Your family-based business might have been a fruitful venture during your marriage, but it can become a source of trouble if your marriage ends because you ultimately have to decide what will happen both with your divorce and your business at the same time. Some people may choose to keep the company open and run it as a team.
There are several things you can do that might help you to run the business successfully together. These include:
1. Keep personal matters away from the office
You and your ex have to keep your business relationship wholly separated from the personal one. There will likely come a point when at least one person has a new relationship that comes into the picture. Set the ground rules for work functions and similar times when the new significant other will be present.
2. Clearly define each partner’s duties at work
Clearly defined duties can prevent a lot of disagreements. Be sure these are spelled out clearly in the agreement regarding the company. It’s a good idea to have dispute resolution methods in the document so you know what to do if you can’t agree on matters related to the company.
3. Write out all your financial agreements
Take the time to plan for who will pay for what if the business can’t cover certain expenses. You should also have something in writing about what each person will be compensated, including base pay, profit sharing, benefits and anything else that has to do with compensation.
Anyone who’s facing a divorce while running a family business should ensure they know their options for what will happen to the business. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters enables you to draw on their knowledge so you can make a decision you feel is in your best interests.