Daniel K. Smith, CDFA CFLCW Chair - 2022

A group of like-minded professionals created the Collaborative Family Law Council in 2000. These attorneys, mental health professionals and financial experts embraced the Collaborative Process as an alternative to the court system for divorce.

The Council promotes the process and advances the skills and abilities of the professionals that make up its membership. Our members view the Collaborative Process a the preferred way to resolve disputes because it focuses upon what is best for the family and allows you to benefit from the experience and skill of the professionals with whom you work.




  • 2000

    Council Formed

    CFLCW is incorporated as a not for profit under Wisconsin law.
    By laws are created and the first set of officers are named.

  • 2004

    Council Conducts first training

    After hosting several training sessions using outside organizations, CFLCW holds its first Building Blocks of Collaborative Practice using Council members. It remains one of the few self-developed and delivered introductory trainings.

  • 2008

    Council retains first Administrator

    Council hires its first retained administrative support person.

  • 2013

    Council holds very first Tax and Family Financial Seminar, championed by CFLCW Chair Garrick Zielinski, CDFA.

  • 2013

    Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin created

    Several CFLCW members formed the Collaborative Foundation to provide low cost or free collaborative services to Wisconsin families of limited financial resources.

  • 2020

    CFLCW celebrates twenty years of activity

    On of the few bright spots to the pandemic-driven year was the Council's twentieth anniversary year, with all events held in an online environment.

  • 2021

    Emerging from one of the most challenging times in recent history, the Council has a renewed commitment to Wisconsin families and CFLCW members.

    Collaborative practice, unlike any other alternative dispute resolution model, engages client with attorneys that represent them, that advocate for them, and work with a team of experts to come to the best possible solution for their family as a unit.

    The end of a marriage does not have to mean the end of a family. Collaborative is a better way to make that happen.

    Elisabeth Bach-Van Horn, JD
    CFLCW Chair - 2021


Have questions about the Collaborative Process? Members are available to help you.  Find a Professional Here