Can ex-spouses still work together?
If couples are able to split tasks, transition, create an agreement and communicate, a divorce does not have to mean the end of a business relationship.
According to Fox13 news, 9.2 percent of the entire Utah population is divorced, ranking it as No. 4 in the nation with the fewest divorced people. However, for those Utahns who decide that their relationship is irreparable, there are many decisions that must be made. Some are the co-owners of a business that they have built together. Is it possible for them to go their separate ways romantically and still maintain a working relationship?
Define new roles
Entrepreneur magazine states that when a couple wants to keep their business relationship, they must be careful to define their new roles within the business and keep their personal problems out. One way to accomplish this is to analyze the skills that each person has. One spouse may be great at attracting new clientele while the other is stronger in handling the business’ finances.
While, as a married couple, the tasks of running a business may have been shared, once a divorce is set in motion, it may be better for the professional relationship if specific roles are taken by each person. This may reduce the chances of micromanaging or emotional stress from too much collaboration.
Allow a transition period
Sometimes ex-spouses need to take the time to figure out what is best for the business. A cooling-off period during the early weeks of the separation or divorce may be exactly what is needed. Couples may find the transition is easier if one or both of them goes on vacation or at least takes a break from work.
Create an agreement
Ex-spouses may also find it is easier to work together if an agreement is made, according to The New York Times. If one spouse has more of the legal power in a business, the other may be worried about losing his or her job. By creating an agreement at the time of the divorce, both parties are able to gain a little security.
The terms of the agreement may depend on the specific situation of the couple. However, the agreement may state what would happen should one or both parties want to sell. It could also be an agreement to simply let the other, non-owning spouse continue working.
Keep parties informed
Divorce can be a personal trial that is hard to share with the public. As co-owners, however, ex-spouses need to be sure to keep other parties informed of these big decisions. Employees, for example, should be told about the divorce and how it may impact their employment. Other partners should also be informed about the plans as they relate to the company. To show a unified professional front, it may be best for both parties to tell the same story to their employees and other business partners.
If a Utah couple gets divorced, it may not have to mean the end of their business. It may help to work with the knowledgeable attorneys at Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates during any divorce proceedings.