Family-owned businesses can often suffer when the couple running them has to go through a divorce. While it isn't very common, it is sometimes possible for the exes to continue to work together to run the business. This can be a challenge, but it can also be very rewarding.
If you are going to try to continue to oversee the business together, you will have to ensure that you are taking steps to protect the business and keep things in order. Here are some tips you might find helpful:
- Mutual trust and respect are imperative. You have to know that your ex is going to always do what is best for the business. Employees and customers shouldn't have to deal with you and your ex demeaning each other.
- Realize that you need your ex's skills. Chances are that you have each carved out an area of the business that is your own. You and your ex probably have unique skillsets. Continuing to run the business together allows the company to benefit from this.
- Set boundaries for interactions. This must include what will happen if you or your ex has a new significant other. It can also include boundaries about who will be responsible for specific aspects of the business, as well as what decisions must be made together.
- Plan for disputes. You might need to have a neutral third party on standby to help resolve conflicts when they arise. This person should know your company and be familiar with the ins and outs of it, so they can help you make decisions in the best interests of the company.
Having a contract for the business is a good idea if the owners are divorcing. This can protect both parties, as well as the company. It might help investors, employees and others to feel more secure about the current situation.