A nasty divorce resolved by a courthouse showdown can destroy the family, the family’s wealth and the family’s business. Sit down with any experienced family law trial lawyer, and he or she will be able to tell you war stories of courtroom shootouts where a warring family ended up destroying the very wealth they were trying to divide. The worst of these divorce war stories end with a business or personal bankruptcy, following a take no prisoners approach to a family’s divorce.
There is a better way for families to divide their wealth in a divorce. That better way is called a collaborative law divorce. In a collaborative law divorce, the parties stay out of the courthouse and focus on solving problems through business-like negotiations versus assessing blame for problems in adversarial litigation.
The collaborative process is a solution-oriented settlement process that is both family-friendly and business-friendly. A nasty litigated divorce can be expensive and disruptive to an ongoing business. In aggressively litigated divorce cases, the business owner and sometimes employees of the business must spend days gathering and organizing documents, attending depositions and hearings and preparing for trial. This costs money and more importantly is a major distraction to the business owner. In these challenging economic times being less that 100% focused on your business can be disastrous to the business.
When the parties work in the collaborative process, they follow a business-like “road map” that guides the parties through a logical step by step process that is designed to increase the chances of settlement and decrease the chances of emotional blow-ups that often result in families tearing each other apart at the courthouse.
For business owners and their spouses the benefits of the collaborative process can include:
* A more private and confidential process than the traditional litigation process
* Financial solutions that are carefully custom crafted to meet needs of the business as well as the parties versus a “one-size fits all” approach.
* Legal fees and professional expenses are more efficiently used, fees are spent solely on settlement efforts and not on procedural, evidentiary and other legal technicalities required in the litigation process.
* Meetings are scheduled when convenient for the parties, instead of being centered around a court’s busy docket.
* The collaborative process can take mere weeks or months to accomplish a resolution versus years in the litigation process.
* The parties are much less likely to cause irreparable damage to family relationships and the family business than in contested litigation.
With a collaborative law divorce, the parties have a chance to find ways to expand the pie they are trying to divide instead of destroying it. What a concept –- a divorce with at least the possibility of making things better instead of worse.
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