Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Better for Everyone

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Better for Everyone

Article excerpt

When it comes to divorce, emotions and the desire to be litigious often run high. The toll on a divorcing family is both emotional and financial--and it can be devastating to both children and parents.

An alternative to litigation in family breakups is called "collaborative divorce," a process begun by Stu Webb in Minneapolis, in the 1980s. Webb, a family lawyer, looked for a way to resolve divorce disputes through a process in which parties--counsel and clients--would agree not to go to court. Webb found that when this option was taken out of the picture, attorneys used their skills as problem solvers to collaborate and settle cases rather than litigate. In the 1990s practitioners in California went a step further, using an interdisciplinary team comprising an attorney and a mental health coach for each spouse, a financial specialist and, if there are children, a child advocate. A financial specialist is always involved in the process, even if the finances appear simple. …

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