In our last post, we highlighted the importance of having proper documents in place to protect one’s business from the scourge of divorce. Specifically, a postnuptial agreement can help guard against the difficulties that can arise when a business was formed long after the marriage began. We also highlighted the issues that can arise in valuing a business.
But believe it or not, some business relationships can survive the end of a marriage. Affectionately called “co-preneurs,” some formerly married parties in small businesses can make their corporate relationships work even though their personal, romantic relationships with each other did not.
Because of the continuing financial incentives before them, some business owners will continue to trust their former spouse’s judgment and allow him or her to do what’s best for the business. Indeed, a former spouse may create a new life outside of the former marriage but, they are committed to making the enterprise work.
It is estimated that more than three million small businesses across the U.S. are headed by married couples, so it should not be surprising that some couples can make things work after a divorce.
Nevertheless, when a divorce occurs, it is prudent for both parties to put their new operating responsibilities on paper and create contingency plans just like any other business would. This is especially important given the new status of the relationship (i.e. married vs. separated business partners). Ultimately, divorced business partners can run successful enterprises without the bitterness and jealousy that some separated couples exhibit.
If you have questions about how this may work for your business, an experienced attorney can help.