Couples often decide to go into business together as a way to fulfill their vision and mission. But what happens to your business if your marriage ends? Managing a business with your ex-spouse can present a challenging situation, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of the business. Careful planning can help you navigate the next steps for your small business.
Seek Professional Help
After your divorce is finalized, seeking professional assistance can give you the legal, business, and emotional support you need to navigate the changes. Hire a solicitor to help you rework legal documents that need adjusting to reflect your new situation. For example, a solicitor can help you come to an agreement about what happens if either person decides to leave the business. A business mediator can construct a plan to help you effectively work together. You may agree to work on alternative days or at different times to reduce the possibility of conflict. Having counselling to work through emotional issues helps you both avoid internalizing negative feelings and facilitates open communication to help with managing a business during a divorce.
Clearly Define Your Roles and Responsibilities
Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each person within the business can help reduce conflict. Well-defined roles ensure you’re not managing one another and give you the scope to operate as equal partners. For instance, if you own an accounting business, you might service small-business owners, and your ex-partner might service nonprofit organizations. Identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses to help determine who should manage each aspect of the business. Putting the specific roles and responsibilities in writing reduces any ambiguity in the process.
Refresh Yourself Before Making Decisions
A divorce is often an emotionally draining experience and may interfere with your decision-making abilities. Consider taking a break to reassess the direction you want to go in life and determine your priorities. That personal time can help you think more clearly and make better business decisions. For example, after taking a vacation, you may conclude that working together after the divorce is going to be harder than you anticipated. You might decide you need to outsource part of your role to ensure the business runs efficiently. Take time and seek advice from others to help you eventually find the best solution for everyone.
Allow for Changing Relationship Dynamics
Personal relationships evolve, and it may take some time to find a new, healthy working relationship with your ex-partner. Giving yourself flexibility helps you weather those dynamic changes when you’re making new working arrangements after the divorce. For instance, you may initially find it difficult to be in the office or hold meetings together with your ex-spouse. Having a contingency plan to operate the business while dealing with those emotions can make it easier. You might appoint someone to take over your responsibilities that require decision-making with your ex, for example.
Dealing with divorce while managing a business together adds complexity to the situation, but you can manage it together if you’re both dedicated to keeping the business running. Having business tools in place, such as QuickBooks, makes it easier to manage your business under any circumstances. 4.3 million customers use QuickBooks. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.