According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly four million businesses owned by husband and wife teams. This number is significant to the area of divorce in light of the high rates of divorce seen throughout the nation, and the potential impact that divorce has on a family business. Pennsylvania couples may find it challenging to handle business and divorce matters in tandem, though it is possible.
According to one source, some couples are successfully able to separate their business and family relationships in order to salvage a joint business venture. Often, couples are encouraged to sever business relationships during and after divorce, but there are cases where such a relationship can remain fruitful. The key, according to some sources, is respect.
Having respect for one another will drive the business in a positive direction. It may be challenging for ex-spouses to respect and trust one another enough to co-manage a business, which makes the consideration that much more important. In addition, couples who are unsure of the direction that they should take their business, may find it helpful to seek guidance in areas such as accounting, in addition to legal representation. Doing so may help them better understand their options.
Divorce is a complicated process due to couples having emotional ties, as well as legal and material ties. Many Pennsylvania couples may find it challenging to find a good balance between their work and personal lives, which can cause additional tension in the divorce. Alternative dispute resolution options such as divorce mediation or a collaborative effort may encourage couples to address issues surrounding a family business in a positive and constructive manner. When couples can respect one another and work together, they are much more likely to reach an amicable settlement for their business and their lives.
Source: The New York Times, “When Couples Divorce but Still Run the Business Together,” Bryan Borzykowski, Dec. 5, 2012