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The History of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative law is now an accepted practice in North Carolina, and many spouses pursue this option in order to handle their divorces as quickly and efficiently as possible. Not only that, but collaborative law has become incredibly popular in the Tar Heel State. This popularity is growing every day. But how did it all begin? Where did this process actually come from, and how did it make its way to North Carolina?

If you're approaching the collaborative divorce process, it is hardly necessary to learn about its history. All you really need to do is get in touch with a qualified attorney in North Carolina who has plenty of experience with collaborative law. With our help, you can tackle your collaborative divorce quickly and easily. Background knowledge of the collaborative divorce process is not required if you want to pursue a favorable legal outcome, as you can count on your divorce attorney to handle any complex issues you might encounter.

On the other hand, learning about the history of collaborative divorce can give you some perspective. The history of this process helps you understand why it was created in the first place, and how it differs from "traditional," litigated divorces.

Stu Webb and the First Collaborative Divorce

Our story begins with Stu Webb, a divorce attorney operating out of Minneapolis. In the year 1990, Webb was on the verge of quitting his practice after over 25 years of dealing with divorcing spouses. He just couldn't handle it anymore. Although he loved practicing law, the adversarial nature of divorce trials was getting him down. But before he quit the profession for good, he started to wonder. Was there another way? Could divorces be handled in a way that minimizes conflict?

Well, if Stu was going to quit anyway, then he might as well try out a crazy idea before he said goodbye to the legal world. So he attempted the first-ever collaborative divorce. The idea was quite simple. Both spouses would agree not to go to court. Then, he and another lawyer would then help these spouses settle their differences and negotiate their divorce settlement.

Slowly but surely, Webb began to share his idea with a growing network of lawyers. These attorneys were also open to new ideas and strategies, and collaborative divorce started to become more popular. By the mid-90s, collaborative divorce had become a genuinely interdisciplinary process. Not only were lawyers participating in negotiations between spouses, but a range of other professionals were getting involved. These included mental health professionals, social workers, and financial specialists. These individuals brought their own specialized expertise, helping to fine-tune the collaborative divorce process and make it more effective.

Collaborative Divorce Arrives in North Carolina

By the late 90s, collaborative divorce had arrived in North Carolina. Although it was then practiced for several years, it was not until 2003 that the state legislature passed an official bill that recognized collaborative law as a viable alternative to a litigated divorce. The state legislature also defined the key aspects of the process. Over the next few years, hundreds of lawyers in North Carolina received specialized training in collaborative law, and various organizations and governing bodies were created to manage the process. But collaborative divorce has spread much further than North Carolina, and it is now practiced in 23 different countries around the world.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified, Experienced Attorney

If you have been searching North Carolina for a qualified divorce attorney who has plenty of experience with collaborative law, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We have helped a vast number of spouses achieve positive results with their collaborative divorces over the years. Although it is not for everyone, this process can be a much better alternative than a trial-based divorce's highly adversarial and combative nature. If both spouses are willing to compromise and be transparent, there is no reason you cannot achieve success with this option.

If a collaborative divorce had been ineffective, it would not have survived for so long. This process first started in 1990, which means it has been around for over 30 years now. Over these three decades, countless spouses across the United States have achieved favorable results with collaborative divorce. This is a strong track record of success, and the history of collaborative divorce means that it can be an effective choice for you, as well. If you are ready to approach collaborative divorce, reach out and book your consultation today.