On November 10th, Pacific Cascade Legal’s very own Lauren Barnhart will be attending the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Conference in Denver, CO. She will be presenting an hour and a half presentation alongside two other colleagues on the ever-expanding world of step-up parenting plans, specifically touching on creative tools to build lasting transitional plans around a verity of issues and client demographics.
“We want to teach people how to build parenting plans that are adjustable and flexible for parents that are dealing with issues in changing landscapes, such as substance abuse. The idea is that these parenting plans can adapt and grow in incremental increases as situations change so that clients aren’t having to go back to court every six months to modify their plan,” says Barnhart.
Barnhart states that she has a passion for creating parenting plans that set families up for success even amongst complicated situation. In addition to this, she believes it’s important to offer a spectrum of valuable tools that parents from a multitude of different backgrounds and demographics can utilize.
“In Portland, we’re more likely to have clients who have the resources to hire a parent coordinator or a therapist to help work through their difficulties—there are a lot of tools you can utilize if you have unlimited cash. But what about the people who can’t afford to hire a specialist at $200 an hour? We want to present the wide spectrum of options that are available depending on your resources and issues involved, as well as discuss how to balance the competing interests of stability and predictability with a landscape of parenting time that might require a lot of adjusting because of varying factors.”
As a musician and stage performer since the age of four, public speaking in front of hundreds of people, many who are twice her age and well-established attorneys, isn’t intimidating for Barnhart—in fact, she sees it as an exciting opportunity to offer a new perspective.
“Me and my other colleagues who will be presenting are about 20 years younger than the average attorney who will be attending. The reality is that, as younger attorneys, we’ll be bringing different perspectives to the table, which is both invaluable and exciting. I know parent coordinators and therapists aren’t new inventions, but I think they’re being relied upon more heavily now than ever before, and we get the opportunity to shed insight on those facts and the alternative resources that are available,” says Barnhart.
Pacific Cascade Legal is lucky to have such an innovative and passionate attorney on their team, and we wish Lauren all the best of luck as she takes on this amazing opportunity in Denver.