At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we work with many couples who are also business owners. As a business owner myself, I fully understand all of the time, heart, and dedication that goes into running and owning a business. Sometimes, it really feels like your business is the center of your world and it can certainly be the most valuable asset you own. A lot of our divorce mediation clients have built their businesses together, as a team. As such, they have both become very valuable and indispensable parts of the business. For example, one spouse may work on the sales part of the business, while the other runs the administrative parts of the business. Because these spouses are so interconnected through their business, they often want to continue to own their business jointly.
As a divorce mediator, it is my job to help show my clients all of the options available to them. Business owners, for example, have several options. They can continue to jointly own their business, buy one another out, or sell the business to a third party. Each option chosen has different pros and cons to weigh. Specifically, when we are talking about the spouses continuing joint ownership after the divorce, business succession planning comes to my mind. Basically, the spouses should sit down with an estate planning or corporate attorney and plan out what would happen in the event they were no longer able to run the business together anymore. This could be because one spouse has fallen ill, become incapacitated, passed away, or it could even be because the ex-spouse/business partners just aren’t getting along anymore. Whatever the reason, it is important for them to have a plan in place.
As a divorce mediator who cares about the outcome of my clients cases well after they have left their firm, I ensure that my clients have the information they need to make informed decisions. If you are a business owner and considering a divorce, it is crucial to work with professionals who understand the challenges of owning a business and take the time to walk you through your options.