Texas Wesleyan Law Review

Document Type



The principal theme of this article explores the impact to the family and the business when the family structure is shattered, and devises an analytical process for lawyers to work with family business owners and/or managers to minimize the impact on the business. The article draws on family systems theory as used in family therapy and as relied upon by many family business consultants. Part One considers the economic and social significance of small and family-owned businesses to our society. Part Two borrows from the theoretical literature of family therapy to describe a framework and context for working with clients who own family businesses. This literature provides insight on how families function and suggests a frame of reference for assessing problems presented by a family owning a business. Part Three furthers the inquiry by focusing on how issues facing a family business are often interrelated with issues facing the family itself. Part Four proposes an analytical model based on a family systems perspective which could aid lawyers in solving legal problems of the client involved in a family business. The process considers how to gather social, emotional, legal, and financial information useful for structuring a solution to the problem. Part Five presents a hypothetical problem to which the family systems approach is applied.



First Page


Last Page