Divorce is difficult; ending a business relationship; stressful. But when you are divorcing your business partner, the outcome can be doubly punishing.
When facing the end of your work and personal life as you know it, what steps should you take to ensure the best outcome?
Below are a few helpful tips.
- Take a Breath: Though it is surely tempting to cut all ties once the divorce is filed, your company may be much better served if you put decisions related to the life of the business on hold. Allow emotions to settle before addressing the issues of ongoing ownership or potential sale. The most important thing at this juncture is to do your best to preserve the value of the business.
- Consult a Tax Expert: Planning for a split of the business includes complicated tax considerations. Whether your resolution involves interests in fractional ownership or splitting the sale proceeds, there will be implications to your taxes for at least the following year, and potentially years to come. Getting advice at the outset on how best to handle these complicated concerns will help prevent any surprises down the road.
- Clearly Define—and Respect—Your Roles: After the mudslinging that too often occurs in the throes of divorce proceedings, it can be difficult to respect your former spouse and to feel respected in return. One way to make this easier on the business side of things is if you each have your own defined role in the company, and don’t try to step on each other’s toes. Overlapping duties inherently create conflict, and the last thing a divorced couple needs is another reason to fight.
- Put It In Writing: When the “family” part of a family business is no more, the formalities must be observed. While it may have made sense to start the business without formal role division or other provisions in place, it is in everyone’s best interests to make sure all parties are on the same page. Having a written understanding of the terms moving forward will keep an otherwise minor snag from turning into a he-said/she-said showdown.
- Keep It Professional: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Simply put, dragging your partner through the mud personally and professionally will not further your company’s interests. Try to keep as professional a demeanor towards each other as possible to allow your employees, coworkers, and colleagues to continue business as usual.
For your business divorce or corporate dissolution needs, contact a Sioux Falls lawyer, an Omaha attorney, or Sioux City lawyer today! Check out our other blogs regarding divorce and family law here! http://blog.goosmannlaw.com/divorce-lawyer-on-your-side