What happens when business partners divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Divorce |

As business partners, you and your spouse share responsibility for making your business work. If you decide to divorce, you may continue to share the responsibility for ensuring the business remains operational during the divorce process and possibly beyond that period of time.

If the business loses profitability because you cannot stop arguing, that is unlikely to benefit either of you, so you’ll need to find a workable solution to any personal tension that is affecting your work relationship.

What are your options?

Some couples continue running a successful business together for years after they divorce. Some find freeing themselves from their marital commitment makes for an even stronger business relationship, while others just grit their teeth and put up with each other.

Others have a far worse experience, with their divorce destroying any possibility of ever working together again. So, you’ll need to be realistic about where you sit on that scale and act appropriately. If working together is unrealistic and your business makes money, you can look into how you can keep it running while allowing you the freedom to manage the company in ways that don’t require consistent interaction between you and your business partner.

You could agree that one of you becomes a silent partner, retaining shares, so they receive an income but without their continued involvement being a potential source of conflict. Or one of you could buy the other one out, compensating for the work they put in and the income they are sacrificing.

It’s rarely easy to work out the best course of action in a divorce scenario that affects a family business, which is one of the reasons why it pays to seek legal guidance to understand how your business may fit into the broader property division process.