Can ex-spouses still run a business together?

A divorced couple may be able to continue running a business together if trust remains, conflict is managed and roles are defined.

Married business owners in Colorado may be used to spending working and leisure hours together, but that does not mean that this subset of married couples is immune to divorce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in the state is 3.2 per 1,000 residents, which is slightly higher than the national rate of 2.9. If a divorce does happen between married business partners, the couple may decide to split the company up or sell it to a third party to ensure the ex-husband and -wife no longer have to see each other on a daily basis. However, not all exes are interested in ending a working relationship.

Does trust remain?

When a marriage ends, chances are the two people can no longer trust each other. However, business partners need to know that the other will do what is in the best interest of the company. A divorced couple may be able to continue working together if they can retain some level of trust and amicability.

Can conflict be managed?

Most divorces, even those done amicably, tend to have some conflict. For couples who want to continue working together, they must consider whether their personal conflict can be kept out of the business. If emotions lead the way, the company may suffer.

Not only does the personal conflict have to be managed, but the partners have to be prepared for potential business clashes, too. Ex-spouses still raw from the emotional trial of separation may not be able to separate their personal and professional emotions. This could turn even minor negotiations into an all-out battle. Business partners may be able to avoid this unnecessary conflict by bringing in a third party to help settle disputes until the changing partnership is better defined.

Can roles be defined?

In any business partnership, it is often essential for the duo's roles to be clearly defined. This may be even truer for partners who are going through a divorce. When the couple clearly defines their separate roles in the business, it makes it easier to avoid conflicts in the future. For example, one spouse may be more comfortable working directly with clients while another may be happier tackling the financial side. If the exes are unable to define their roles, it could lead to seemingly constant conflict as they continue to step on each other's toes.

When a divorce takes place in Colorado, the couple may still find a way to work together for the sake of a business relationship. No matter what unique situation a person is in, he or she may want to work with an attorney when considering a marital separation.