Can Divorced Couples Still Manage to Manage a Business Together?

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Monday, December 31, 2012

When a St. Louis couple gets a divorce, they typically sever all ties, with the main exception being those couples who have children together. Those couples are usually going to have to work together on some levels to raise their children.

But what about those couples that don’t have children? Do they ever have reason to work together after divorce? Sometimes they do, especially when they own and run a business together.

The New York Times recently ran a piece about such couples, citing the example of a pair of attorneys who run a law firm together after their divorce, as they did while they were married.

They met in the 1980s in law school, got married in the late 1990s while working together at a law firm that they together made into a thriving business.

By 2006, however, they were divorced and faced an unusual choice: do they sever all ties, including their successful business connection? They chose to take the more difficult path and kept their business relationship intact.

Their decision was perhaps an unusual one, but the decision they faced about their business pact was not: the Census Bureau estimates that nearly four million U.S. businesses are owned by married couples. With the rate of divorce as it is, that means many thousands of couples face the decision those attorneys faced.

Six years after making their decision to continue to work together, the pair say they have managed to make a go of it and that the business continues to thrive.

Couples that have made similar decisions say one of the keys to making a post-marriage business relationship work is that both halves of the couple must continue to respect each other even though they’re no longer in love.

Without respect, the business relationship is likely to suffer the same fate as the romantic relationship.

If you and your spouse run a business together and are considering divorce, discuss your legal and business options with an experienced family law attorney before making decisions on how to proceed.

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