History of collaborative divorce
In 1990, a Minneapolis, Minnesota lawyer named Stew Webb was struggling with the traditional litigated divorce process. Stew had spent 15 years representing clients divorcing the traditional adversarial way, relying upon court imposed rules and directives. He saw how destructive litigation could be, not only to the other spouses but also, to his clients and their children. Breaking with tradition, Stew decided to only represent clients who agreed not to go to court thus creating the collaborative way to divorce.
Stew’s clients and their spouses would need to agree to negotiate a resolution of all financial and parenting issues in a constructive and respectful manner in joint meetings with the spouse and his or her attorney. Both spouses would have to be amenable to listening to the other’s concerns and to creatively crafting solutions to meet each other’s needs without the threat of litigation.
When word spread how efficient, effective, and satisfying this new way to divorce was, attorneys throughout the country began offering their clients the collaborative divorce option.
Collaborative divorce, often with the participation of communications, parenting, and financial specialists, is available to divorcing couples throughout the United States as well as Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia.
My collaborative divorce commitment
In 2001, one of Stew Webb’s disciples and another pioneer in the collaborative movement, attorney Pauline Tessler, travelled from California to New Haven to teach a small self selected group of Connecticut divorce lawyers how to collaborate. I attended that training, immediately recognizing that divorcing collaboratively could meet the desires of most couples to divorce respectfully, privately, and creatively. Collaboration fit well with this firm’s philosophy of educating and empowering divorcing persons to make the best choices for themselves and their families. Also, because both spouses had their own attorneys by their sides throughout the collaborative process, many more couples were candidates for collaboration, including those wanting to control their own destinies but for whom mediation was not an attractive option.
Since 2001, my focus and commitment has been to provide high quality collaborative divorce services. I take my obligations to my clients seriously and thus strive to improve my collaborative skills and expertise. I continually participate in training throughout the United States and outside of our country and have founded several practice groups for collaborative professionals in Connecticut. In addition to educating pediatricians, law students, CPAs specializing in business valuation, and the public generally, I became authorized to teach collaborative divorce to other professionals by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), the international umbrella organization for collaborative divorce professionals.
Finally, collaborative divorce has enhanced my objective of providing value to my clients and making your legal expense a good investment. I am sensitive to the cost of these matters and welcome candid discussions of my fees and services.