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Financial Advisor to the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Process

Collaborative law is a voluntary dispute resolution process developed to preserve the integrity and dignity of families in conflict. Although divorce is its primary application, this process translates to other civil and commercial applications such as custody, probate/trust & estate, contract, real estate, healthcare, employment or construction dispute cases where collaboration between parties is the expedient and merited method.

Civil Collaborative Practice At a Glance

  • A commitment by the parties and their attorneys to resolve their disputes outside the court system
  • A process intentionally geared toward settlement from the outset
  • An open, honest, yet confidential exchange of information by the parties
  • Reduces financial, time and emotional costs
  • Avoids going to court
  • Helps maintain important relationships, especially when children are involved
  • Protects confidentiality and avoids publicity
  • Keeps the parties in control of the process
  • Encourages mutual respect
  • Provides open communication
  • Uses a problem-solving approach
  • Identifies and addresses all parties’ interests and concerns

Additional information about this process can be found at www.collaborativepractice.com, the website for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) or its local affiliate in NW PA, Collaborative Professionals of Northwest Pennsylvania (CPNWPA) at www.divorcewithoutfighting.org or www.CPNWPA.org.

Financial professionals are brought into the dispute resolution process to provide neutral, analytical and specialized input. Applications where financial professionals are utilized include:

  • Tax analysis of settlement options providing win-win scenarios for both parties
  • Financial analysis (cash flow) of settlement options for both parties (Short & Long term)
  • Education to all parties so that only informed financial decisions are made
  • Retirement asset consulting
  • Business valuation
  • Cash management & budgeting
  • Education funding
  • Investment and insurance review
  • Manage financial expectations of all parties
  • Prepare asset& liability analysis

Karen L. Benson, CPA, PFS,Scott A. Herzing, CPA, and Michael S. Neubauer, CPA, CVA, MBA are all trained Financial Advisors in the collaborative process.