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Should I continue to run a business with my ex-spouse?

If you face divorce while both you and your spouse own an interest in a business, you may worry that you have no option but to sell the business and start over after the dust settles. Truthfully, this is an approach that many business owners choose, depending on the size and complexity of the business and the others effects, such as employees or vendors.

However, this is not the only option. You may find that you and your spouse wish to keep the business running together even though you no longer wish to remain married. Of course, you retain the right to do so, but it is is vital to protect yourself properly if you choose to attempt this. In most cases, issues arise when there are too few guidelines and restrictions around each partner's privileges within the business or responsibilities to it.

If you hope to continue running your business with your ex-spouse, it is wise to consult with an attorney to help you both understand the scope of the issues at hand so you can reach a fair arrangement about how you will each interact with the business, what privileges and responsibilities each partner retains and how each partner may leave the business if and when he or she is ready to do so.

In general, when couples choose to continue to run a business together, it is because they do not wish to see their hard work dissolve, or because the business is sufficiently lucrative. It is important to create sound agreements going forward that protect each partner and the business as a whole. Don't hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney to keep your business safe and secure as you walk through this difficult season and begin to rebuild.

Source: Forbes, "How To Handle Divorce In A Family Business," Larry Light, accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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