In May 2000, Joseph M. Buckner, then Chief District Court Judge for Judicial District 15-B, asked key representatives in the legal and mental health communities to develop local court rules for Chatham and Orange Counties to implement the use of GALs and PCs in high conflict custody cases. In June 2001, he signed Judicial District 15-B’s Custody and Visitation Local Rules that govern the use of Civil District GALs and PCs. It was determined there was the need for a committee to monitor this newly established program in the Judicial District. Judge Buckner asked several members of the original committee to continue to serve the community by overseeing this program. This oversight committee became the first Board of Directors of the Center.
A judicial staff member serves ex officio as liason with the Chief District Judge and provides staff support by tracking the appointment of GALs and PCs in the District, and maintaining the lists of professionals serving as GALs and PCs.
Since tracking began in 2001, there have been many cases where Civil District GALs or parent coordinators were appointed. Judicial District 15-B requires special training to serve as a Civil District GAL or PC. The Center for Cooperative Parenting periodically offers training for new GALs and PCs, as well as advanced training on associated topics.
Jeremy Heuts Atlas
Jennifer Birch has been providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and families in the greater Raleigh area since 2008. Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and National Certified Counselor. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Religion from Meredith College and Master’s and Educational Specialist Degrees from the University of Alabama. Jenn has worked with women, adolescents, and children at a women’s counseling center, as well as with severely physically and sexually abused children at a children’s advocacy center. She now provides mental health services in Wake County, NC to children and teens in a private practice setting. Additionally, Jenn teaches Circle of Security Parenting courses for Raleigh nonprofits, and helps parents navigate the joys (and trials) of parenting.
Ennis, Paul, Attorney at Law
Practice for the last number of years has been limited to representation of parents and caretakers in abuse/neglect/dependency cases as well as serving as Guardian ad Litem (GAL) appointments for respondents in incompetency hearings and other civil proceedings as a Rule 17 GAL; also, serve as backup counsel for voluntary commitments of minors and involuntary commitments of adults.
Prior experiences include serving as Attorney Advocate for the Guardian ad Litem Program in Orange County from 1988 to 1997; civil work in Federal District Court, civil motion and trial work in NC District and Superior Courts; commercial arbitration and mediation; appeals, motions and writs (including mandamus and certiorari) in NC Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court; maintain general practice in criminal and traffic law, and personal injury.
Catherine A. Forneris - Licensed Psychologist & Attorney
Dr. Forneris completed the part-time Evening Program at North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she received her law degree, with honors, in 2016. She became a member of the North Carolina Bar in 2016. She has a small private practice and works in the areas of estate planning and family law.
Marie Hopper - Attorney
Address: P.O. Box 1455, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Marie Hopper is an attorney in private practice in Pittsboro, NC. She received her BA from Earlham College (2001) and JD from UNC-Chapel Hill (2004). She is a partner with Hopper Cummings, PLLC and maintains a general practice case load with substantial work in family law, including custody, domestic violence, and divorce.
Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones, Psy.D. - Licensed Psychologist and Certified Mediator
Address: 5317 Highgate Drive Ste. 213 Durham, NC 27713
With over 20 years of clinical experience, I’ve worked with individuals and families in various stages of their lives. I truly enjoy helping people find more meaning in their life, explore what’s next, and heal from past hurts.
I have a Master’s in Forensic Psychology and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I manage my private practice, which includes providing training and supervision to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level students and clinicians. I supervise the Court Ordered Care program at Cumberland County CommuniCare. I teach forensic psychology students at Purdue University Global, and I am the Course Lead for Forensic Psychology and the Law.
I am a certified Family Financial Mediator, Parenting Coordinator, and Guardian Ad Litem. I am trained in Collaborative Divorce as a Divorce Coach and Child Specialist. I offer individual and family therapy, Divorce Counseling, Co-Parenting, and Parenting Plan Consultation. I also work collaboratively with my team offering Reunification Therapy, Psychological Evaluations, Custody Evaluations, Substance Abuse Evaluations, and criminal and other civil evaluations. I have testified throughout North Carolina and in Virginia as an expert.
I serve on the North Carolina Psychological Association’s board as a newsletter editor and Law and Psychology Co-Chair. I serve as the Development Committee Chair for the North Carolina Psychological Foundation. I have various membership in associations related to separation and divorce including Triangle Collaborative Divorce Professionals.
Diane Paces-Wiles, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Paces-Wiles works with families on issues including high-conflict divorce, parent-child communication, sibling relations, and positive discipline. She has a passion for helping children and adolescents develop positive lifelong coping skills, and empowering parents to create environments of mutual respect. In her work, Ms. Paces-Wiles draws from a variety of modalities including trauma-informed therapy, play therapy, psychodynamic therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness-based therapy.
Ms. Paces-Wiles is trained in Triple P positive parenting and Overcoming Barriers Family Intensive Intervention. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Rebecca A. Poole, Attorney
Phone: (919) 371-539
Rebecca is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist that has practiced exclusively family law for more than a decade. She is the owner of Poole Family Law located in Apex. Rebecca has seen firsthand how destructive litigation can be to a family and she is a strong advocate for resolving disputes outside of the courtroom. Rebecca enjoys helping families through a difficult time in their lives while giving them the legal guidance they need to reshape their family in a respectful and private manner.
Camilla C. Schupp, Attorney
Cami is a partner with the law firm of Alexander, Miller, Schupp & Hamilton in Chapel Hill which is a general practice law firm. Cami’s main areas of practice include family law (divorce, child custody, and financial issues surrounding family law), estate planning, and administration and assisting local small businesses or entrepreneurs with their business law needs. She attended North Carolina Central School of Law and began practicing in Orange County in 2003. Cami received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Political Science from Clemson University in 1997. Cami currently serves on the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.