Can you and your ex continue to run a business together?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

The end of a marriage is a difficult time for many people, but some people are able to move past the contentious matters in their marriage and continue to run a business together.

There are several things to consider if you and your ex are going to retain joint ownership of a company you grew together. 

Can you agree on terms for the business?

You and your ex must come up with all the terms that govern the business. One thing to remember is that the business is likely considered marital property so it will have to be handled during the property division phase of the divorce. 

The terms you’ll need to have in the agreement include the pay structure and liability allocation, responsibilities for each party and how conflicts will be handled. The more detailed the agreement, the less likely there will be issues in the future related to either the way the company is run or your respective roles and compensation. 

Can you adhere to your personal boundaries around each other?

It might not be easy to see your ex at work, but you should still show each other mutual respect. Things may get even more complicated if there are new love interests coming around. When that happens, remembering that your relationship is strictly professional now is often beneficial. You should ensure that you’re always putting the interests of the business first when you’re representing the company.

Working closely with your attorney to ensure that your rights are being upheld is imperative. The agreement you come to with your ex is likely going to govern the business for a long time to come. Be sure that it’s suitable for short-term and long-term time frames.

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