Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

If you get divorced, can you still work together?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2022 | Divorce

Small businesses have always been important to the American economy. Many of these are family-owned businesses, often run by a husband and wife. They may have gotten married earlier in life and then decided to start a business when it seemed financially viable.

If you’re in this situation and you’re thinking about asking for a divorce, you’re probably concerned about what’s going to happen to your business and your career. You know that you want to end your marriage, but you don’t want to have to close your business. The effort you’ve put into that has been tremendous over the years, and it provides a stable income. Is it possible for you and your ex to continue to work together running the business even after your marriage ends?

The hurdles couples face

You certainly have the option to continue on as business owners, legally speaking. A business is usually considered a marital asset and so couples have to figure out what to do with it while dividing assets. This may mean selling the business to someone else or having one person buy out the other person’s ownership percentage.

But you don’t have to do this and you don’t have to move on from the business. If the two of you just continue as equal owners, like you were before, then nothing has to change. The property is still divided in the right fashion because you are both owners of that property together. You can just split up your other assets, find new living situations, and keep coming in to work as if nothing else has changed.

The real trouble just comes if you run into hurdles with your ex. Examples may include:

  • Not being able to communicate effectively
  • Feeling like you’re working against one another
  • Letting your emotions get in the way of business decisions
  • Disagreeing over who has what responsibilities and obligations
  • Disagreeing on how pay should be structured

Essentially, the two of you still have to be able to make productive business decisions and get along as professionals. You may be fully able to do this and running your business won’t be very much different after the divorce. But many couples struggle to keep this mindset when they have so much baggage from the divorce and their romantic history.

As you go through your divorce, knowing that it may become complex, be sure you always focus on your legal rights.