In 1990, Minneapolis family lawyer Stewart Webb decided that he should devise a better method of dispute resolution when it became aware to him that certain cases did not need to go to court. Webb and a group of similarly minded lawyers agreed to take certain dispute cases with the sole resolution of settling. The process of collaborate law resolution spread, and in 2000, beginning with 20 lawyers, has become more commonly used by Massachusetts divorce lawyers. Massachusetts collaborative law is now used in family law, business disputes, employment conflicts, probate contests, insurance claims, construction disputes, and especially divorce disputes.
In a comprehensive book on the subject, entitled Collaborative Divorce, Pauline Tesler and Peggy Thompson provide the first explanation on the revolutionary collaborative divorce method that is changing the way that couples end their marriages. Tesler and Thomson train collaborative law professionals around the world and provide a step by step format through the process of collaborative divorce. In addition to a step by step guide, Tesler and Thomson, throughout the book, offer real life examples and practical exercises that show how this method can lead to a constructive divorce method that is conducted entirely outside of the court system.
Tesler and Thomson’s Collaborative Divorce details a divorce method that employs a large team of caring specialists including two lawyers, two coaches, a financial consultant, and a child specialist. Collaborative Divorce has the benefits of keeping the divorce out of court and saving time, creating a long term successful financial and parenting plan, deploying an active role in designing life after the divorce, understanding and addressing the children’s needs, and conserving emotional and financial resources.