The name of the Association shall be: 





The purpose of the Association shall be:

  1. To provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of procedures to assist families in conflict.
  2. To encourage the development of courts and court procedures relating to families and children emphasizing collaborative methods of dispute resolution;
  3. To develop and improve the provision of services that aid in the resolution of family disputes; and
  4. To protect the interests of children in relation to aspects of family law, child protection proceedings and all other legal proceedings affecting children.
  5. To promote, and maintain, professional and ethical standards in private, public and court-related practices.




 SECTION 1: Officers and Executive Committee:

The organization shall have the following officers: a president, president-elect, first vice-president, treasurer, and secretary.  The officers and the immediate past president shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

Officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the last meeting of the Board of Directors in the year preceding their taking office. Only Directors shall be eligible for election as Officers.  All elections shall be determined by majority vote. Candidates may be nominated by the nominating committee or by a Director from the floor.  When there are more than two candidates for any office, and none receives a majority of votes cast, a run-off election shall be held between the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes.  In the event of a tie, the President shall cast an additional vote.

Upon completion of a term as President-elect, the President-elect shall automatically ascend to the office of President and, upon completion of a term as President, the President shall automatically become Immediate past-president.

If an officer is not able or willing to serve or to continue serving, the remaining term of said Officer shall be filled by election of the Board of Directors.

SECTION 2: Directors:

The Board of Directors shall consist of nineteen members: the five (5) officers, three (3) directors from each geographic region of the State, four (4) at-large directors and the immediate past president.

All California members of the International Association Board shall be ex-officio members of the Chapter Board of Directors if not already elected to membership in the Chapter Board of Directors.

With the exception of the immediate past president, all Chapter past presidents shall be honorary members of the Chapter Board of Directors with the right to attend meetings at their own expense.

SECTION 3: Terms of Office, Meetings, Expenses and Quorum

  1. Officers shall take office on January 1 following their election and serve for a period of two years.
  2. Board members are elected by the general membership at the first general meeting of each even-numbered year to serve a two-year term upon their election.
  3. No elected member of the Board of Directors may serve in that capacity for more than three consecutive terms After any member of the Board has served for three consecutive two-year terms, that person must be off the Board for a period of one year before again serving as a Board member unless that member is elected as an Officer.
  4. The President shall serve as such for a maximum of two years and the President-elect shall serve as such for a maximum of two years.
  5. The Board shall meet at least two times a year.
  6. At least seven of the members of the Chapter Board of Directors must be present before the Board may conduct Chapter business.
  7. Those expenses of Directors and Officers, which may be incurred in connection with the performance of their duties as Director, or Officer may be a proper expense of the Association to the extent that the Board of Directors shall by resolution determine from time to time.  The board shall annually determine the maximum stipend to reimburse travel and incidental expenses of attending board meeting, which may be altered or amended by resolution of the board.

SECTION 4:  Responsibilities of Officers

  1. President
    1. The president shall coordinate all the activities of this Association and provide the leadership necessary to carry out the Association’s purposes.
    2. The president shall have the power to appoint committees and chairpersons of such committees for these purposes and shall be an ex-officio member of these committees.
  2. President Elect and Vice Presidents
    1. The president elect, and the vice-president shall assist the president in all of his or her duties.
    2. The president elect, and vice-president shall also accept any assignments from the president to carry out the purposes of the Association.
    3. In the event of the president’s inability to perform, the president elect, and vice-president, in that order, shall assume these responsibilities, upon approval of the Board of Directors.
  3. Treasurer
    1. The treasurer shall be responsible for collection of membership dues and the payment of the expenses of the organization.
    2. The treasurer shall be responsible for accounting for and keeping accurate records of all monies of the Chapter, which shall be reported annually to the Chapter membership and to the International Association, and for preparing other reports as required (including tax returns). The treasurer shall obtain and transmit to the President at least once each year a review of these records by an independent accountant.
  4. Secretary
    1. The secretary shall be responsible for recording and maintaining minutes of all meeting of the Board of Directors and of its committee, and shall distribute such minutes as directed by the president.
    2. The secretary shall provide notice of meetings and proposed agendas to all board members and officers unless otherwise directed by the president.

