Who We Are

MAGAL is a professional organization of mental health professionals, attorneys, family service officers, judges, and academics who work in and with the Probate and Family Courts that are charged with resolving disputes over the custody of children. 


Members of MAGAL include judges, attorneys, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health counselors, visitation supervisors and family service officers. Membership, is by application, subject to board approval, is open to professionals with a practice or interest in child custody. 


Our mission is primarily one of education.  First and foremost, we educate our members about legal and clinical best practices.


MAGAL is excited to announce its Spring 2022 virtual Conference:
May 20, 2022 8:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.



Understanding the impact of Massachusetts case law on custody and parenting decisions is essential in working effectively and responsibly as a GAL, PC, mental health professional or family law attorney involved with the Probate and Family Court.  As professionals, we must be familiar with Massachusetts prevailing case law and the basis for the different standards for cases in the areas affecting our practices. Dr, Robert A. Zibbell’s 2021 Compendium of Family Law Cases presents the critical cases that we all should know about, covering areas including custody, parenting, removal, expert testimony, domestic violence, grandparent visitation and more.  The role of this important case law in our work will be presented with commentary from our distinguished panel.


Dr. Zibbell’ s compendium evolved because lawyers and mental health professionals speak two different languages. One of the goals he had in mind was to try and find a bridge to help all professionals in the field identify the data needed by the law. Are clinical impressions relevant, and, if so, when?  How can the law guide the investigative effort?  What are the “facts”?  How is the data communicated, and how do we maintain transparency and apply the data to legal standards?  These questions will be explored in this important conference.

Speakers and Panelists:

  • Hon. Amy Blake, Associate Justice,  Appeals Court;
  • Hon. Richard Simons, First Judge Berkshire Probate and Family Court, Chair of the Probate and Family Court’s Ed Committee and a Trustee of Flaschner; 
  • Robert A. Zibbell, Ph.D., author of Case Law Compendium, is a psychologist whose specialty is in the area of child and family forensic mental health; and
  • Jennifer Durand, J.D., Director of Legal Training for the Child and Family Forensic Evaluation Service (CAFFES) at the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at William James College, and trial attorney.
  • Moderator , Linda Minkoff, J.D., Family law attorney, GAL, current President of MAGAL,


Register Here

ongoing Activities

Every Other Friday at 1pm

Every other Friday at 1pm we host a zoom called the PC Discussion Group.  Click the link below to join.

PC Discussion Group - Every other Friday at 1pm

(Membership in either MAGAL or AFCC-MA is required to join meetings.)

MAGAL and MAGAL/AFCC Zoom Open Discussion Meetings 

Wednesdays at noon

Every Wednesday at noon we host a zoom discussion called the GAL discussion group. Click the link below to join.

GAL Discussion Group - Wednesdays at Noon

(Membership in either MAGAL or AFCC-MA is required to join meetings.)

Copyright ©2021 Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc.

Masschusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc.

P.O.Box 304

Franklin, MA  02038

(781) 329-9729

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