How divorce can affect business partners who are married

In some cases, divorce can be a long, drawn out process that eventually leaves couples so fed up with their former spouses that even thinking about their name can cause someone to throw a lamp across the room.

Obviously, not every divorce is like the example above. Some couples come to a joint decision to end a marriage which can often times lead to cordial-if not friendlier-relations. But what happens if you own a business and your spouse happens to be a partner in that business as well? Do you continue running it together or does one of you have to leave?

Some family law attorneys feel that in situations such as this, it is almost always more beneficial if ex-spouses do not work together. But one recently divorced couple in the same situation proves that it is possible to continue to work with your former spouse after a divorce and maintain a professional working environment too.

“We created the business, we created the structure, and we had a team that counted on us,” recounts the husband. It was a decision that both he and his former wife felt needed to be done. “People said, including both of our lawyers, that we shouldn’t work together. But we talked in an office for two hours and decided we should try to make our business relationship work.”

Respect is crucial, says another woman who found herself in a similar situation after her marriage dissolved. She says it was tough continuing to run the company with her ex-spouse but stuck it out because “[she] still cared for him.”

Unfortunately, not all divorces end as nicely as the two stated above; and especially in instances where both partners own part of a business, litigation may be necessary for property division. Speaking with a skilled family law attorney can help you and your former spouse decide what is best for not only yourselves but for your business as well when situations such as this arise.

Source: The New York Times, “When Couples Decide to Divorce but Still Run the Business Together,” Bryan Borzykowski, Dec. 5, 2012

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