6 tips for running a business with your ‘ex’

| June 21, 2018

When your marriage is failing, it’s quite possible that your entire life will feel like it’s in shambles. Suddenly, you can’t trust someone you held in highest respect and all the future you’ve planned together goes down the drain. Also, separation is rarely simple, especially if you have joint assets and even a business you used to run together.

Ideally, one side would yield or sell their shares in the business to the other party but what happens when no one wants to give up their life’s work? What happens if both of these people are necessary in order to run this business and simply can’t do it without the other one.

Well, sometimes, instead of looking for a painful compromise, it might be in everyone’s best interest to stay on board and keep running the company together. Here are several tips you need to consider.

Base your relationship on respect

First of all, in the heat of the moment, it’s quite easy to say some things you don’t mean and can’t take back later on. Nevertheless, romantic or even friendly feelings aren’t necessary for people to run a company. After all, some of the most iconic duos, who made millions together, privately couldn’t stand each other.

They did, however, respect the other person’s ability to perform a certain task. Once you start having negative feelings about a person, it’s quite easy to discredit them by refusing to admit they’re good at anything, yet, this is definitely not a good business practice.

Make an agreement

Another thing you need to understand is that even the worst of agreements is a compromise, while a court-imposed settlement is not. After all, a judge without any previous experience in your business niche can only cut your assets and responsibilities in half (or at least parts), hoping that they’ve struck the right measure.

On the other hand, running a business is a delicate matter. Let’s be honest, each of you knows the other person’s strengths and your weaknesses. Why not take this as a starting point based on which you’ll later construct the settlement in question. Overall, by making an agreement in time you stand to save a lot of energy and resources.

Ask for mediation

If making an agreement outright isn’t possible, you might want to look for professionals capable of providing you with mediation. The way in which this works is similar to making an agreement, the greatest difference being the fact that you get an unbiased, professional third-party to act as a middleman.

Ideally, you want someone local, someone who understands local laws and economy, seeing as how making a split that you’ve envisioned might not even be a possibility. Therefore, a couple behind a Sydney-based company should look for divorce lawyers from Parramatta to help them reach an agreement

Wrap things up as soon as possible

The next thing you need to control is the duration of the process. Regardless of how important it is not to miss something out; this is probably one of those things where you want to get to the end as soon as possible.

Seeing as how your company (or company-derived profits) will be used to pay for the legal aid, court expenses and fines, the longer you postpone and the longer you bicker, the less you get to share or split. Furthermore, we mentioned the importance of staying on speaking terms and the longer this takes, the lower the chances of a settlement become.

Talk to the employees

Another thing you need to understand is that this divorce isn’t only affecting you and your spouse, it’s also putting your employees at a considerable risk. If you fail to agree on fair terms, the company is going down and they’ll have to look for a job somewhere else.

Sure, you don’t want them to panic ahead of time but you don’t want to hide the truth from them either. In order to get the best reaction, it’s best (if possible) to share this together. Standing side by side as a business partner, might reassure some of your staff members and, it’s a great indication that a company can still work together.

Focus on business interests

As romantic partners, the two of you had a joint interest to enter a relationship and then marriage. Furthermore, you had your reasons and interests to start a company, which are, unlike previously discussed interests valid even now.

Therefore, by focusing on business interests that may still be relevant to both parties, you could find a perfect motivator to help keep everyone in the right direction. Sit down and discuss your mutual business interests and the vision for the company. By pulling this off, you might just find a common ground.


Splitting the rest of your assets is also quite important since getting your hand on someone’s heirloom or trophy might cause bad blood that will definitely translate to the rest of your businesses. At the end of the day, you need to understand that life goes on.

Regardless of what happened, you need to learn how to look towards the future and make the best moves for everyone. Sometimes, keeping your business together even in the face of your failing marriage will be the right thing to do.