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Can your family business thrive during a divorce?

One of the most difficult circumstances in a divorce is when a couple owns their own business. That business may be run by one or both of the spouses and may be the source of the family’s primary income. With so much at stake, it makes sense that a divorce can get extremely contentious if a business has to be split up in the process.

According to national statistics, some 1.4 million businesses are operated by both a husband and wife in the United States. Beyond that, 1.7 million businesses are jointly owned yet operated primarily by the husband. And 0.6 million businesses are mainly operated by the wife while being jointly owned.

When splitting up a family business, it’s very easy to let your emotions dictate your actions. There is no doubt that splitting up a family business is an emotion endeavor. But with the right amount of tact, couples can ensure that the business continues to thrive instead of having to liquidate it and split the profits.

It might help to think of each other as strangers. Start with a new slate and treat the negotiations as if they were between two strangers who are working on a business together. Also, watch out for emotional triggers. While you work through the divorce, a mediator may be able to help you sort through any pitfalls that come along. Being respectful and having ethics and fairness in mind can go a long way.

Finally, if you can, reinvent your relationship. There are ex-spouses out there that stayed business partners against all odds. If you and your ex-spouse are able to communicate on some level, there may be a chance that you are able to work together in a business setting.

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Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
70 Washington Street, Suite 402
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-7774
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