Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section Releases First of its Kind Co-Parenting Video

The project is a collaboration of attorneys, judges, and mental health practitioners

In response to a growing number of conflicts among separated and divorced parents, the PBA Family Law Section, under the leadership of Section Chair Helen Casale, has produced a resource video to help parents improve their co-parenting relationships. 

‘Tips and Techniques for Effective Co-parenting’ was developed with the intent of improving parenting relationships and ultimately outcomes for children.

The video premiered at this year’s Family Law Section summer meeting in Newport, RI and highlights Casale alongside legal and mental health experts sharing advice and strategies for separated or divorced parents. Featured experts specialize in custody evaluations, reunification counseling, co-parenting counseling, and collaborative divorce services. They cover a range of scenarios in the video including effective and respectful communication, introducing third parties to children, conflict resolution, and coordinating important events such as birthdays.

The video focuses on effective communication tactics including the BIFF Response Method, which stands for brief, informative, friendly and firm. Developed by the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, CA, this type of response has proven to reduce conflict in co-parenting relationships by providing short, useful information in a friendly manner to avoid confusing situations. 

“Parenting is hard. Co-parenting with someone you may no longer have a good relationship with is even harder,” said Casale. “There are feelings of sadness and anger and resentment. The hope is that this video will provide tools for parents to better communicate with their co-parent. If co-parents have better communication, the child or the children take that into their adult life and into every relationship they have in the future.”

The video is a culmination of Casale’s year as Chair of the PBA Family Law Section, where she focused on two main initiatives: attorney mental and physical wellness and parent communication in custody cases. ‘Tips and Techniques for Effective Co-parenting’ is the outcome of the latter initiative and is the first co-parenting video produced by the PBA Family Law Section. Casale discussed the process of creating and releasing the video on a recent episode of the Section’s Law in the Family podcast. 

“We know that young children of high-conflict parents are at higher risk for anxiety, aggressive behavior, and poor social skills,” said Casale. “This resource is intended to help parents understand and implement positive communication and behaviors with their co-parent so that everyone, parents and children, can experience best possible outcomes.”

Casale concentrates her practice on all aspects of family law and is also known as an expert on issues that same-sex couples face including legal dissolution of civil unions, second parent adoption, custody and support issues. She previously served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair-Elect for the PBA Family Law Section.

The Section on Family Law focuses on the development and practical working of the law relating to marriage, divorce, support, custody, property and economic matters and domestic relations generally, as well as the law relating to adoption and to juvenile dependency. Hangley Aronchick Family Law Shareholder Cheryl Young previously served as Chair, and Shareholder Jerry Shoemaker will take over as Chair in the summer of 2025.

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