAALS

2:30 p.m.  Meeting Concludes