Recently in Florida, the Collaborative Law Process Act was officially signed into law, allowing couples going through a divorce to settle their matters outside a traditional courtroom. Luckily, here in Texas, a similar act was signed into law in 2011, which has allowed couples to split amicably and and respectfully, without causing family feuds or power struggles. Through the Collaborative Law Process Act, families who own and run a family business can more easily separate, without leading to the demise of their mutual hard work.
In the Collaborative Process, each side communicates and works with only a sole litigator, who acts as a peacekeeper and mediator between the two sides. Additionally, only one accountant or mental health professional is used, helping the process go more smoothly, without creating an army of people to fight against. This also greatly reduces costs during the process for both sides, which means that more money can be preserved for the business, instead of on costly professional fees.
In addition, business records are kept private during the process, which means that the fate of the business’s finances is not determined by an overseeing judge. Instead, the sole accountant on the case will look things over, and present the information to both parties in a neutral manner, so that they can come to their own collaborative decision. By keeping things private, the entire world does not have to learn about the business’s finances; knowledge that could provide a major advantage to competitor businesses in the area.
The best part of the Collaborative Process is just that — it is collaborative. Each party is completely open and honest with each other, and legal and financial records are shared freely, without the need for a court order or judge’s ruling. Instead of each side taking a cutthroat approach, in order to secure the most money possible from their partner, a deal beneficial to both parties can be struck through under-the-table negotiations. This allows the business, or profits from the business, to be separated without the interference of a judge, who might order something that is bad for the business’s well-being, to arrive at a fair verdict. In this way, both partners can maintain a vested interest in the business, without sacrificing quality or ownership, or be bought out of the business for a price that is unfair for the work they have put into building the business.
Getting a divorce is a frustrating and emotional time, but staying out of divorce court is one way to reduce these intense feelings. The Collaborative Process can help keep both parties happy, while maintaining the success of the couple’s business. In the even that you need counsel to help mediate these issues, contact the ONDA Family law.