SECTION 5: Regional Guidelines For Election of Directors

  1. The State of California, for the purposes of this organization, is divided into three geographic regions.
    1. The Northern region is composed of the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Calaveras, Alpine, and from those counties north to the Oregon border.
    2. The Central region is composed of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and other counties not identified lying between the Northern and Southern regions.
    3. The Southern region is composed of Los Angeles, Inyo, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and from those counties south to the Mexican border.
    4. Any specific county court, organization or individual member may present to the Board of Directors a request for adjustment of regional membership.

SECTION 6: Nominating and By-Law Committees

  1. There shall be a Nominating Committee appointed by the President comprised of at least one member from each geographic region.  The committee shall serve with a view to representation of the diverse elements of the general membership, keeping in mind geography and professional disciplines, among other things.  Chapter members who wish to be included on the nominating committee may contact the President, who may appoint such members.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall provide to the board of directors a suggested slate of officers at least 30 days prior to each election. The Nominating Committee shall provide a suggested slate of directors to the membership at least 30 days prior to the general membership meeting at which directors are elected.
  3. Nominations from the floor of the general meeting shall also be accepted.  Should a contested election occur, every Chapter member shall be entitled to vote, whether or not the member lives or works in the region which the elected Board member will represent.



Bylaws shall be adopted or amended by majority of the board, subject to ratification by the membership at the next membership meeting.




Apart from the annual meetings, other general meetings of the Chapter may be held at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors. At least 30 days advance notice of such meetings shall be provided. The President must convene a general membership meeting within 90 days after receipt of written petition of at least 75 Chapter members.





Membership shall be available to eligible individuals and institutions subscribing to the policies and practices of the Association regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, age, sexual preference, or disability.


Types of membership shall include:

  1. Eligibility: Professionals working in the fields defined in the Statement of Purposes are eligible for membership. The Board shall have the discretion to also grant eligibility to an interested member of the community who can make a contribution to the purposes of the Association.
  2. General Members: A general member is entitled to all the privileges in this organization upon acceptance by the Board and payment of the Chapter dues prescribed by the Board and approved by the Association Chapter and payment of the dues required by the International Association.
  3. Honorary Member:  The Board may confer honorary membership on persons who have made significant contributions to the Advancement of family and individual well-being. Recommendation for this honor may be made by any member of the Association and shall be granted on the approval of the Board of Directors. Honorary members shall not be entitled to vote.
  4. Lifetime Member:  Upon payment of an amount to be set by the Board of Directors, a person who is entitled to be a general member may become a lifetime member.
  5. Institutional Member: Membership in the Association may be in the name of an institution, association, or court, and such membership shall be represented by the Executive Director, Chief Counselor, or Presiding Law Judge.
  6. Student Member: Student membership shall be available to those enrolled in an educational institution with a major leading towards a degree in an area related to family court services and activities.


Since we are a Chapter of the International Association, membership in International shall be required of all members of the Chapter.


Annual Chapter dues shall be as recommended by the Board of Directors, and approved or ratified by the general membership.



Organizational Communication

There shall be an annual report presented by the President to the Chapter regarding the Association’s policies, procedures, and accomplishments. This shall be presented in writing and sent to each member and to the International Association no later than the last day of December.



Affiliation with International

Any policies and procedures of major consequences shall be transmitted to International for their information and shall not be contradictory to any policy of the International Association.



Training Institute


This chapter shall be responsible for the development, organization, and staffing of a training institute which may take place in conjunction with the annual conference.


This training institute shall provide continuing professional education, and theoretical and practical training for the practice of family law, counseling, mediation and evaluative techniques utilized in family matters before the courts.


The institute shall utilize the staff of member courts and other experts in the field of domestic relations from universities, local bar associations, and benches for its training purposes.


The institute shall operate according to the general guidelines established by the Board of Directors.



Dissolution of the Chapter


The chapter may elect to dissolve upon approval by a 2/3 majority of the general members.


After the payment of all outstanding debts, any remaining assets of the Chapter shall be given to the International Association.



 Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern all proceedings, unless contrary to these Bylaws.