Any person who has been divorced would likely agree that it was a challenging and emotional process. Ending a romantic relationship is not something that people generally do overnight, and it can take quite some time to recover from the split and take steps to move forward. It can be even more difficult to do this when two people own a business together.
Many couples in Minnesota have started a business or company together. After all, a partner in marriage may be the best partner to have in a business as well. But unfortunately, just as business partnerships deteriorate over time, so can marriages and it makes the situation both personally and professionally challenging. For couples who are considering a divorce but have a company to worry about, there are a few ways to try and protect the business as spouses separate.
First and foremost, spouses will want to try and avoid making any serious business decisions while they are emotionally invested in the divorce. Some people may take a vacation or a brief leave of absence from their role at the business so they can focus on the divorce. Corporate-related decisions can be compromised when they are made out of anger, spite or frustration, especially when those emotions stem from a completely different issue.
Secondly, spouses may want to consider speaking with a few different parties to make sure they are protecting themselves in the divorce and the company. This could involve an attorney, financial planner and business mediator who could each have knowledge of how a divorce will affect different aspects of a person’s life. Trying to figure all of that out on your own and with an objective mind can be nearly impossible.
Finally, communication between divorcing spouses can be crucial at this stage. They will have to figure out if they will sell the company, continue to run a business together or have one person take over. This can be difficult to adjust to, but many couples are able amicably divide or share a business after a divorce. But it is crucial that expectations are clear, roles are well-defined and both spouses understand that there will be challenges. But with the right resources and tools, a couple can address the needs of both a company and their relationship separately but successfully.
Source: Entrepreneur, “If You Run a Company Together, What Happens When You Divorce?” Kate Taylor, Feb. 25, 2014