Could You Stay Business Partners With Your Ex?

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Divorce on Thursday, December 6, 2012

When most couples in St. Louis go through divorce, they can’t wait to get away from one another. But that’s not exactly easy when the couple owns a business together that neither wants to walk away from. As a result, many couples throughout the country have made their business partnerships work even when their marriages couldn’t.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, this situation more common than one might think. According to a 2007 Census Bureau estimate, there are about 3.7 million businesses in the country that are owned by husband and wife partners. The divorce rate hovers right around 50 percent, so that leaves a lot of businesses up in the air during a divorce.

In one example, a Connecticut couple met in law school and began running a law firm together after getting married. While their business flourished, their marriage did not, and they eventually filed for divorce. Even though many people cautioned them against it, the couple decided to keep working together after the divorce. Now, two years later, they say their business relationship is working great.

According to the article, respect plays a huge factor in making a situation like this work. The former couple has to be able to put the past behind them and move forward with their new relationship — as business partners. Of course, this is not always easy to do, which is why the article suggested that counseling can help the exes open communication lines and let go of anger.

While this arrangement probably wouldn’t work for all divorcing couples who own a business together, it might be worth considering if neither person wants to walk away from the business.

What do you think?

Source: The New York Times, “When Couples Divorce But Still Run A Business Together,” Bryan Borzykowski, Dec. 5, 2012

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