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Navigating a divorce when you run a business with your spouse

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Divorce

When married couples in Illinois divorce, handling the fallout is always complex. Remaining business partners adds another layer of emotional and financial obstacles to navigate during a divorce. While some couples prefer to split the business, some manage to maintain a working relationship and continue to run a business together after their marriage has ended. Careful planning during the divorce process is essential.

Remaining business partners after divorce

The first step is to be sure that both partners are willing to remain professional. Try to emotionally separate business and personal identities. If you or your ex-spouse have a vindictive streak or are holding onto personal grudges while at work, the business relationship will suffer. It can be helpful to remember the areas where your business partner shines at work. If this is an area that you’re unsure about, there are business coaches who can help navigate these waters if everyone involved is willing.

Any business partnership should revolve around a written contract. This covers items like responsibilities in the business and pay. If you already have a written contract, you should still get a new one as you go through the divorce process. As the relationship has changed, it’s safer to revisit the partnership and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Open communication

After the divorce, it will be important to communicate more with your business partner, your employees, and even your customer base. Your marriage was a part of all of these relationships, so communicating the new relationship and expectations can help others feel comfortable in your relationships with them.

A common theme in these steps is that you can’t do everything alone, even tasks you did alone before the divorce. The more support you can get from your co-workers, your business partner, and professionals with experience in this area, the better.