Helping your business to survive a divorce

Dispute Resolution

Family - 1 minute read

As a divorce lawyer, I commonly meet clients who run a business with their spouse. When I meet them, not only are they seeking to end their marriages, but they’re also trying to work out how to disentangle their business interests. There are of course some people who can happily carry on as business partners despite the break-up, but I don’t see that very often. Much more usual is a situation where the main source of the family’s income is that business, and one or other of the spouses is going to have to exit. Valuing the business will usually be essential, as will taking expert advice on the most tax-efficient and commercially-savvy way of restructuring ownership. Notifying staff and clients, and even arguing over who ‘owns’ them can be an additional issue. This article in ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine gives some handy tips. Click here for the full article.

6 Guidelines for Helping Your Business Survive a Divorce
While divorce is difficult for everyone, a fairy tale can become an absolute nightmare if the couple co-own a business.

So, if you're an owner involved in a divorce, think ahead. Laying a legal foundation and staying calm can make a stressful situation, while never pleasant, less traumatic than it would otherwise have been if both parties start shooting from the hip. Here are six guidelines:

1. Handle the emotional fallout before emotions become the focus.

2. Discuss the future -- early.

3. Find attorneys who can empathize.

4. Opt for a 'collaborative' divorce.

5. Use mediation.

6. Employ multiple options.

Planning, foresight and the ability to explore options are crucial to helping a family business survive.