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4 elements that can make it easier to work with an ex-spouse

Did you know that roughly 3.7 million businesses were operated by husbands and wives in 2007? For these millions of people, the line between business and personal life is razor thin, if not non-existent. This can create quite a big problem if a husband and wife decide to divorce.

Many people in California would consider selling a business or having one person buy out the other. However, others prefer to continue running the business together. After all, a marriage may not have worked out, but a business relationship can still be worth saving. If you fall into the latter group, there are some important elements you want to preserve or create in order to make it a little easier to run a business with an ex.

  1. Having respect: As noted in this New York Times article, respect is imperative to running a business together. If you and your ex can maintain respect for one another and focus on that versus finger pointing and arguing, then you can have a better shot at working together successfully.
  2. Setting boundaries: This might involve delegating tasks to each other to avoid working late nights together, reassigning projects that put you in competition with each other or agreeing to keep personal relationships out of the office for a period of time. 
  3. Having support: Rather than trying to pit others against an ex, leaning on the support and camaraderie of colleagues and family members can be very helpful. It can also be wise to consult financial and legal professionals to help with the logistical part of running a business with an ex.
  4. Getting it in writing: No matter how well you might work together in the business, make sure you get every agreement and financial arrangement in writing. Doing so is something every business owner should do, regardless of who his or her business partner is.

These elements can make it a little easier for former spouses to remain current business partners. 

Understand, however, that this is not a good solution for everyone. If you own a business and are divorcing in California, it can be a good idea to talk to your attorney about what you can do about your business to find the best possible solution for your needs.

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