Meeting Registration Schedule and Agenda

The Fall Meeting of the North Carolina Association   of Professional Family Mediators  


Tuesday, September 13, 2022 9:00 AM followed by lunch

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Topics to be covered (approximately 1.5 hours each): 

Military Pension Division: The Ex-Mate and Route 1408.  Dividing a military pension can be daunting task.  What is divisible — gross pension, or only “disposable retired pay?”  How do you calculate disposable retired pay?  When a servicemember is sued for pension division in another state, how can that court acquire jurisdiction over him?  Can or should the member request a stay under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?  How does one get a garnishment for the pension?  All these and more are covered in this presentation.  

SBP and TSP: The Survivor Benefit Plan and the Thrift Savings Plan.  What is the Survivor Benefit Plan?  How much does it cost, how are premiums paid, and what are the benefits? Is there anything which would disqualify the spouse from coverage?  Is it automatic, or do you have to request coverage?  Can the servicemember effectively oppose the award of SBP and, if so, how is this done?  How can the spouse ensure that the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)  is not omitted?  If it is lost, can Servicemembers Group Life Insurance replace it?  If SBP is ordered, can the court require the spouse who receives it to pay for it? 

The Thrift Savings Plan is the military equivalent of a 401(k) plan.  How is it divided? What are the choices for the spouse or former spouse? What’s the order which accomplishes the division?  Can you “freeze” the TSP while division is pending?  Dealing with military divorce issues has just turned into “life in the fast lane.”  Or – if you make a mistake – “life in the oncoming lane.”  These two subjects can help clarify the choices for the client and the attorney in a military divorce matter.  

Military Child Support.  This presentation covers how to get child support flowing without filing suit, what elements of military compensation should be included in support calculations, how to read a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), what pay is included in garnishment and income-withholding orders, what military medical care includes, and how to enforce child support. 

Military Custody Issues.  With the mobility of today’s military family and the high rate of divorce, custody and visitation in the context of a servicemember or a spouse can be complex, fast-paced and confusing.  This presentation brings together visitation clauses for the military family, types of custody (and how they fit in the military lifestyle), the wishes of the child, mediation, priority trial settings (to speed up the process), and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (to stay the proceedings). Also covered is the Uniform Deployed Parent Custody and Visitation Act, dealing with issues such as expedited hearings, electronic testimony, retention of custody jurisdiction in the event of a deployment, and delegated visitation right to a close family member of the visiting parent who is deployed.  

Biography of presenter:  Mark E. Sullivan is the principal of Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A. in Raleigh, North Carolina. A retired Army Reserve JAG colonel and a Board-Certified Specialist in Family Law, Mr. Sullivan is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and author of The Military Divorce Handbook (Am. Bar Assn., 3rd Ed. 2019). He was co-founder of the military committee of the North Carolina State Bar in 1981, and is past chair of the Military Committee of the ABA Family Law Section. He received the ABA’s Grassroots Advocacy Award in 2014 for his work on military custody statutes and the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. He assists attorneys nationwide in drafting military pension division orders and consulting on military divorce issues. 

 CLE application has been submitted to the North Carolina Bar Association.

This will be  held at the Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro North Carolina           1 Sam Snead Drive,  Greensboro, NC 27410

Google Directions: Link to Google Maps


9:00am- 12:00pm First Half of Program

12pm – 1pm Lunch

1pm – 4pm Second Half of Program

Lunch Options: 

  • Lunch will be provided and will be buffet style.
  • There will be both meat and vegetarian options for on the buffet.
  • All we really need to know is if there are major or unusual food allergies so that we can be sure to get a very specific type of plated lunch in the event there is nothing on the buffet that the person can safely eat.

Cost for Members:

$160.00 (plus $21.00 if you seek CLE credit)

Cost for Non-Member:

$180.00 (plus $21.00 if you seek CLE credit)

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Questions? Contact Brooke Schmidly at  We’ll be happy to help.

We look forward to seeing you there!


4th Quarter 2022 Meeting:

This meeting is tentatively set for Wednesday, December 7.

Check back for updates as we solidify the date and topic.

2023 Meetings:

We are working on topics and speakers. If you have a suggestion, click on our “Leadership Team” page and send your suggestion to Mary Salisbury- Chair, Continuing Education

Information about our general meetings:

The agenda for most meetings (Except Fall) includes:

  •  9:00 – 9:45        Coffee, light breakfast snack, and networking
  •  9:45 – 10:00      Brief Membership Meeting
  • 10:00 – 12:00     Education program beginning promptly at 10:00
  • 12:00 – 12:45     Lunch – provided by the NCAPFM

Membership meeting agenda items should be submitted to the NCAPFM president or secretary at least two weeks prior to that meeting’s date.

Guests are welcome at any of our meetings, although there is a charge of $10.00 for any non-member who would like to receive a continuing education certificate.

If you a current member of the NCAPFM and would like to bring a guest, please register that guest through the EventBrite registration portal that is emailed to you during the month preceding the meeting.

If you are not a member of the NCAPFM and you wish to attend as our guest, we would be happy to have you.  Please contact our Meeting Registrar, Mr. Mike Musselman, by sending an email HERE.


Previous educational presentations at the NCAPFM:

  • The 2018 Tax Legislation and How it Affects Mediators
  • The Problem with Money – And How to Mediate Around It
  • Mediation Theory and Practice
  • Opening Statements – The Mediator’s and Counsels’
  • Divorce Financial Analysts in Mediation, Collaboration and Litigation
  • Protecting Children from the Burdens of Divorce
  • Writing Mediation Summaries – How to Avoid the Practice of Law
  • The Financial Aspects of Divorce – How Settlement Options Affect Your Client’s Financial
  • Back to the Basics:  What does John Haynes, one of family mediation’s founders, have to teach us about process?
  • Selected and Unusual Financial Issues Found in Mediation
  • The Gray Divorce – Redefining the Golden Years
  • The Social Science of Custody Schedules
  • An Introduction to Non-violent Communication
  • High Conflict Couples
  • Top Child Topics for Family Mediators
  • Calculations for High Income Falling Outside the NC Child Support Guidelines









Page Author: Michael Wayland